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Despite Stock Market Flux, No Real Estate Steals With AM-Stocks-Markets Bjt

October 25, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ The good years on Wall Street played a big role in the real estate boom of the New York City area, but the stock market collapse hasn’t had any severe effect on the housing market yet, real estate people say.

″A few people are putting in ridiculously low offers,″ but ″we haven’t seen any drop in prices,″ said Dave Goldsmith, downtown manager for residential sales at J.I. Sopher, one of the city’s largest real estate firms.

However, Goldsmith said, buyers thinking about making a bid on a cooperative apartment or condominium ″are a little bit nervous, saying they’ll wait a week to see what happens.″

In Manhattan, ″a standard, modern, one-bedroom kind of crackerbox″ goes for $175,000 to $300,000, Goldsmith said. Those on prime blocks fetch $250,000 to $400,000. Prices, he said, ″are still climbing.″

Lois Burnett, president of Vincent, Whittemore Inc., now has two bids for Devonshire, an estate in Westchester County north of the city built by the family of the late statesman W. Averell Harriman. Asking price: $15 million.

Her ″mid-market″ houses sell for $400,000 to $1 million.

″I expected some deals to die. I’ve heard of brokers who have lost deals,″ she said. ″But strangely enough, our market is busier than it was in spring and summer. We have put quite a few deals together, and they’ve stuck.″

The same seems true on Long Island, said Florence Dickstein, whose agency in Greenvale sells houses for $1.5 million and up in northern Nassau County.

″We have not seen any panic or upset or disturbance at all among our clients,″ said Dickstein. ″We have people who are still calling and still going to contract on that kind of price range.″

″They’re not planning on selling stock to purchase property. They seem to feel that all they have to do is sit tight and it will go back up,″ she added.

Broker Sandra Jaenichen of Studwell Realty in Garden City agreed. ″There’s nothing being given away″ on Long Island, she said.

Her agency sells one-bedroom co-ops for around $200,000 and houses for $450,000 to $550,000.

″Supply and demand always keeps things going well,″ she said. ″In Nassau County, there just isn’t any place to build.″

Things were a bit different at the Tudor City apartment complex in Manhattan, which recently converted from rentals to cooperative ownership. It offered 50 apartments for sale Sunday, most of them studios for $76,000 to $111,000.

″People are coming in anyway and looking around. We still have the traffic,″ said sales representative Nadia Rodin.

But do they buy anything? ″No, they don’t,″ she conceded.

″I think it’s because there is confusion overall about the market and interest rates,″ she said. ″People are more cautious - taking their time to decide.″

Liz Lindsey, who handles properties in Westchester County, said the decline of interest rates that accompanied the Wall Street collapse may be a stronger influence than the stock market on her customers.

″When the mortgage rate starts falling, customers absolutely wait,″ said Lindsey. ″Because we are an optimistic society, we think it’s going to keep going down. But when mortgage rates start going up, there is a rush to lock in those rates.″

Lindsey said the stock market crunch has affected her business in only two cases: a doctor changed his mind about buying a $600,000 house in Somers, and a stockbroker said he would hold up his purchase to ″see what happens″ with the market.

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