Aug 25, 2015

On the Market | Upper West Side

There are currently 624 active apartments for sale on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Ranging in price from $75,000,000 for PH-26C  a 6 bedroom 5 bath home at 145-146 Central Park West (The San Remo) to $250,000 for a 1 bedroom 1 bath home at 46 West 71st Street.

The average price is $3,818,562. The median price is $1,850,000. The average price per square foot is $2,433. Average Days on market 126.

Aug 17, 2015

Manhattan Townhouse Market Stats

Upper West Side Townhouses

New Yorkers lived in townhouses during the 19th Century. Single Family Townhouses
and Mansions were made of Brownstone and Limestone. The Townhouse market today is very
desirable as single family homes, multi-family and mixed-use income producing buildings for

Townhouse are a niche in the luxury market, representing a small fraction of the city's housing
stock. Compared with condos, the townhouse market is priced at a relative discount.

Currently there are 274 active townhouses on the market. The average price is $12,653,526. 
The median price is $9,250,000. The average price per square foot is $2,056.

Aug 11, 2015

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | July 2015

Market Wide Summary

Despite summer typically being a slow time in Manhattan real estate, sales figures were strong in July with condo and co-op sales up 19% compared to last year.

Listed inventory dropped this month, despite a robust new development market. The condo and co-op markets continued to differ this month which contributed to varying experiences for condo and co-op buyers.

Seller negotiability is increasing in the condo market while conversely sales over asking price are increasing in the co-op market. The discount offered by co-ops relative to condos is attracting more buyers and thus discounts on co-ops were infrequent and the average time a unit stayed on the market dropped.

Prices in both markets were mixed, with co-op price indicators slightly more positive. Condos saw nominal year-over-year decreases in average and median price and average price per square foot. Co-ops saw strong increases in average and median price year-over-year but a decline in average price per square foot.

Both markets saw price per square foot increases among one bedroom units and price per square foot decreases among two and three+ bedroom units.

Aug 9, 2015

Sugar Hill Harlem Neighborhood

Sugar Hill way up in Harlem is a neighborhood with a rich history, culture and affordable homes.

Beginning in the 1870s Harlem was the site of a massive wave of development which resulted in the construction of numerous new single-family row-houses and apartment houses. Many of these apartments, typically floor-throughs and duplexes come with town house amenities, like terraces, gardens, fireplaces, and uncommonly good light for Manhattan. 

During the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s affluent African-Americans began moving to Sugar Hill. "Sweet and Expensive," signifying that one had arrived, economically and socially. Sugar Hill was celebrated for its exclusivity and status. The Hill attracted those with talent, money, education, and social prominence.

The song “Take the ‘A’ Train,” written by Billy Strayhorn was the signature tune of the Duke Ellington orchestra commemorating the upscale neighborhood where they lived. Originally written in 1939 directions to get to his house by subway. The directions began: "Take the A Train" There was a new subway line and people were getting confused about the best way to get to Harlem.

Sugar Hill historic district is from 145th Street to 155th Street and between Edgecombe and Amsterdam. According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the rocky plateau that later became known as Sugar Hill was the setting for grand estates in the late 1700s and 1800s.

Sugar Hill, often considered part of Hamilton Heights, is almost entirely residential. It has rows of four- and five-story townhouses and handsome prewar apartment buildings.  Many are coops and affordable HDFC coops attracting a diversified mix of buyers.  

New Listing Coming Soon | 464 West 152nd Street #2

Aug 5, 2015

New Mortgage Rules and Disclosures | CFPB

The CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) new rules took effect Aug.1, 2015 apply to almost all residential real estate transactions involving a mortgage or coop loan. 

“Know Before You Owe” Mortgage Disclosures, Replacing Truth in Lending, Good Faith Estimate, and HUD-1 Settlement Statement

Borrowers will receive two forms now:
The Loan Estimate soon after loan application and The Closing Disclosure three business days before closing.

The CFPB believes that borrows are better served if they have time to review the Closing Disclosure before signing the loan documents. The rule requires that borrowers have three business days after receipt of the Closing Disclosure to review the form. If the form is mailed, it is deemed received three business days after it was mailed. Be prepared for closing delays.

The CFPB requires that the Closing Disclosure show the full amount of the title insurance premium for a loan policy as if it were written as a stand-alone policy and not simultaneously with an owner's policy.

The Closing Disclosure replacing the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, will have seven areas of charges: origination charges, services borrower did not shop for, services borrower did shop for, taxes and other government fees, pre-paids, initial escrow payment at closing and other. 

The borrower might receive more than one Closing Disclosure. Since the borrower is likely to receive the Closing Disclosure before the walk-through, borrowers may receive a new, adjusted Closing Disclosure at closing showing any changes that occurred during the time between the initial disclosure and the closing, including adjustments due to the timing of the closing and other matters. 

If there are changes to financial matters such as changes to the APR above 1/8th% for most loans, changes to the loan product, or the addition of a prepayment penalty, the lender will have to re-disclose and the timing periods will start again and closing will be delayed. 

The preparation and delivery of the Closing Disclosure can be made either by the lender or the settlement agent. At this time it appears that most lenders will handle it. Seller's attorney 
can prepare a separate seller’s Closing Disclosure with seller’s figures only.

Summary of new rules and disclosures here

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?
  • 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.


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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