Oct 11, 2018

Brooklyn Q3 2018 Market Report

 Brooklyn Q3 2018 Market Report

Let’s look at Third Quarter 2018 for Brooklyn:

  • The Brooklyn Q3 market was mixed with results varying by neighborhood:There were robust sales in areas offering good value relative to market-wide prices, while buyers were hesitant in neighborhoods where prices remained high. Sales surged in several Brooklyn neighborhoods, including a 63% increase in closed sales South of Prospect Park.

  • Q3 sales declined compared to last year’s five-year record high Q3 sales:Total sales in Q3 Brooklyn were down 7%, though the sales pace was busy with the second-highest Q3 in a five-year period. Resale condo closed sales rose 4%, the second-highest level of condo sales in five years. Both resale co-ops and new development sales declined, 8% and 20% respectively, compared to a very active Q3 in those product types last year.

  • Prices were mixed as several high-end sales drove up average price, while median price declined slightly: The Brooklyn median sale price decreased 3% to $702,000 and the average sale price increased 5% to $881,000, spurred by high-priced new development closings in buildings like The Standish and Pierhouse.

  • Inventory changed minimally year-over-year: Inventory decreased 2% compared to this time last year, due heavily to an 8% decline in inventory in South Brooklyn, which was also the neighborhood with the highest number of Q3 sales.

  • Sales decreased in Williamsburg and Greenpoint as buyers remain hesitant about the L Train suspension: There was a significant decline in sales in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, partly due to a 14% decrease in inventory in those neighborhoods, but also due to buyer caution as the L Train suspension date nears.  
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about The Brooklyn Market Report or the market in general. I welcome the opportunity to be of assistance to you.

 Read The Full  --> Brooklyn 3Q 2018 Market Report

Oct 2, 2018

Manhattan Market Report | Third Quarter 2018



Let’s look at Third Quarter 2018 for Manhattan:

  • Third Quarter market activity diminished as buyers took a “wait-and-see” attitude:Manhattan market-wide closed sales and signed contracts declined compared to a year ago as buyers remained cautious with lingering concerns over tax implications and the belief that prices would continue to decrease.

  • Market-wide closed sales decreased 10% and contracts signed decreased 12% compared to last year: Though there were fewer closings in Q3 year-over-year at 3,327, there was a 5% increase over last quarter’s sales. There were 37% fewer new development sales, which contributed to the decline.

  • Market-wide prices increased nominally, but price per square foot figures fell for the third consecutive quarter: Both average and median price per square foot fell by 3% this quarter, but average and median sale prices increased slightly by 2% to $1.93 million and $1.15 million respectively, due to an improved market share in apartment sales with two or more bedrooms. With fewer super high-end luxury property sale closings, especially in new development product, prices avoided being inflated upwards this quarter.

  • Inventory increased 23% market-wide this quarter to 7,284 units: This was the eighth consecutive quarter that inventory increased year-over-year. By product type, co-op inventory rose most, up 37% year-over-year, and resale condos increased by 18%. New development inventory remained virtually unchanged, with a 1% decline.

Read the Full -> 3Q | 2018 | MANHATTAN REPORT

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

Sep 12, 2018

Farley Post Office Transformation to Moynihan Train Hall

The James A. Farley Post Office building, completed in 1913 by McKim, Mead & White was built adjacent to the firm’s Penn Station located across the street. After the demolition of the old Penn Station, the Farley building became one of the first buildings protected under the city’s new Landmarks Law.

Farley Post office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced several milestones for the project., The Farley Post office to the Moynihan Train Hall—namely, the fact that the structure for its enormous skylight has been installed, and the first glass panel for that architectural feature has been placed.

The original Pennsylvania Station, opened in 1910, was designed by the famed McKim, Mead & White architecture firm. The station's steel and glass concourse pictured below, with its great domed roof, suggests the motion and power of the modern age.
original Penn Station courtesty moynihanstation.org
Photo: Courtesy of Library of Congress

Although a Beaux-Arts architectural masterpiece built of marble to last forever the railroad sold the air rights above the Penn Station. The building was demolished in 1960 and replaced by an office tower and new Madison Square Garden. The new Penn Station would be underground below Madison Square Garden.

MSG today courtesty: Moynihanstation.org

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York's Senator for 24 years, spent over a decade championing a modern Pennsylvania Station for New York City. As a child during the Great Depression, he sold newspapers and shined shoes in the old Penn Station.

Senator Moynihan believed that America is the land of second chances. He saw the idea to build a new Penn Station in the landmark Farley Post Office across Eighth Ave from Penn Station as New York's golden opportunity to redeem itself for tearing down the original Pennsylvania Station.

When it’s completed in 2020, the Moynihan Train Hall will connect to the current Penn Station, offering new access points, more tracks, and a less claustrophobic waiting area for commuters. 

Sep 4, 2018

Back to Private Schools on Upper West Side


The Upper West Side of Manhattan is home to many private schools. 
Below are some of the finest private schools on the Upper West Side.

The Calhoon School West End Avenue

The Calhoon School - West End Avenue

The Calhoun School is a progressive, independent, college preparatory school located in the heart of Manhattan’s West Side. Founded in 1896, Calhoun has grown into a two-building coeducational institution with 670 students, ranging from three-year-olds to twelfth graders.

The former Claremont Academy- Stephen Gaynor School

The Stephan Gaynor School
 West 89th and West 90th Street

The Stephen Gaynor School, a non profit organization, provides a unique educational experience for children ages 5-14 with learning differences in a nurturing environment where children are helped to reach their academic potential. At Stephen Gaynor the pattern of academic failure is broken and children are taught to become successful learners with unlimited potential.
The historic Claremont Riding Academy building was supposed to be converted to condos, the units were supposed to give the feeling of a barn. The market turned and the condo developers sold the building for $12 million to the Stephen Gaynor School, which is located behind Claremont on 90th Street. The developers bought the building for $14 million in 2007.

Abraham Joshua Heschel School

The Abraham Joshua Heschel School was founded in 1983, a new model of Jewish day school was created. An independent school offering a pluralistic approach to Jewish learning in addition to secular studies. Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. 

Congregation B'nai Jeshurun recently purchased the building at 270 West 89th Street from the Abraham Joshua Heschel School for $20 million. The trade symbolizes growth for two Jewish institutions on the Upper West Side. B'nai Jeshurun had rented space in the building from Heschel for its Hebrew School since 1984, when B'nai Jeshurun sold the building to Heschel.

Trinity School 139 West 91st Street

Trinity School 139 West 91st Street

Founded in 1709 as a charity school supported by Anglican missionaries, the school had its first classes meet in Trinity Church at the head of Wall Street.  Its first schoolhouse was built on the church grounds in 1749, and it is the oldest continuously operating educational institution in the city of New York. The school stretches nearly the length of 91st Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. 

Ethical Culture School -33 Central Park west

Ethical Culture School - 33 Central Park West

The Fieldston Ethical Culture school is committed to academic excellence, ethical learning, and progressive education, ECF offers a rich and challenging curriculum in the arts, sciences, and humanities. A coed, nonsectarian school, it serves a diverse community of about 1,700 students from PreK to 12 on two campuses -- one in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, and the other in Manhattan.

The Dwight School - 291 Central Park West

The Dwight School - 291 Central Park West

Founded in 1872, The Dwight School is a PreK-12 private international school located on Manhattan ’s Upper West Side. In 1996, Dwight became the second school in North America to offer the full International Baccalaureate (IB) program from kindergarten through grade 12. With the opening of Woodside Preschool in the fall of 2005, Dwight became the first school to offer the IB Primary Years Program for children ages 2-4. Dwight continues to be a pioneer in international education and today nearly 40 countries are represented in its student body.

Columbia Grammar and preparatory School

Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School is one of the oldest institutions in America, with a long and notable tradition of excellence as a college preparatory school. Facilities include a state-of-the-art theater to computer and science labs, five art studios, including filmmaking and photography and library for children and programs PK through 12.

West Side Montessori school

West Side Montessori School - 309 west 92nd Street

West Side Montessori School (WSMS) is an independent early childhood Montessori school serving 209 students, ages 2.10 through 6. Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City and accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools, the American Montessori Society, and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Mandell School - 795 Columbus Avenue.
The Mandell School is a member of ISAAGNY (Independent School Admissions Association of Greater NY) and the Parents League. The Mandell School is committed to providing a rigorous educational environment for children and their families, which through intellectual stimulation and emotional support, enables them to become responsible active citizens of the world.

K-8th grade is located at 795 Columbus Avenue. There are 3 preschool locations as well: one on 150 Amsterdam Ave. (between 66th & 67th St.).  Another preschool in the west village on 160 Christopher St. and one on the UWS (775 Columbus Ave.) that opened 75 years ago.  

Many private schools have long waiting lists and have admission requirements/procedures similar to colleges and universities. Most private schools require mandatory testing from the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) as well as interviews, school tours, and references. The best time to contact schools for brochures, applications, and procedures is after Labor Day and ERB testing forms should be completed in early October.

For More Information:

Educational Records Bureauhttp://www.erbtest.org/212-873-9180
Parents League of NYhttp://www.parentsleague.org/212-737-738

 The Archdiocese of New York              http://www.adnyeducation.org/ 1-212-691-3381
 Abacus Guide                                    http://www.abacusguide.com/

Originally posted: September 05, 201

courtesy of:

Aug 11, 2018

Manhattan Monthly Market Report July 2018

Market Wide Summary 

Year-over-year, July sales activity amongst condos and co-ops decreased 3% and 9%, respectively. Pricing metrics for condos varied as average price increased significantly but median price remained nearly flat. Co-ops experienced a significant 53% increase in average price while median price rose more moderately at 12%. Co-op average price increased substantially due to some very high-priced deals on the Upper East Side.

The average price per square foot increased 5% for condos, while it increased 23% for co-ops. Listed inventory for condos reached a 12-month high for the fourth consecutive month, and co-op inventory rose 45% to its highest level of any July since 2011. Average days on market decreased for condos, but increased significantly for co-ops. Negotiability was up year-over-year for both product types, as higher inventory and less buyer urgency continues to drive up that figure

Condominium Market Snapshot 

In July 2018, condo sales experienced a year-over-year decline of 3%, and with 347 signed contracts it was the slowest July since 2011. Despite the slow sales, year-over-year average price figures increased 19% and median price remained nearly flat, only down 2% yearover-year. The increase in average price was due to a larger number of sales over $2M, and fewer sales under $1M compared to last July.

Average price per square foot also increased, rising 5% year-over-year. The average price per square foot increased 27% for studios and 7% for two bedroom units, while one and three bedroom units remained essentially unchanged, only increasing 1% year-over-year. Listed inventory rose dramatically, up 24% compared to last year and is at its highest point since October 2010. Days on market decreased 14% due to fewer units on the market for over a year compared to last year. Negotiability remained very high, as the average discount between last asking price and sale price increased to almost 4%.

Cooperative Market Snapshot 

Sales activity in the co-op market declined 9% year-over-year while average and median price increased 53% and 12%, respectively. The large increase in average price was the result of a handful of sales above $10M compared to zero last year.

Average price per square foot increased significantly by 23% due to these sales while pricing metrics for all resident types increased year-over-year. The largest year-over-year increases in price per square foot were amongst the smallest units as studios and one bedrooms increased 36% and 15%, respectively. Similar to condominiums, inventory rose dramatically, up 45% year-over-year but remained flat month-over-month.

Average days on market rose 24% due to more units on the market over 100 days compared to last year. Negotiability for co-ops also increased, as the average discount from last asking price to sale price increased to 2.6%, up from 2.1% in June, and just 0.8% last year.


July 2018 marked the highest number of active listings of any July since 2011, fueled by year-over-year increases of 45% for co-op inventory, and 24% for condo inventory. Townhouse inventory grew 19%. Month-over-month, inventory remained flat for condominiums, co-ops, and townhouses.


 As inventory continues to rise and absorption falls, buyers with less urgency and more options have become more aggressive in their negotiations. All price points except the $3MM-$5MM range experienced year-over-year increases in negotiability with the most notable being properties under $1MM and over $5MM. On average, properties below $1MM are trading at a 2% discount off their last asking price, a five-fold increase compared to last year. At the high-end, properties $5MM and above are trading at a 5.5% discount off their last asking price. This is almost double the average discount buyers received a year ago. The average discount for $3MM- $5MM properties decreased year-over-year because there were more units that traded closer to their asking price compared to last year.

Jul 26, 2018

Brooklyn Monthly Market Report | June 2018

Market Wide Summary 

During June, strong South Brooklyn new development sales at recently launched sites such as The Jade Condominium and The Arthouse Condominium drove up overall contract activity by 11% compared to June 2017.

Due to the uptick in new development sales in South Brooklyn, Brooklyn’s price metrics fell compared to last year. Average and median sale price figures fell by 6% and 1%, respectively. Average price per square foot decreased versus June 2017, down 3%, driven by an increase in market share of sales below $2M.

The difference from last ask price to sale price was -0.1% below the average asking price, slightly lower when compared to last year. Days on market was unchanged compared to last year and shortened by one week compared to the previous month as more fast-selling and less expensive homes traded in June 2018.


Days on market in June was level compared to last year but shortened versus the prior month. As fewer expensive homes traded in June, the days on market figure of 61 days ended an eight-month streak of being over the Brooklyn’s five-year average.


Newly listed apartment inventory was up a significant 38% year-over-year and level with the month prior. The number of newly listed apartments during June 2018 is the highest June figure on record, driven by significant new development introductions in South Brooklyn and the launch of Brooklyn Point earlier this year.


Negotiability improved for sellers in Brooklyn versus June 2017 as almost 65% of homes sold at or above the asking price in June 2018, level with Brooklyn’s five- year average. More sellers have been pricing their homes in line with buyer’s expectations as 35% of homes sold at the asking price, higher than the previous month and last year.

Jul 23, 2018

HDFC Coops - Affordable Home Ownership in NYC


HDFC Coops - Affordable Home Ownership in Manhattan

Q: What is an HDFC coop?

A: HDFC (Housing Development Fund Corporations)
Since 1979, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has sold formerly City-owned buildings to Housing Development Fund Corporations (HDFC's)

HDFC coops are affordable cooperatives in New York City. They sell below market (40%-50%) below non HDFC comparable coops and condos.

45 West 110th Street, HDFC
If you qualify an HDFC coop may be right for you. It may be a great deal.

Many HDFC coops are considered a form of limited equity home ownership. HDFC coops offer many of the same benefits as regular coops but they have some eligibility (maximum income restriction, primary residence requirement and many have a "flip tax" paid by the seller.

Since they are sold below market and the maintenance remains low because the city reduces real estate tax on HDFC coops upon selling a portion of the profit is often shared with the coop and sometimes the city (60/40 buildings) hence "flip tax".

Back in the late 70' and 1980's many rental buildings were abandoned by landlords and owners that may have owed back taxes or city water charges and the buildings were taken over by the city. NYC HPD (Housing Preservation Department) through an affordable housing program helped to rehabilitate the buildings, trained the tenants on ownership, set the Coop up financially to be self-sustaining, and then sold the apartments to the existing tenants for very low sale prices many as low as $250 in exchange the new owners had to maintain the buildings and keep them affordable.

The City helped rehab many of the buildings and trained the existing tenants, even some squatters about maintaining their building and becoming a self sufficient housing cooperative. It has been a very successful program. Over the years they rarely sold and remained within families.

While they still sell below market many sellers are now able to get the highest possible price for their 

More recently I've represented sellers and buyers in Harlem's most sought after HDFC coop as well as HDFC's in Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill, Morningside HeightsManhattan Valley, Hell's Kitchen the East Village and Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

While prices vary building to building and neighborhood to neighborhood it should be noted that under the private Housing Finance Law, all HDFCs must be low to moderate/middle income households.. 

The specific definition of low income for some HDFC cooperatives were time limited and have expired, the cooperation must adopt a new standard. The highest standard that HPD will accept is 165% of the median income for the metropolitan area.

 An HDFC coop must be a primary residence and the income restrictions are based on area income standards. In many cases either less than 120% or 165% area median income. Therefore individual HDFC coops have different income requirements. It also varies depending on the household size. A household of five can have a substantially higher income enabling larger households to afford larger apartments. At 165% AMI the maximum income allowed for a household of five is $185,955. 

The cost of owning and maintaining shares in a cooperative include apartment maintenance, the monthly payments on any loan used to purchase the shares, utilities, and homeowners insurance.

Generally buyers should not pay more than 30% of their gross income in housing costs. HDFC boards have the same discretion to approve or reject a buyer like any regular coop. The only difference is there is a maximum income allowed to purchase or lease in HDFC coop apartments.

An HDFC coop represents a great opportunity to own a home  in New York City, at below market price of other coops and condos but with some restrictions on purchasing and upon selling.

When buying or selling an HDFC Coop it is important to use a broker, attorney and lender that understands the rules, restrictions and nuances of HDFC coops.

More reading:

HDFC Coops | Facts vs Myths
HDFC Coop Income Standards
The Flip Tax
Restrictive Covenants

If you would like more information about buying or selling an HDFC coop please contact me.

Jul 16, 2018

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | June 2018

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | June 2018

Market Wide Summary 

There was a divergence in June sales activity amongst condos and co-ops, as contracts signed rose for co-ops but fell by double-digits for condos. All pricing metrics for condos decreased, with median sale price being the most significant.

Price statistics for co-ops were varied as average price increased substantially due to some very high-priced deals but median price decreased. The average price per square foot remained relatively flat for condos, while it increased almost 30% for co-ops. Listed inventory for condos reached a 12-month high for the third consecutive month, and co-op inventory rose 33% to its highest level for any June since 2012.

Average days on market stayed relatively flat for condos, while it increased significantly for co-ops. Negotiability was up monthly and annually for condos and co-ops, as high inventory continues to drive up that figure.

Jul 5, 2018

Manhattan Market Report | Second Quarter 2018


  • Second Quarter market activity cooled: Manhattan experienced fewer closed sales and signed contracts, as well as high inventory levels and steadying prices compared to a year ago. The effects of the new tax law, high real estate taxes and volatility in the financial markets all contributed to a dampening of buyers’ purchase intent in Q2.   

  • Market-wide closed sales decreased 14% and contracts signed decreased 9% compared to last year: Though closings in Q2 responded to diminished buyer urgency, there were still nearly 3,200 closings, which was a 26% increase over last quarter, reflecting a typical Q2 seasonal uptick in buyer activity.

  • Manhattan market-wide prices were unchanged from last year: Average sale price of $2.15 million was essentially level with Q2 2017, supported by select penthouse sales and record-breaking transactions. Median sale price, however, decreased 3% to $1.14 million as market share shifted in favor of lower-priced transactions that accompanied a decline in new development closings.

  • Inventory increased 17% market-wide this quarter to 7,491 units: This was the tenth consecutive quarter that inventory increased year-over-year. Supply expanded for all bedroom types and most price ranges. By product type, co-op inventory rose most, up 26% year-over-year, and resale condos increased by 11%. New development inventory increased only by 4%.

Jul 2, 2018

REBNY Index: RE Broker Confidence Falls in 1Q18

 The Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) Real Estate Broker Confidence Index for the first quarter of 2018 was 5.78 out of 10, a decrease of 1.21 since brokers were surveyed about the fourth quarter of 2017.
The overall decline in the Real Estate Broker Confidence Index was attributable to brokers’ concern for future leasing and financing conditions in both the residential and commercial real estate markets. However, several brokers noted that despite recent increases, interest rates are still low when compared to years past.
“Residential and commercial broker confidence was decidedly more upbeat in the fourth quarter of 2017, but market confidence in the first quarter of 2018 remained positive overall,” said John H. Banks, REBNY President. “Though the pace of transactions has slowed, REBNY brokers are seeing movement among well-priced inventory. Prices are continuing to undergo a natural correction with new developments and a more competitive leasing environment.”
The Commercial Broker Confidence Index in the first quarter of 2018 was 6.02, a decrease of 1.39 since brokers were surveyed about the fourth quarter of 2017 when they expressed confidence in their expectations of the recently passed federal tax reform. The Commercial Broker Confidence Index has grown by 0.74 year-over-year, up from 5.28 in the first quarter of 2017.
Brokers’ assessment of the current leasing market in the first quarter of 2018 showed confidence with responses indexed at 6.49, dipping slightly by 0.23 since the fourth quarter of 2017. One office-leasing broker attributed current confidence to the effects of tax reform, writing, “tax cuts are already leading to hiring and expansion.”
Another commented on the challenges in commercial leasing, saying: “While the commercial rent tax has been reduced, it needs to be eliminated for retailers.”
The decline in the Commercial Broker Confidence Index was attributable to concerns about the leasing and financing market six months from now.
One commercial broker expressed uncertainty about the future, writing, “Who knows how [WeWork’s business model] will work out”.
The Residential Broker Confidence Index was 5.54, a decrease of 1.03 since brokers were surveyed about the fourth quarter of 2017. The Residential Broker Confidence Index, though still positive, has been trending downward since last year with the exception of a noticeable uptick in the fourth quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, confidence surrounding brokers’ expectations of the effects of the federal tax reform have leveled off.
The dip in the Residential Broker Confidence Index in the first quarter of 2018 was attributable in part to the question asking about the rental market six months from now. These responses were indexed at 5.01, a decrease of 0.53 since the fourth quarter of 2017.
“In rentals, concessions seem to be at an all-time high and I’m curious to see how that will affect the summer season. Renters are asking more and more whether there are ‘any concessions’,” said one residential broker.
Residential brokers also revealed some uneasiness about residential sales financing. Concerns about the current financing market were indexed at 7.17, a decline of 1.59 since the fourth quarter of 2017. The belief that the residential market benefited from tax reform may have boosted confidence in the fourth quarter of 2017. However, the residential broker responses in the first quarter of 2018 suggest that they have returned their focus to actual market conditions.
One residential broker stated, “Tax changes have not had a noticeable effect on demand in the first three months of the year.”
REBNY regularly surveys its residential and commercial brokerage division members to measure their confidence in the New York City real estate market now and six months from now. Survey results are published quarterly with a maximum index of 10


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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