Jul 31, 2015



  • Gather the Offering Plan, Purchase Application, and Building Rules and Regulations. (These may be in your own files, with your attorney, or you may need to contact the board for copies. Your broker can obtain this. Your buyer will need it as soon as there is an accepted offer.)
  • Collect copies of the building’s financials for the past two years.
  • Check your shareholder’s certificate and make sure both your listing agent and your attorney are aware of the exact name(s) on the shareholder’s certificate.

Building Details

  • How many units are in the building? 
  • Does the building offer storage and/or bike storage? If so, is there a fee?
  • Does the building have a laundry room?
  • What other amenities does the building have (roof deck, parking, etc.)?
  • What is the heating/cooling system?
  • What is the sublet policy?
  • What is the pet policy?
  • Are washers/dryers allowed in the apartment?
  • What does the maintenance include (heat and hot water only, electric, storage, etc.)? 
  • Have there been any maintenance increases lately?
  • Are there any plans for assessments or maintenance increases in the near future?
  • What is the tax deductibility (percentage) of the maintenance?
  • What is the Flip Tax, if any?
  • What is the underlying mortgage of the building?
  • What is the current reserve fund of the building?
  • What is the owner occupancy of the building (how many units are sublet or sponsor-owned?)

Buyer qualifications

  • What specific financials does the co-op board look for in a potential purchase (financial assets, debt-to-income ratio, and post-closing liquidity)?
  • What is the maximum % of financing allowed for buyers?
  • Can buyers use guarantors?
  • Can parents buy for children?
  • Can unmarried couples buy together?
  • Is gifting of any kind allowed?
  • Is co-purchasing allowed??
  • Are live/work situations allowed?
  • Are pied-a-terres allowed? 
  • Can children buy for parents who are on a limited income?


  • How often does the co-op board meet, and what is the time frame between board package submittal and the board interview?
  • Does the building allow Open Houses, or are there other restrictions on showing times (do you need a door person)?

Jul 11, 2015

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | June 2015

June 2015 Market Wide Summary

Market-wide contracts signed have been strong and consistent since February. There were 1,353 total contracts signed in June, a 16% increase over June 2014. Contracts have slowly but consistently been shifting toward more expensive product, a result of both market appreciation and available inventory.

Units priced between $1,500 and $2,000 per square foot represented 26% of total contracts signed this month, the highest percentage on record. Condos and co-ops both saw double-digit declines year over-year in average days on market and 32% of sales were above their last asking price, the highest figure in over a year and a half.

Total listings are flat compared to June 2014, but the percent of co-op listings is the lowest in over five years. Inventory continues to shift toward expensive product, with 32% of listings over $3M compared to just 15% of contracts.

The condo and co-op markets continued to diverge in June. Co-op inventory continues to fall while condo counteracts it with listing increases. Condo negotiability is increasing but co-ops on average are selling above ask.
Typically, the condo and co-op market negotiability are relatively similar and fluctuate in tandem. This month co-ops saw the continuation of a five month trend of decreasing negotiability, with the average June signed contract occurring at 0.9% above the last asking price. 

Condos have experienced more mixed changes in recent months, with an average discount of 1.5% in June 2015, contributing to the largest difference between condo and co-op negotiability in nearly four years. Condo listings are increasing while co-ops continue to decline, leading to a shortage of co-ops and an increase in the frequency and extent of bidding wars.

Jul 3, 2015

West 86th Street Gilbert Townhouses Just A Facade

272-276 West 86th Street
These three West 86th Street Gilbert townhouses are built in the French Neo-Renaissance style with delightful details worked into their stone facades. These buildings exhibit rounded bays running up three stories of the buildings, petite balconies, intricate floral swags atop the tall windows and mirror-image placement with respect to one another. West 86th Street was once all townhouses from Central Park West

     Construction at 272-276 West 86th Street 
    (gutted and being converted to luxury condos)

Neighborhood preservation groups such as Landmarks West, West End Preservation Society and Coalition for a Livable West Side helped save the buildings from potential demolition by testifying at Community Board 7 and Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) for historically appropriate renovations. Only the facade remains the rest of the buildings are totally gutted.

East River Partners (ERP) is renovating 272-276 West 86th Street – three adjacent landmarked grand mansions designed originally by the renowned architect C.P.H. Gilbert – into completely modernized apartment homes. 

"All of the apartments will feature more than three bedrooms, a rarity in today’s market. Positioned on a wide street with significant setbacks in both the front and rear, the apartments will experience some of the best light of any boutique building in the neighborhood". ERP

photos courtesy ©Mitchell Hall 

Jul 2, 2015

New York City 2016 Real Property Tax Rates

Fiscal Year 2016 Real Property Tax Rates
Last Friday, June 26th, City Council adopted the Mayor’s executive budget for Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015- June 30, 2016).  This year’s property tax levy is 7 percent greater than last year’s levy and 76 percent greater than in Fiscal Year 2006.

As part of the final steps in the budget process, the Council sets the upcoming year’s property tax rates.  This year’s rates  and the previous ten years’ rates are listed below.

source: REBNY Research

Jul 1, 2015

Manhattan Market Report | Second Quarter 2015

I am delighted to share with you our Q2 Manhattan Report.  Inside you will find a detailed analysis of residential real estate sales that closed in Manhattan in Q2 2015 (April 1st through June 30th).

Key Findings of the Second Quarter Report:

·         Record high prices.  Thanks in large part to sales of new development properties, the average price increased 8% to $1.81 million, the highest we have ever recorded.  The average price per square foot is now $1,637.
·         More sales. The pace of closed sales was up 2% over the same quarter one year prior, and there were 7% more signed contracts.
·         Rising inventory. Although the market is still experiencing relatively limited supply, the number of homes listed for sale in Manhattan was up 12% over the same quarter in 2014, as freshly released new development properties reached the market, and homeowners took advantage of the spring selling season.

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

Jun 25, 2015

Riverside-West End Historic District Extension II Approved

One June 23rd The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated a new historic district that includes more than 300 buildings on the Upper West Side by approving Riverside-West End Historic District Extension II.

West End Avenue- Riverside Drive Hudson River (photo ©Mitchell Hall)
The Riverside-West EndHistoric District Extension II derives from its two spines: Riverside Drive and West End Avenue. Both corridors have a remarkably homogeneous character and are lined by large apartment buildings creating a strong street wall, with some small clusters of row houses and mansions dating the area’s earlier periods of development. The side streets knit together the two great avenues, and are lined with architecturally significant row houses, mansions, and other residential buildings.

With the exception of some neighborhood oriented institutional buildings (including schools and religious structures), the proposed historic district is almost exclusively residential. The new district consists of approximately 344 residential and institutional buildings built primarily between the mid- 1890s and the early 1930s.

These buildings represent the various phases of development that transformed the once rural area between West 89th Street and West 108th Street west of Broadway into a dense urban enclave of speculatively built single-family dwellings and grand high-rise apartment buildings. In its broad array of residential building types the Riverside West End Historic District Extension II represents the development of the Upper West Side of Manhattan since the 1890s.

Designed by some of the city’s most prominent architects and executed in the dominant styles of their eras, these buildings form a distinct section of the city that complements the previously designated Riverside-West End and Riverside-West 105th Street Historic Districts. Throughout the extension, there are picturesque ensembles in the Renaissance Revival, Romanesque Revival, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival and Beaux-Arts styles in brownstone and/or brick with decorations in terra-cotta or copper.

312 West 101st Street
One such example is the c. 1900 group at 312 West 101st Street. Within the rows a rhythmic pattern was often established by the applications of elements such as bow fronts, bay and oriel windows, dormers, gables, and balconies.

At the same time, some of the same architects were hired by developers to design multiple dwellings known as flats. Early buildings were compatible in scale and materials with the neighboring houses but with the advent of the smaller, more practical electric elevator, larger buildings of six to nine stories covering multiple lots were constructed throughout the Riverside-West End Extension II.

 In the 20th century multiple factors contributed to the changing character of the Extension, particularly the rising cost of constructing and maintaining single family homes and the completion of the IRT subway in 1904.

The subway made the area accessible to the city’s growing population, and single-family houses and small flats less than 30 years old were demolished and replaced with apartment buildings of 12 to 15 stories on West End Avenue, Riverside Drive, and the large cross streets such as West 96th and West 106th Streets. This rapid transformation was rare in the development of the city.

945 West End Avenue

Rules established by the Tenement House Act in 1901 determined the form, massing, and maximum height of new residential buildings until 1929. These regulations contributed to the remarkably consistent height of apartment buildings—particularly along West End Avenue. The first of these were the c.1905 Stanley Court Apartments at 945 West End Avenue.

This designation brings total number of designated buildings between 70th and 108th St. and west of Broadway to 1255.
West End Avenue Facebook Page

Jun 19, 2015

Rent Regulation - 421a Extension until 6/23/15


NY State has approved a retroactive extension of rent regulations that will keep the current law in effect until midnight Tuesday, June 23, 2015. 

The State has also approved a retroactive extension of 421a (tax abatement) in its current form also until midnight Tuesday June 23, 2015. 

For developers and builders who have the ability to “commence construction” by midnight Tuesday, June 23, 2015, including those who have commenced after June 15, 2015, such projects meeting the requirements will be covered by the current law. 

Jun 14, 2015

Brooklyn Monthly Market Report | May 2015

Brooklyn Market Monthly Report | May 2015

Market Wide Summary

Brooklyn average sale price increased 3% compared to last year, while median sale price increased 9% year-over-year, the 28th and 9th consecutive months of growth, respectively.

The average price per square foot for three of the four bedroom types increased year-over-year, causing an overall increase of 2%. Brooklyn had a 9% increase in contracts signed versus May 2014.

There was a 11% year-over-year decrease in average days on market and a 16% decrease month-over-month.

Brooklyn New and Total Listings 

Total available inventory in Brooklyn increased 28%, year-over-year, to 5,476. The number of listings in May 2015 was 14% higher than the average number of listings over the last 12 months.

Jun 10, 2015

Manhattan Market Monthly Report | May 2015

May 2015 continued this year’s strong and steady market performance. Contracts signed and inventory were up by single digits compared to last year. Negotiability and days on market continued to shrink. This month co-ops saw a positive change from last asking price to sale price, indicating on average buyers are paying above ask.

Overall average price crossed $2M marketwide in May 2015, a new record high. New developments began to launch in large numbers in the last few months and condo price increases reflect the larger number of new development sales in addition to price appreciation.

 Deals at high-end new developments such as One57 and 50 United Nations Plaza pulled up averages while median was less skewed. Condo median price grew by 3% annually, however co-op median price was 19% higher than a year ago, a significant increase.

With co-ops representing a relative bargain to condos, demand is high, driving pricing upward and inventory down. Market share for condo listings continues to increase, resulting from both new development launches and under-supply in the co-op market.

Jun 4, 2015

NYC Real Property Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2016

The NYC Department of Finance released the Fiscal Year 2016 Final Assessment Roll.  The final assessment roll is the schedule of taxable values that property taxes are based on.  Using this data, REBNY Research calculated the total amount of property taxes projected to be levied (Real Property Tax Levy) in the upcoming fiscal year.

The Real Property Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2016 will be $23.974 billion, assuming there is no change in the average tax rate.  Should the average tax rate for all property classes stay the same for FY 2016 as it has since FY 2010, NYC is due for another large increase in the Real Property Tax Levy, $1.383 billion.

The only occurrences of larger increases in the levy were in FY 2003 and 2004 and FY 2009 and 2010. In these years, the levy increase was due to a significant increase in the average tax rate.   Here are the annual tax levy increases from 2001 to 2016.

source: REBNY Research


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.

Legal Disclaimer - The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not neccessarily reflect the opinions or policy of The Corcoran Group. This site is not the official website of The Corcoran Group or its affiliated companies, and neither The Corcoran Group nor its affiliated companies in any way warrant the accuracy of any information contained herein. Any product and/or services offered for sale on this website shall not be considered an offer to sell such goods and/or services in any state other than New York.

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