Oct 22, 2014

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | September 2014

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Manhattan Monthly Market Report | September 2014

The Manhattan market came back strong in September. Year-over-year prices rose in all measures, in some cases by very significant percentages.

For the first time since January, September saw year-over-year gains in contracts signed in both the condo and the co-op markets. 

Average discount from asking price is up slightly for both condos and co-ops, but smaller than the discounts given a year ago. Days on market showed month-over-month increases, but this is likely a result of less buying activity through the month of August.


Oct 13, 2014

"Affordable Housing" in NYC - For Whom?

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There are rich doors and poor doors - Are moderate and middle income New Yorkers being left out?
When mayor Bloomberg first introduced the New Housing Marketplace plan in 2002, more than 40 percent of New Yorkers spent more than 35 percent of their incomes on housing, a position that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers cost-burdened.

The original goal was to create or preserve 65,000 units of affordable housing by subsidizing or incentivizing new construction and rehabilitating existing affordable housing. In 2005, Bloomberg optimistically reset the goal, stating the city would create or preserve 165,000 affordable units by the end of 2014 with a $7.5 billion investment from the city.

One notable aspect of mayor Bloomberg's plan was its focus on creating more housing for moderate and middle income families, something few past programs have addressed. This category includes, but is not limited to, people living on $58,000 a year as individuals, or up to $145,000 a year for a family of four.

During the Bloomberg administration: "We want to retain a large and varied workforce in the city,” said Ruth Anne Visnauskas, a deputy commissioner for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). “Having affordable housing for the firefighters, the teachers, the nurses — people who might not be at the lowest income levels but are still priced out of the market — is important."

A 2009 study by the Center for an Urban Future looked at the strain that housing costs were putting on middle class New Yorkers and argued that it was imperative for New York City to maintain a strong middle class.
432 units of middle-income housing on West 45th Street in Hell's Kitchen
"Middle class people are the ones who start small businesses, which employ many New Yorkers". 

The Bloomberg administration originally projected that 32 percent of the 165,000 units would be set aside for middle class New Yorkers. According to the IBO’s report, of the 124,400 that have been started so far, only 15 percent have been set aside for these groups. That amounts to about 18,600 units of affordable housing to date.
Mayor De Blasio’s Housing Plan—Housing New York: A Five Borough, Ten Year Plan

Mayor Bill De Blasio's plan: Housing New York:  A Five Borough, Ten Year Plan, is an ambitious plan to build and preserve 200,000 housing units, including 50,000 new affordable housing units.

For Whom? 

De Blasio's plan reduces the percent of units set aside for middle class New Yorkers by 10%

The plan is guided by eight principles, such as revamping the city’s planning and land use policies, establishing economic diversity as the cornerstone of housing development and strategically protect past investments in housing affordability.

These guiding principles will redefine many of the city’s housing programs and policies and can be seen in the more than the fifty initiatives in the plan

Here are a few highlights from the plan:
  • Propose the creation of a Task Force to explore legislative and administrative changes to simplify and rationalize the city’s tax programs while increasing their effectiveness in creating affordable housing.
  • Change zoning and land use regulations to promote housing creation through conversion of obsolete non-residential buildings and identification of opportunities for using Transferable Development Rights.
  • Create new incentives for properties that are not served by existing programs but are in danger of converting to condos or exiting rent regulations.
  • Define affordable housing as follows: Extremely Low Income (0-30% of AMI); Very Low Income (31-50% of AMI); Low Income (51-80% of AMI); Moderate Income (81-120% of AMI); Middle Income (121-165% of AMI).
  • Overall production goals of the plan: 60 percent preservation; 40 percent new construction.
  • Share of housing units preserved or created by income group:  Extremely Low income (8 percent); Very Low Income (12 percent); Low Income (58 percent); Moderate Income (11 percent); Middle Income (11 percent). 
A 2009 study by the Center for an Urban Future looked at the strain that housing costs were putting on middle class New Yorkers and argued that it was imperative for New York City to maintain a strong middle class

Mitchell-Lama buildings that were originally created for Middle Class New Yorkers are at the end of their regulatory agreements. They have been a big source of affordable housing in many neighborhoods.
While preserving the Mitchell -Lama stock helps with overall affordability goals, it doesn't create new options for moderate or middle class families and many Mitchell-Lama buildings have chosen to go market rate at the end of their term. 

The HPD has since revised its goals and plans to devote 22 percent of the housing to moderate and middle income New Yorkers. The IBO predicts that there will need to be a serious shift for the HPD to meet even these numbers.

Even meeting this reduced target will require a fairly significant change in the income mix of units started and in the next few years with a large uptick in the number of moderate units according to the report.

One programs that currently offers home ownership for middle and moderate income New Yorkers are HDFC coops  primarily re-sales that will allow maximum incomes of 120%- 165% of (AMI) Area Median Income.

Area Median Incomes:

According to the NY Times USA Map June 26, 2014 

The median income in Manhattan (New York, NY) is $68,370. 
In Brooklyn (Kings County) the median income is $45,215. 
In Queens the median income is  $56,789. 
In Staten Island (Richmond County) the median income is $73,496. 
In the Bronx the median income is $34,300. 
In Westchester County the median income is $81,093.
In Nassau County the median income is $97,049.
In  Suffolk County the median income is $87,778.


Oct 9, 2014

NYC Landlord Watch List

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482 Central Park West
Mayor Bill de Blasio recently signed a bill that will require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to post a list of  the names of landlords found in housing court to have harassed tenants on its website, hoping the public shaming will be a deterrent.

The measure also increases the maximum penalty for such landlords to $10,000 per residential unit. The measure expands a 2008 city law prohibiting tactics, such as interrupting utilities, that are commonly used in an effort to force tenants to vacate an apartment or waive their tenancy rights.

The NYC “landlord watchlist” compiled by Public Advocate Letitia James from violation reports is publically listing on it's website buildings with serious violations. 
This list is based on Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”) violations, as well as info from constituents and other sources.
The list of buildings include the owners, head officers and number of violations. For a landlord to be added to the Watch List, they must own a building with fewer than 35 units with an average of at least three open, serious violations (B and C violations) per unit. Larger buildings must have an average of at least two open, serious violations (B and C violations) per unit.

You can see the full list of 100 worst landlords in New York City at:  http://landlordwatchlist.com/#landlords

Oct 1, 2014

Manhattan Market Report |Third Quarter 2014

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Manhattan registered a solid Third Quarter 2014 performance as strong sales and persistently low inventory continued to drive prices ever-higher. But while price per square foot continues to rise across the market, other market dynamics are starting to shift.

The number of closed sales was the second highest figure seen in over five years. Because only Third Quarter 2013 was higher, Third Quarter 2014 registered a 10% year-over-year drop in sales. The number of sales is highly affected by two trends: limited inventory at low price points and the strength of the new development pre-sale market. Only 6% of closed sales this quarter were new development sponsor sales, a remarkably low market share, as most new developments today are still under construction.

Inventory is rising. Third Quarter 2014 was the third consecutive quarter to see a gain in active listings, the firstsustained, non-seasonal upward trend in inventory since 2008. With 10% more listings available now versus the same time last year, buyers are finally seeing more options on the market. However, the shift in inventory is not consistent, as co-op listings are actually still down 2% year-over-year. It’s condo inventory that’s growing—up 22% year-over-year—driven by new developments entering the market. A rule to remember: a market in equilibrium  has two times the number of available listings as quarterly sales.

Average price per square foot continued to climb, up 12% annually to $1,305 market-wide (condo and co-op, new and resale combined). Average price per square foot has now risen year-over-year for eleven consecutive quarters. Resale price per square foot performed strongly year-over-year with co-ops increasing 12% and resale condos increasing 7%. But new development far outpaced the rest of the market, with a 30% rise year-over year in price per square foot. The new developments closing this quarter tended to be larger residences, in more luxurious buildings and in prime locations.


Pied-A-Terre Tax Proposal

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A new pied-a-terre tax proposal
 
A new tax proposal being evaluated by Mayor de Blasio is a property tax surcharge on pied-a-terre residences valued at more than $5million owned by buyers from across the country and around the world.

The tax of up to 4% a year would apply to all apartments and homes with a current market value of more than $5 million, and would exempt the primary residences of New Yorkers.

People who have a primary residence in the city would still have to pay the higher tax if they own a second home valued at more than $5 million.

The proposal would impose the tax surcharge for homes valued at more than $5 million with a .5% surcharge which would rise gradually to 4% for home values above $25 million.

Though New York must follow complex rules in making regular property assessment, that keeps many tax bills low, the legislation would base the surcharge on an estimate of the current value of each apartment based on comparable sales.

This proposal has strong opposition from the real estate industry and at this point is nothing more than a draft.

Sep 25, 2014

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Sep 15, 2014

Location Affordability by Household Type

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The Citizen’s Budget Commission (CBC) has issued a series of reports comparing New York City’s affordability to that of the 21 largest cities in the country using a concept of “location affordability” developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

Location affordability includes the cost of transportation as well as housing, usually the two largest items in a household’s budget.  According to HUD’s Location Affordability Index (LAI) that measures these two costs, a household paying more than 45 percent of their income for these costs is overburdened. 

The CBC found that the combination of New York City’s high rent and extremely low transportation costs brought it to the third most affordable city of the 22 measured.  The CBC then measured the location affordability of 7 different rental household types in New York City.  The 7 household types were categorized into two groups, moderate-and middle-income households, and low-income households.  

For household types in the moderate- and middle-income group, location costs ranged from 27 to 37 percent of income, which are all below the 45 percent affordability threshold.  This ranks New York in the top 6 most affordable cities for each moderate- and middle-income household type.  

For household types in the low-income group, location costs were much higher, with all three household types exceeding the affordability threshold.  Location costs ranged from 47 percent of income for a “Low-Income Family”, to 101 percent of income for a “Very Low-Income Single Worker”, or a single person earning a wage at the national poverty line. 

Despite these high percentages, New York City still ranks relatively high compared to the other 21 cities in affordability for low-income rental households, with all three household types ranking within the top 6 most affordable.





 source: Mike Slattery, Senior Vice President
 REBNY Research Department



Sep 14, 2014

498 West End Avenue | Rentals to Condos

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498 West End Avenue
498 West End Avenue

A century-old handsome limestone and brick rental building located between West 83rd and West 84th streets on West End Avenuue is converting from rental units to three to five-bedroom condominium residences designed by CetraRuddy.

West 84th Street | Edgar Allen Poe Ct
  
















Approximate asking prices will start around $3 million and go up to more than $10 million. Sales are expected to launch this month. The building is expected to be completed by spring of 2015.

Included in the conversion will be a 4,000-square-foot rooftop addition that the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved. Developer Samson Management acquired the 12-story rental property in 2012 for $52.5 million.

Manhattan New Developments and Conversions 


Sep 12, 2014

New Construction: UWS | 210 West 77th Street

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210 West 77th Street
 210 West 77th Street

An 18 story, 25 unit 1/2 floor and full floor condominium residences are being designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen for developer The Naftali Group.

Units range in price from $4.9 million to $12 million from 2,058 square feet, for 1/2 floor unit to a  4,919-square-foot 5BR/5.5BA "townhouse" duplex with a 1,280-square-foot terrace. 

There will also be a $10 million full-floor 4BR and a $7.05 million half-floor unit on the 10th floor. 

Building amenities will include a 24-hour doorman, roof terrace, fitness center, party room, and bike storage. The kitchen features Miele appliances, Everest Grey quartzite countertops and backsplashes, white lacquer cabinetry, 2 sinks, a separate wine cooler and a vented overhead fan. All units also have Whirlpool washer/dryers and 5" white oak floors.



Sep 11, 2014

"People Fleeing Lower Manhattan Faster than the Titanic"

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 "People fleeing lower Manhattan faster than the Titanic"

Headlines I remember during the fall of 2001. I will always remember that sunny September day 13 years ago, all the innocent lives lost and all the heroes who sacrificed their lives to save others.

Tribute in Lights | Remembering 9/11

I remember getting a call the night before from my friend Richard Hack informing me that his bestseller Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters was being released on September 11, and he was being interviewed with Matt Lauer at 8:36 AM tommorow on the Today show. I should watch the interview and meet later for lunch. While he was being interviewed live on the Today show the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center.  I went up to my roof and saw the horrendous horror with my own eyes.

Today there will be videos all over the internet and broadcast and cable networks with images and videos of the former World Trade Center Towers exploding and collapsing. I will not post them here. The images and the smell in the air are still vivid in my memory as if it was yesterday. Instead this post is about New York's Comeback.

I also remember the spirit of the fellowship and unity that brought New York together in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The resilience of all New Yorkers who were determined to come back from this unthinkable event stronger than ever. And we did!

Since September 11, 2001, the number of people living in Lower Manhattan has nearly doubled. In fact, Lower Manhattan has added more people over the past ten years than Atlanta, Dallas and Philadelphia combined.
New World Trade Center | Lower Manhattan
In re- sponse to the attacks, New York City has been a national leader in implementing more stringent building safety requirements. These include wider emergency exit stairs to make evacuations quicker, the installation of photoluminescent strips to make building evacuations safer and the full sprinklerization of office buildings to better safeguard property and protect lives.

Today Lower Manhattan is full of new housing, restaurants, hotels, bars, parks, schools, open spaces and new businesses big and small.

We Remember - We Never Forget - We Rebuild-  We're Stronger - We're Better - We Live in an Age of Terror - We Help Each Other - We Look Out For Our Neighbors -  For or Fellow New Yorkers and Fellow Americans. - Prayers and Thoughts to Those Who Lost Their Lives and Loved Ones.

God Bless New York and God Bless America!

photos/911-museum

 
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