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A Year of Insane Listings; Rent Getting Less Damn High

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1) You know how they say you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone? Well, sometimes the opposite holds true and you don't know how little you've got until you have it, so you sell your studio apartment and buy a 1BR. That's what happens with Brian, who is initially very excited to own his own place until he realizes that he doesn't have room for a freezer. He's thirsty, both for cold drinks and more space, so he begins searching. He prefers simply designed, postwar places but ends up getting charmed by a prewar apartment with a renovated kitchen, which he buys for $477,000. When he moves in, the only problem is a feral cat that howls outside his window. Maybe he can throw some ice cubes at it. [The Hunt/'The After-Studio Apartment']

2) The high-end real estate story of the year was, without a doubt, the proliferation of trophy apartments being listed for mind-boggling prices. Kicked off by the shocking sale of the 15 CPW penthouse for $88 million, Steve Wynn buying a 50 CPW duplex for $77.5 million, and, of course, all the sales at One57, a rash of copycat listings soon followed, led by the crazy City Spire penthouse which owner Steven Klar decided was worth $100 million. Turns out it wasn't. That apartment, and most of the second wave of blockbuster listings, remain on the market. It was worth a shot? ['The Sport of Tycoons']

3) What goes up must come down, and that includes rent prices, apparently. With the market at an all time high, the signs point toward it starting to slow down, as the average rent declined in November for the third consecutive month. "We have clearly seen a wave of people trying to become buyers, and this is taking the steam out of rentals," Jonathan Miller told the Times. "There hasn't been a flood of buyers, however, because lending standards remain tight. All things being equal, if lenders weren't being so irrationally conservative, you would have a housing boom at the expense of the rental market." ['The Rental Tide Subsides']