Nov 24, 2015

NYC's First Micro-Unit | 335 East 27th Now Leasing

[Rendering of Carmel Place being assembled. Via Monadnock Development.]
Leasing began yesterday at Carmel Place (formerly My Micro NY) in Kips Bay. The building has 55 studios that rangefrom 260 to 360 square feet in size; 14 of the units were designated affordable and are being assigned by lottery and eight more will be given to formerly homeless veterans, but 12 of the market-rate listings will go on the market on Monday. Eight of those will be furnished.
Of those 12 units, the lowest priced unit measures 265 square feet and is on the third floor. It will list for $2,540. Furnished units will include a pull-down bed (aka Murphy bed), a sofa (that becomes part of the Murphy bed), plus cabinets and tables. The kitchenette has a two-burner stove, mini refrigerator, and a microwave instead of an oven.  A 355-square-foot furnished unit on the second floor will go for $2,910, but an unfurnished 360-square-foot unit on the same floor will go for $2,750.
There are 1.8 million one- and two-person households (more than 60 percent of New York City households) and only one million studios and one-bedrooms to meet this housing demand. 
According to the 2010 Census, the growth rates of the one- and two-person household populations exceed the growth rate of households with three or more people. adAPT NYC seeks to create additional choice within New York City’s housing market.
More than 30% of the world's population lives alone, and that percentage is growing daily.
Space saving furniture for small spaces.

Nov 16, 2015



Harlem Market Stats

There are 116 active listings on the market in Harlem. The median price is $675,000 the average price is $1,584,858.

The median price of recently sold properties in Harlem $730,000 and the average price: $974,000.

2.9 months of supply.

Nov 12, 2015

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | October 2015

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | October 2015

Market Wide Summary

Manhattan contracts increased 22% from September, a larger than normal monthly boost than past Octobers. However, sales have been declining year-over-year since August, and were down from last October. Both condo and co-op buyers signed contracts faster than last month and last year, and 51% of buyers found success in negotiating the listing price.

More listings are on the market compared to last month, which is typical for October, but the total of 6,180 is 2% less than a year ago and inventory still remains very low. In fact, listings have hovered around 6,000 for nearly three years, while during the three years prior (2010 to 2012) listings averaged 8,400.

New development sales are gaining market share as more new properties enter the market. However, more moderately priced properties attracted buyers this month, dropping the average new development sale price to half the figure a year ago.

Condo median was 9% higher than last year, but average price was 10% lower. Co-op median price was 12% higher than a year ago, a figure that has been growing annually since August 2014. Strong demand for co-ops is not being met with enough supply.

Condominium Market Snapshot

Condo median was 9% higher than last year, but average price was 10% lower. Co-op median price was 12% higher than a year ago, a figure that has been growing annually since August 2014. Strong demand for co-ops is not being met with enough supply.

Price negotiability increased this month in the condo market. The average discount was 1.7%, while last year and last month the discount was under 1%. This figure is still very low relative to the discounts seen a few years a ago, but negotiability is increasing. 

This month, as with the past four, more than half of condo transactions were signed below ask. Overall average price declined 10% from last year, partially due to fewer sales of large residences, but due also to a significant increase in market share of one bedroom residences. 

The 9% median price increase was exaggerated by last year’s low figure, which was the second lowest median price in all of 2014. Time on the market for condos was 76 days on average, lower than both last year and last month despite more inventory available. One bedrooms in particular gained market share and sold the fastest. One bedrooms also had the largest price per square foot increase of any bedroom type versus a year ago.

Cooperative Market Snapshot

Co-op signed contracts were up 22% versus last month but down 20% versus the very strong October 2014 figure. Listed coop inventory was down 10%, the eleventh consecutive month of year-over-year inventory declines.

The co-op market further tightened as days on market fell relative to both last year and last month, to just 76 days on average. Average and median price grew versus last year with a 15% increase in average sale price, a 12% increase in median sale price, and an 8% increase in
average price per square foot.

Studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom units all had price per square foot growth, while three+ bedroom price per square foot declined minimally year-over-year.

New Listings by Price Category

Manhattan Total Inventory by Price Point

In preparation for the Fall selling season, sellers listed 4% more apartments and townhouses than in September. Compared to the same time a year ago, inventory is 2% lower. However, while total listings are down from last October, condo inventory is actually up 5%.

At 3,070 listings, condo inventory is at its highest level since July 2013. Since June, condo listings have been at or above 50% of inventory. Co-op listings were down 10% and have been declining for eleven consecutive months. Townhouse listings were down 3% compared to October 2014

Oct 21, 2015

Low Inventory = Bidding Wars | The Best Buyer Wins

Average co-op sales prices rose year-over- year, to more than $1.35 million in August, but inventory continued to dwindle — it was the 44th consecutive month of declines, according to a report from Corcoran Group.  
Fewer co-ops are put to market, and many owners are not so eager to sell, despite the increase in prices. “The reason most people sell is they want to upgrade,” said Mitchell Hall, a broker at Corcoran Group. With condominium prices also reaching new highs, “upgrades are possibly out of reach,” he was quoted in The October Real Deal.

What does that mean to both buyers and sellers? It means for every apartment priced properly that comes on the market there are going to be several buyers bidding on it. There are 8.5 million people in NYC. There is a lack of housing. It means bidding wars since only one buyer can purchase the apartment. A coop seller needs to be as concerned about a buyers qualification and terms as the price.

So how do you win a bidding war for a Manhattan coop? A buyer must provide as much information as possible. It's not always the highest price but the highest and or best qualified buyer and best terms.  It's easy for a seller to enter into a contract with a buyer but it's not so easy to make it to the closing table the buyer must be approved by the coop board. 

How to Win a NYC Bidding War?

Bid Quickly:

Show your qualifications with offer. Swift and aggressive action is called for.
  • Include recent tax returns with W2's
  • Pre-approval letter from lender
  • Financial statement
  • Credit report
  • Personal letter
  • Show before and after closing liquidity
Highest & Best:

Price is usually most important to a seller but terms can make a big difference and can seal the deal. 

  • Don’t start offers lower than the asking price.  
  • Bid over ask if there are other bidders.
  • Offer a larger down payment than required.
  • Set closing at the seller’s convenience.
  • Know what the seller wants/needs beyond the cash (tie-breakers)
  • Avoid a bidding war by offering near what you think the winning bid in a war would be.
  • Offer to pay flip tax.
  • Offer a leaseback to the seller
  • Put more money down at the contract signing
  • Waive due diligence in order to sign the contract next day
All-cash deals

Almost always, the offer that doesn’t rely on a purchaser getting a mortgage is the safer and faster option. A lender can kill a deal, the apartment may not appraise, more cash may be required, the coop may think the buyer is less financially qualified.

Debt to Income Ratio

Co-op boards generally want a 25 to 30 percent ratio, meaning  that no more than this much of a buyer's monthly gross income goes toward paying off debts. Many  including income restricted coops will limit the debt to housing costs (mortgage + maintenance) Owning another property with a mortgage is considered debt, rental income collected would count toward income.

How to Modify a Mortgage Contingency to be Competitive in the Current Market  

Three key factors comprise the mortgage contingency, and you need to look at where you can compromise:

1. Appraisal:
  •  Put down 25% + or put in the contract that if the apartment appraises low, the buyer will make up the difference in cash.  For the buyer’s peace of mind, put a cap of 5% to 10% on it- the appraisal is not going to come in that low and it will keep you from feeling that you are taking on too much risk.  
When a bank agrees to lend 80% (or 90%) loan-to-value, they are indicating their willingness to finance up to 80% of the purchase price.  If the appraised value happens to come in at $500,000 instead of the contracted  purchase price of $600,000, the lender will ultimately finance 80% of the lower of the two—in this case the appraised value of $500,000.  Unfortunately, this means the buyer may have to scramble to find more cash to put down.

2. Building Approval:

Today not only does the borrower need to be approved the coop and/or condo project does too. 
  • Get a mortgage broker working to qualify the building right away, and if the building is not Fannie Mae compliant, the mortgage broker can make sure there are other financing options available, and can check which financial institutions that have lent in the building in the past 3-6 months.
  • Put in the contract that if the buyer’s chosen financing option is declined, they need to apply for financing through the bank or mortgage broker of the seller’s choosing before they are released from the contract via the contingency.  
 3. Buyer Approval: 

If you're a well-qualified buyer you can opt to waive your own approval contingency as long as the building is approved.
  •  Understand interest rates and loan to value (LTV) monthly payment costs and amortization.
  •  Work with a local loan officer or broker familiar with NYC coops and condos 

More Tips:
  • Be prepared. Hire an attorney before making offer. Have your team in place. An accepted offer is not binding. Seller has no obligation to buyer until a contract is fully executed.
  • Bid an odd number. If the apartment is listed at $875,000 and you're willing to pay $900,000, bid $901,000 or $900,198 the extra thousand or $198 may be a tie breaker.
Contact me to buy or sell in today's competitive Manhattan market.

Oct 18, 2015

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | September 2015

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | September 2015

Market Wide Summary 

Overall sales were down 17% year-over-year, with declines in both the co-op and condo markets. As is typical at the end of summer, listings jumped by 18% in September relative to August, led by the co-op market which increased 25%.

However, total inventory remains 6% below last year’s level. Co-op sale price was up while condo sale price fell versus September 2014. Studio and one bedroom units represented a greater share of sales this month versus September 2014, partially accounting for the decline in condo sale price year-over-year.

With an increase in co-op inventory month-over-month, buyer negotiability increased in the co-op market. 52% of total sales this month sold below asking price compared to just 40% in June, reflecting the increase in inventory and greater buyer choice. Days on market declined in both the condo and co-op markets versus last month and last year.

Condominium Market Snapshot 

Condo sales were down this month, dropping 21% versus last year and 11% versus August. Condominium average and median price declined relative to last year. Average price per square foot increased a negligible 2% versus last September.

However, these overall figures misrepresent actual price trends, since larger units have declined markedly as a proportion of total units sold, skewing prices down. Two and three bedroom units represented 60% of total units sold this month relative to 72% of units sold in September 2014.

Average price per square foot increased year-over-year in every bedroom category except 3+ bedrooms, which fell by a modest 2%. The gap between last asking price and sale price narrowed versus last month and last year. The length of time it took for listings to reach contract declined to just 78 days, the lowest such figure since August 2014.

Cooperative Market Snapshot 

Co-op sales were down versus last month and last year. Co-op prices rose relative to September 2014, with co-op average sale price up 10% and median price up 9%. Average price per square foot rose 8% versus last year. Two bedroom units experienced the most substantial price per square foot increase, rising 25% versus September 2014, followed by studios, which rose by 22%. While inventory rose versus last month, the co-op market continued its trend of year-over-year declines in inventory, dropping 15% versus last year. Negotiability - the difference between last asking price and sale price - increased from its nearly nonexistent level last month. The length of time from listing to contract signing declined versus last month and last year to 86 days.

Oct 1, 2015

Third Quarter 2015 Manhattan Market Report

I am delighted to share with you the Q3 Manhattan Report.  A detailed analysis of residential real estate sales that closed in Manhattan in Q3 2015 (July 1st through September 30th).

Key Findings of the Third Quarter Report:

·         Continuing record prices.  With new development sales robust, the median price for an apartment in Manhattan reached $999,000, a ten-year high.  The median price per square foot is now $1,284, up 11% from a year ago.
·         More sales. The pace of closed sales was up 3% over the same quarter one year prior, and there were 11% more signed contracts.
·         Another inventory contraction. For just the fourth time in the last ten years, the number of properties available for sale in Manhattan fell below 5,000 – a dramatic shortage that is helping to maintain the rise of sale prices.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about The Third Quarter Manhattan Report or the Manhattan market in general. I welcome the opportunity to be of assistance to you.

Sep 30, 2015

TRID - RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule

TRID, which stands for Truth-In-Lending – RESPA Integrated Disclosures,

TRID is a new consumer disclosure law that goes into effect on October 3, 2015. TRID will significantly change the way a mortgage lender discloses terms and fees of most residential mortgage loans to an applicant as it requires the replacement of the Good Faith Estimate, Final Truth-in-Lending Disclosure, and HUD-1 Settlement Statement with new disclosures known as the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure. 

Loan Estimate

This document will replace the current “Good Faith Estimate” and “Truth in Lending” disclosures. Lenders are required to issue a Loan Estimate within 3 days of receipt of a mortgage application or after any changes are made to the loan terms. Closings are not allowed to take place within 7 business days of the date on the most recent Loan Estimate in order to provide consumers with sufficient time to review the disclosure. 

Closing Disclosure

This document will replace the current “HUD-1 Settlement Statement” and final “Truth in Lending Statement” and is designed to more clearly outline all of the final closing fees and terms of the loan just before closing. This Closing Disclosure is required to be provided to the consumer a least 3 business days prior to the closing. 

The new Sellers Disclosure may be used to disclose the seller’s terms of the transaction separately. This communication summarizes the important aspects of the new document.

  • The settlement agent is required to provide the seller with the Closing Disclosure reflecting the actual terms of the seller’s transaction.
  • The settlement agent may comply with this requirement by providing the seller with a copy of the Closing Disclosure provided to the buyer if it also contains information relating to the seller’s transaction.
  • The settlement agent may also provide the seller with a separate disclosure, including only the information applicable to the seller’s transaction from the Closing Disclosure.
  • The settlement agent must provide the seller its copy of the Closing Disclosure no later than the day of consummation.
Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website for additional information and to answer any additional questions you have regarding the Sellers Disclosure:


Sep 21, 2015

On the Market Now | Morningside Heights

There are currently 31 coops on the market in Morningside Heights.  Apartments for sale range from a studio asking $265,000 in Morningside Gardens to a 5 bedroom, 3 bath duplex at 440 Riverside drive asking $3,450,000.

The average price is $715,210. The average price per square foot is $763. The average days on market is 72.

There is currently 1 townhouse on the market in Morningside Heights. A 4 story, 2 unit, 4 bedroom with 4.5 baths with garden and roof deck on Manhattan Avenue between 117th Street and 116th Street.

Sep 17, 2015

Landmarked Properties and Rent Stabilized Units

Landmarked Properties and Rent Stabilized Units
Preservationists have maintained that historic district designation preserves rent stabilized units. REBNY analyzed data prepared by a tenant advocate for rent stabilized units in 2007 and 2014.The analysis shows rent stabilized units are not preserved at higher levels in New York City’s historic districts. 

In fact, the analysis shows that between 2007 and 2014, landmarked properties experienced a greater decrease in rent stabilized units (-22.5%) compared to non-landmarked properties(-4.75%).

The loss of units was greater in Manhattan (-29.03%) and Brooklyn (-35.03%), the boroughs with the highest number of landmarked properties.

The Upper West Side/Central Park West and Greenwich Village/Extension historic districts showed the greatest loss in Manhattan, (-33.1%) and (-25.4%) respectively.
Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope showed the greatest loss in Brooklyn,( -35.6%) and
(-40.8%) respectively.

The following tables show the citywide changes in rent regulated units.

Courtesy REBNY Research:

Sep 16, 2015

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | August 2015

Market Wide Summary 

August is typically one of the slowest months of the year in the Manhattan real estate market. While condos had a drop in signed contracts for the month, the number of contracts signed on co-ops increased slightly. Overall sales dropped by 5% year-over-year.

Prices rose in all measures versus last year, with the average price for a condo up 35%, and co-ops 32%. While prices in August 2014 were atypically low, the significant price increase relative to last year is largely explained by a jump in the proportion of sales over $3MM. Sales over $3MM represented 18% of total sales this month, relative to 14% in July 2015 and just 8% in August 2014. Conversely, sales below $500,000 represented just 12% of total sales activity this month compared to 20% a year ago.

Discounts from last ask to sale price remained very low, slightly below 1% for condominiums and almost negligible for co-ops. Overall inventory has declined notably since last year, largely owing to the 19% decrease in co-op inventory.

Condominium Market Snapshot 

The condominium market showed sizable price gains relative to last year, with overall sale price up 30% and median price up 37%. However, this jump in price is somewhat deceiving, as the average sale price in August 2014 was skewed downwards by the limited number of larger units sold.

Three bedroom units represented just 16% of total contracts signed in August 2014 relative to 22% in August 2015. Average price per square foot rose 17% versus August 2014. One bedroom units experienced the largest year-over-year increase in average price per square foot, up 27% relative to last August.

Difference from last ask to sale declined relative to last month and last year. Days on market remained relatively low at 86 days, approximately level with last month but 13% higher than a year ago.

Cooperative Market Snapshot

Co-op prices saw significant gains relative to last year, with co-op average sale price up 32% and median price up 8%. Average price per square foot rose 19% relative to both last month and last year.

Three bedroom units experienced the most substantial increase, rising 44% versus August 2014. This steep increase is largely due to several big co-op deals this month, including the sale of a $14.5 MM unit at 795 Fifth Avenue. Each of the three most expensive units to sell this month had been on the market for over one year, skewing this month’s days on market figure upwards.

Average days on market rose to 96 days, a 39% increase relative to last month and a 10% rise versus August last year. Negotiability was once again nearly non-existent in the co-op market, and co-op inventory decreased for the 44th consecutive month.


This blog site is designed and published as a consumer service by local real estate broker to help Manhattan, New York City buyers, sellers and renters make informed real estate decisions. This site and its feeds are owned and operated by Mitchell J Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York.

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