Aug 25, 2016

Low Rates | How Much Apartment Can You Afford?


Understanding The Related Costs of Apartment Buying

You'll need to think about more than a mortgage payment to determine if you can afford an apartment in Manhattan. To assure you are purchasing a home within the confines of your budget, you must consider down payment requirements, closing costs, taxes, carrying charges, and yearly maintenance requirements as well.

How much can you afford?

First consult with a mortgage broker or banker to determine how much of a mortgage you qualify for. Calculate the estimated mortgage payment plus monthly maintenance (coop), common charges and real estate taxes (condo).

Several formulas exist to help determine how much a lender will allow a consumer to borrow. One of the more accurate formulas is a front- and back-end ratio. It states that the buyer can afford as much as 28 percent of his or her gross-monthly income toward the monthly mortgage payment, assuming that the consumer's other debt payments (credit cards, car loans, student loans, etc...) are less than or equal to 8 percent of his or her gross-monthly income.

Most NYC coops have stricter financial requirements than most lenders. Most coops use a 25% debt to income ratio formula. Many coops will only allow a maximum of 75% financing although some will allow 80%. Coops may also require liquid assets available after the closing to cover 2 years worth of maintenance or 1 year of mortgage and maintenance. Every building varies and uses their own formula.

While condos will allow 90% financing many lenders today will only finance 85% (LTV) loan to value. A minimum 15% or 20% down payment may be required. Before you start looking for an apartment in Manhattan you should be pre-approved and qualified by a lender.

Understanding your financing needs before you search for a new home will help you move ahead quickly and confidently when you find the right home.

Aug 18, 2016

Manhattan Market Report | July 2016

Manhattan Market Report | July 2016

Market Wide Summary

 Market indicators differed between the condo and co-op markets in July with the co-op market fairing better than condos. Average price was down significantly for condos but up for co-ops year-over-year, while median price was up in both markets. Increased median prices in both markets indicates that a small number of sales this month skewed the data for average price in the condo market, which will be reviewed in the subsections below.

Average price per square foot increased by almost a third for co-ops, but dropped 13% in the condo market. Listings, on average, spent a greater number of days on the market for both residence types. In line with preceding months, discounts were common across the market as difference from last ask to sale was -2.6% for condos and -2.5% for co-ops. Listed inventory rose annually market-wide, but dipped slightly from last month as the summer lull in new

Condominium Market Snapshot 

Average price was down 18% versus last year while median price was up 2%, indicating that average price in July 2016 was skewed by a small number of high sales. Overall, average price per square foot dropped 13% from last year, though three bedrooms, one bedrooms, and studios had year-over-year increases.

Condo listings stayed on the market 18% longer than in July 2015 and 11% longer than they did last month. Difference from last ask to sale was -2.5%, which was not far from last year’s statistic of -2.0%. While down versus last month, condo inventory is 26% higher than last July. Contract activity fell 21% year-over-year and 15% month-over-month.

Cooperative Market Snapshot 

Building on annual increases in last month’s co-op market, both average and median price were up year-over-year 9% and 12%, respectively. Average price per square foot rose 27%, which was anchored by an atypically high 36% increase in average price per square foot for 3+ bedrooms.

This increase is due in large part to a three bedroom sale on Park Avenue. All other bedroom types saw year-over-year increases in average price per square foot. Average days on market rose 17% versus last year and 12% versus last month, likely caused in part by a 9% annual increase in listed inventory.

Difference from last ask to sale was -2.5% this month, compared with 1.2% over ask in July 2015. The month-over-month change in difference from last ask to sale is again skewed by the Park Avenue sale. Overall contract activity was down 19% from last year and 18% versus last month.

Manhattan Total Listings 

Buyers had more options this month than in July 2015, as inventory across Manhattan increased by 18%. Total listings dropped, however, from last month, continuing a downward trend since total listings reached a post-2012 peak in May 2016. Across the market, listings were down 5% from June 2016. For the last fourteen months, condos have comprised over half the market share, and July 2016 continued that trend with condos making up 55% of total listings. As with condos and co-ops, townhouse listings also increased annually by 11%.

Manhattan New Listings by Price Category 

Following a full year of inventory increases, July 2016 marks the second consecutive month of year-over-year decreases in new listings. This month, 21% of inventory was made up of new listings, whereas in July 2015, new listings comprised 28% of total inventory. New listings across all price categories were down compared with last year, with the greatest annual decrease in the $5MM+ category, down 17%. Consistent with the percentage of new listings below this price point last July, 77% of new listings this month were under $3MM

Aug 17, 2016

REBNY Broker Confidence Index 2Q-2016


The Real Estate Board of New York’s Real Estate Broker Confidence Index for the second quarter of 2016 was 7.04, a .19 drop from the first quarter of 2016. There has been a slow, steady decline in overall broker confidence in the market since the fourth quarter of 2014 when it was 9.22.

Similarly, the overall broker confidence index for the market six months from now was 6.47, dipping .26 points from last quarter.

This index has also continued to decline from the fourth quarter of 2014 when it was 9.23, the highest it had been since we began surveying our brokers. Nevertheless, despite this trend, residential and commercial brokers remain cautiously optimistic and positive overall.

The drop in overall broker confidence in the current market and the market six months from now was driven primarily by the commercial broker index. Though the residential broker index is higher than the commercial index for this quarter, the general downward trend of the commercial index since the second quarter in 2015 has contributed to the overall decline of broker confidence.

The Commercial Broker Confidence Index was 6.57, an increase from last quarter’s 6.36. This marks the first increase in commercial broker confidence since the second quarter in 2015. Similarly, the Commercial Broker Confidence Index for expectations of the market six months from now was 5.71, up 0.16 from last quarter. Concerns about our country’s political future and instability in China and Europe, have continued to influence the outlook of the commercial brokers.

Some brokers voiced their concerns sensing a slowdown in the retail market due to the industry’s transition to mixed-use and online shopping. Others also felt that government regulations were affecting banks’ abilities to finance transactions.

Despite the slowdown in retail leasing activity, there was still a fair amount of tech office leasing activity this quarter. Residential Broker Confidence Index was slightly lower than last quarter with confidence decreasing to 7.52, down 0.58 from last quarter. Rising interest rates and the lack of sales inventory continue to be ongoing concerns among residential brokers in the current market and the market six months from now. Some brokers mentioned that domestic buyers are delaying on purchases because they anticipate the prices will drop.

Foreign buyers have also grown more cautious due to Brexit and other global economic turmoil. Residential broker confidence in the market six months from now dropped back down to 7.23 from 7.92 last quarter. Some brokers remain positive because the current lack of sales inventory creates more competition.

Uncertainty over interest rates and the Presidential election left many residential brokers unsure of what market conditions will be like six months from now.


Aug 10, 2016

New Development 269 West 87th St. The Chamberlain

New luxury residential condo development coming to the Upper West Side

                                         269 West 87th Street | The Chamberlain                                               Rendering by FxFowle Architect

The developers have leased the garage between Broadway and West End Avenue with plans to convert it into a 39 unit luxury apartment building.

Current site 269 West 87th Street

A new 17 story story residential luxury condo is being planned at 269 West 87th Street on the upper west side. The current building is a parking garage.The 115,884-square-foot building, The Chamberlain, will feature apartments ranging from two- to five-bedrooms. Residential units are expected to average 2,574 square feet each, and will include townhouse and penthouse layouts. 

Two duplexes will fill the first two floors, followed by a full-floor unit on the second and three apartments each on the third through 11th floors. The 12th through 14th floors will host two units each, topped by three full-floor penthouses on the final three stories.

Entrance of 269 West 87th Street. Rendering by FxFowle Architects

The structure will also be set back after the 11th floor, creating large private balconies for residents on the 12th, 13th and 14th floors. 

Amenities will include a central garden, a lounge, a library, a fitness center, a playroom, a multi-purpose sports court, storage for 39 bikes, and an underground parking garage. Quadrum Global and Simon Baron Development are the developers, and have a 99-year lease on the site. FXFOWLE Architects is behind the design. Demolition permits were filed for the existing three- and seven-story parking garages. 

Aug 9, 2016

It's Rental Season in NYC - Be Qualified and Prepared


Renting an Apartment in Manhattan, NYC

Everyone wants their first New York City rental experience to be a positive one. As a current or future New Yorker, it pays to know the rules of renting to make your experience as hassle-free as possible. 


Carefully gather the documentation you need in advance of your search. Prospective renters often lose the opportunity to live in their dream apartment because they were unprepared to present the necessary paperwork. Make a check list of information to bring with you in order to finalize your lease agreement. You will almost certainly need all of the following:

1.     A letter of employment and salary verification
2.     Bank account numbers (checking and savings), as well as any credit card numbers
3.     Current bank statements
4.     Contact information (names, addresses, phone numbers) of previous landlords
5.     Contact information of your personal accountant or attorney, if applicable
6.     Contact information of any personal or professional references
7.     Tax returns from the last two years
8.     Recent (current) pay stubs, typically from the last two pay periods
9.     Two forms of personal identification (driver’s license, passport, etc)
10.  40-50 x the monthly rent in annual income is required.

If you are relocating from outside of New York, prepare your funds ahead of time. Landlords will not accept personal out-of-state checks. Bring traveler’s checks or certified bank checks in amounts sufficient to cover two months rent, any brokerage fees, a credit check fee, and any additional fees such as a move-in/move-out fee or building application fee.

The Corner - 72nd & Broadway

Searching For Your Rental Home

Once your personal and financial documentation is in order, you will then be prepared to view and select prospective apartments. Remember, your agent can provide you with a wealth of information to assist you in making an informed decision. Ask plenty of questions about neighborhoods, building types, public transportation access, or anything else that might be of interest to you.


When you have selected a suitable apartment, you must then fill out a rental application, or other applicable documents. Carefully read any document presented to you by your future landlord before entering into any contract. Although many leases contain predominantly boilerplate language, clauses may be added to the lease contract that supersede or alter the lease agreement in some way. Such additions are called riders.

In addition, the type of leases presented may vary. A Standard Form of Lease, for instance, may differ greatly from a Rent Stabilized Lease Agreement or a Cooperative Sublease Agreement. Take the time to read and digest the language of any documentation presented to you, and always ask questions should it contain something you don’t fully understand. Upon final confirmation, you will be asked to sign a lease and settle any outstanding applicable fees.

A credit report and reference check will be done. Upon final confirmation, you will be asked to sign a lease and settle any outstanding applicable fees.

In Manhattan, residential real estate is made up of rental buildings, condos, condops, coops and townhouses. All can make fine homes and all are available for rent.

Please contact me to rent your Manhattan Apartment.

courtesy of:
Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker, The Corcoran Group

REBNY member

Jul 27, 2016

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | June 2016

Market Wide Summary 

Continuing last month’s trend, sales in both the condo and co-op markets were down year-over-year. In terms of average and median sale prices, the condo market was up compared to last year while the co-op market was down.

Average price per square foot grew 3% versus last year in the condo market, but declined 12% in the same time period for co-ops. Inventory continues to grow across the market, impacting negotiability and average days on market. Discounts were prevalent in both the condo and coop markets; difference from last ask to sale was -2.9% for condos and -0.6% for co-ops. Average days on market grew 10% and 25% for condos and co-ops, respectively, versus last year.

Condominium Market Report

Both average and median sale prices were up in the condo market compared to last June, rising 7% and 13%, respectively. While sales remained level month-over- month, the metric decreased 15% versus last June. Overall average price per square foot grew 3% year-over-year, driven by large gains in average price per square foot for both studios and three+ bedrooms. Two bedrooms saw the largest annual decrease in average price per square foot, dropping 11%, while one bedrooms had a modest decrease of 3%. Properties remained on the market for 10% longer than in June 2015, averaging 90 days on market versus 82 days on market last year. Difference from last ask to sale was -2.9%, which was a larger difference than last June. Inventory in the condo market increased a significant 25% versus this month last year, but was nearly level with last month.

Cooperative Market Report

For the seventh month in a row, the co-op market saw a decrease in year-over-year sales. Contract activity declined 27% versus last year and 15% versus last month. Both average and median sale prices were down annually a minimal 1% and 2%, respectively. While average price per square foot was down 12% versus last year, co-ops have seen a steady increase in the past three months.

All bedroom types experienced year-over-year declines in average price per square foot, with the greatest drop of 13% in the two bedroom market due to an unusually low average price for two bedroom. Co-ops spent an average of 73 days on the market, which was 25% greater than in June 2015. Difference from last ask to sale was -0.6% compared to 0.9% last year. After five consecutive months of growth, co-op inventory dropped 5% versus last month, though inventory remained 9% greater than in June 2015.

Manhattan Total Listings 

After six months of growth, total listings decreased for the first time since December 2015. Total listings decreased 3% versus May 2016, which had the highest amount of inventory since October 2012. Total listings rose 17% year-over-year marking the fifth month of annual increases. Condos comprised 54% of June inventory. Condos have made up over half of total listings since May 2015, partially explained by the increasing number of new development condos. Condo inventory increased 25% relative to last year, while co-op inventory saw annual growth of 9%.

Negotiability Factor for Condos and Co-ops 

Trends in negotiability for condos and co-ops have been diverging since September 2015. Over the past year, both condo and co-op inventory has been expanding, creating an environment in which price discounts are common. Negotiability for condos has been increasing month-over-month since March 2016, and moved to -2.9% from -1.4% year-over-year. This month last year, negotiability for co-ops was 0.9%, indicating that units were being sold over ask, versus -0.6% below ask in June 2016. In spite of these changes, difference between last ask and sale price in both the condo and co-op markets is small compared with levels prior to 2014.

Jul 17, 2016

Manhattan Neighborhood | Clinton - Hell's Kitchen

Clinton - Hells Kitchen - Midtown West
View From 41st floor of The Link 52nd Street and 8th Avenue
Some still argue about the exact boundaries of Hell's Kitchen, but it's commonly considered to run from 34th to 59th Streets and from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River. The area is also known as Clinton and long-time residents use the two terms interchangeably. East of Eighth Avenue including Carnegie Hall and Time Square is considered midtown west.

Hells Kitchen has always been a neighborhood, made up of blue-collar families in walk up railroad flats and theatre people who wanted to live close to where they work. For 15 years the neighborhood has been changing. It has become renovated, gentrified. New condo construction along with many new restaurants and bars have opened in the neighborhood.

The new generation of Hell's Kitchen, are folks who started looking on the Upper West Side and Chelsea then realized they could enjoy much the same lifestyle in midtown west. For the past century, the typical apartment was a walkup tenement now it's a luxury rental or condo with post modern finishes: grand lobbies, lots of granite, lots of glass, high-speed Internet access and health club and other amenities.

The Link a new downtown style building on 52nd and 8th Avenue
West is Clinton, which boasts state-of-the-art condominiums like the Link, the Orion and Platinum and new comers The Dillon and Griffin Court.

The Dillon Townhouse Units - West 53rd Street
The Dillon, a new development, 83 unit condominium at 425 West 53rd street has 9 townhouse units with garages. Prices range from the $600's for studios to a 2700 square foot townhouse priced at $4.15 million.

Griffin Court 454 West 54th Street - 800 10th Avenue
Griffin Court,  a 95 unit condo at 800 10th Avenue between West 53rd and West 54th Street is a full service building with amenities that include a courtyard, garden, fitness room, private storage and high-speed internet access. 

The area to the far west in the 30's adjacent to the Jacob Javits Center, the new development of the Hudson Rail Yards  neighborhood and the High Line Park which run from Hells Kitchen through West Chelsea to the Meat packing district in the West Village.

The Residences at Worldwide Plaza on 50th Streets between 8th and 9th Avenue has been a popular condo with studio apartments starting in the $500,000 range.

Hells Kitchen has many different types of apartments from walk up coops to townhouses to renovated lofts to ultra luxury high rise condos. The eclectic neighborhood has some great restaurants, bars, night clubs and Broadway and off Broadway theatres.

For Manhattan New Developments click here.

Jul 14, 2016

On the Market Now | Manhattan



Manhattan All Apartments All sizes

Jul 1, 2016

Manhattan Market Report l Q2 2016

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 2016 (April 1st through June 30th).

Key Findings of the Second Quarter Report:

  • Prices coming under pressure. Though still at near-record levels, the average sale price in Manhattan retreated 6% from the $2.12 million high-water mark it achieved in the First Quarter. Across the board, prices were up versus Q2 15, but were slightly lower or unchanged versus Q1 16. New development condos and re-sale co-ops both rose in value thanks to their tight inventory, but re-sale condominiums contracted 5% in average price per square foot.
  • Significantly fewer sales. The slowing trend we noted in the First Quarter took a bigger bite out of the Second. 14% fewer sales closed and 20% fewer contracts were signed in the Second Quarter of 2016 than occurred in the same quarter one year prior. 
  • Condos shift the market. Manhattan’s market is increasingly well-supplied with condominiums. The number of new development condos available is up 25% over the prior year, and the number of re-sale condos is up 20%. This quarter, 58% of all sales were condominium transactions; just 42% were co-ops.

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 24, 2016

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | May 2016


Market Wide Summary 

Overall sales were down compared to last May, with declines in both the condo and co-op markets. For the second month in a row, both average and median prices were down year-over-year for condos and co-ops.

Relative to last year, average price per square foot decreased for condos, but rose 1% for co-ops. The largest year-over-year decrease in average price per square foot in the condo market was for two bedrooms, while one bedrooms had the smallest decline.

In the co-op market, average price per square foot for two bedrooms increased more than any other type, while one bedrooms also showed a modest uptick. Reflecting a large amount of overall inventory growth, days on market increased market wide from last year while difference from last ask to sale increased for both condos and co-ops year-over-year.

Condominium Market 

Pricing for most metrics was down relative to last May, while inventory and average days on market increased. Average sale price was up 3% month-over-month, but dropped 21% year-over-year due to multiple high-end sales last May.

Median sale price also decreased, down 3% from May 2015. Average price per square foot declined by 18%, again skewed by last May’s number of high end sales.

Studios had a year-over-year increase in average price per square foot, while all other bedroom types had year-over-year declines. Days on market increased 44% relative to May 2015 and 5% versus this past April, largely fueled by the 23% inventory growth year-over-year combined with a 20% drop in signed contracts.

Cooperative Market

Compared with May 2015, the Manhattan co-op market experienced subtle differences, with the exception of signed contracts. Both average and median prices dropped 1% year-over-year, and average price per square foot increased slightly compared to May 2015. 

Average price per square foot for three+ bedrooms decreased 3% relative to last year, while all other categories saw year-over-year increases. Studios, while based on a comparatively small number of sales, had the largest gain in average price per square foot compared with the prior year, increasing by 20%. Days on market rose 8% year-over-year and 10% month-over month. 

Difference from last ask to sale was -1.3%, compared to 0.4% this month last year, while year-over-year contract activity was down 15%

Manhattan Total Listings

For the fifth consecutive month, Manhattan experienced an annual increase in total listings. Inventory rose 15% compared to last year and 4% compared to last month. Condos made up 53% of total listings, a larger share of inventory than the 49% that condos comprised in May of last year. Both townhouse and co-op listings rose 6% year-over-year, while condo listings increased 23% relative to last year. This month had the highest number of total listings since October 2012

Manhattan Above/Below Ask by Price Point 

In May 2016, the number of units sold at or above ask contracted across all price points versus last year. 87% of units over $5MM sold below ask, compared to 58% of units over $5MM in May 2015. The highest percentage of listings sold at ask in May 2016 was in the $3MM-$5MM price category. The most units sold above ask was in the under $1MM price category, reflecting the shortage of available inventory at the lowest price point coupled with high demand for that product.


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.

Legal Disclaimer - Information on this site is not intended as legal or financial advice. - All material herein is intended for information purposes only and has been complied from sources deemed reliable. Though information is believed to be correct, it is presented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. I operate a business that supports Fair Housing.“We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program which there are no barriers to obtain housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familiar status or national origin.”

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