Some of the city's biggest brokerage firms released their fourth-quarter reports on the Manhattan real-estate market this week. And the news? Holdouts hoping for a slump won't get their reward quite yet. The breakdown:
• While other cities sink into subprime hell, the borough remains stubbornly bullish, buoyed in part by tight inventory, especially in co-ops. If you're still looking to buy, an apartment in the borough will set you back an average of nearly $1.44 million, 18 percent more than what you would've paid the year before. (That's according to valuations guru Jonathan Miller's Prudential Douglas Elliman survey; Halstead and Brown Harris Stevens' numbers come in slightly under at $1.43 million.)
• Prices were up pretty much across the board, with large spaces being the most in demand. (No surprise, they saw the most gains; according to Miller, three-bedrooms spiked an impressive 39.8 percent in value over the same period the previous year.)
Murdered broker to the stars Linda Stein had made sets of keys for several friends and co-workers, including her former aide Raul Diaz Bernal. Police are hoping to speak to all of them as they investigate who might have accessed her apartment and bludgeoned Stein to death. They interviewed Bernal, 49, last night. He was fired by Stein a few months ago from the brokerage firm Prudential Douglas Elliman, reports the Post, after a fight over a commission. Her friends, who used to call Bernal "The Cuban," say he was the only one of her close colleagues who didn't call with condolences after her death. Cops also interviewed her 62-year-old former Italian lover, Francisco Arena, says the Daily News. They're next hoping to track down Stein's high-end pot dealers (she used the drug to help combat the pain from her bouts with cancer), who friends say regularly accessed the apartment. Since surveillance videos have turned up no leads yet, police hope these interviews will shed new light on the gruesome case.
Slay Sleuths Eye Axed Aide [NYP]
Ex-lover, pot dealer on list of people eyed in Linda Stein slay [NYDN]
Earlier:Remembering Linda Stein