Jan 21, 2015

New Manhattan 'Affordable' Luxury Apartments

The meaning of the word ‘affordable’ may have a new meaning in Manhattan. It not only means subsidized housing it can mean affordable entry level luxury.

While prices have been soaring in Manhattan along with rent a new wave of luxury entry-level homes are currently on the market and in the pipeline. It's a perfect time for many first-time home buyers. Mortgage rates are at all time historic lows (a 30 year fixed rate currently approx 3.5%-3.75%) even less for adjustable rate loans.

Affordable luxury. New units with lower asking prices currently on the Manhattan condo market and new ones will be hitting the market this year. Prices for new apartments are hitting records, but some prime units are also in the pipeline for the budget-minded buyer — with $750,000 to $3 million price tags that haven’t been seen since the 2008 financial crisis

Some examples: 

235 West 75th Street

Upper West Side (at Broadway), built in 1901
12 stories, 212 units

305 West 150th Street


Condo | Part Time Doorman | Elevator

  • Built 1921
  • Converted to condo in 2014
  • Low-rise
  • 7 Floors
  • 84 Apartments
  • Elevator
  • Part Time Doorman

  • Fifty Third and Eighth
    252-unit condo conversion in Hell’s Kitchen

    175 West 95th Street
    Upper West Side

    Full Service Condo Post-war Built 1971

    Studio apartments starting at $630,000, One bedrooms starting at $680,000   

    Converted to condo in 2014

  • High-rise
  • 27 Floors
  • 226 Apartments
  • Elevator
  • Full Service


    432 West 52nd Street

    Hell's Kitchen/Clinton

    Full Service Condo 

    Studios starting at $640,000

    Jan 16, 2015

    NYC 2014 Residential Sales and Consideration


    2014 was a strong year for the New York City residential sales market. The total number of sales in the City 
    was the second highest since the end of the recession. The 44,766 sales recorded in 2014 was only second 
    to 2013's sales total and well above the initial recovery years of 2010-2012 when annual home sales 
    in the City were 41,034 ,37,034, and 39,381 respectively.

    Total consideration for residential sales this year though was the highest since the end of the recession. 
    2014's total of $37,896,000 narrowly eclipsed 2013's total of $37,257,000.

    Figures comparing the sales and consideration performances of 2014 and 2013 are below.

    When looking at sales volume in the boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens all had sales 
    just below last years levels, but 2014 sales in the Bronx and Staten Island actually surpassed the 
    levels recorded in 2013.

    Total residential sales consideration figures were higher in 2014 than in 2013 in every 
    borough.  Brooklyn had the biggest increase in residential sales consideration of all the 
    boroughs.  2014 consideration was 10% higher in Brooklyn when compared to 2013. 
    Manhattan with 6% had the second highest increase of the boroughs in consideration in 
    2014 when compared to 2013.

    * Bronx Sales 2013-2,682; 2014-2,559     Staten Island Sales 2013-3,824; 2014-3,950

    * Bronx Consideration 2013-$923m; 2014-$953m Staten Island Consideration 2013-$1,622m; 2014 - $1,631m

    source:  REBNY

    Jan 14, 2015

    Manhattan Monthly Market Report | December 2014

    Market Wide Summary

    Co-ops had remarkable performance this month, with a 31% gain in average price up year-over-year to a record-setting $1.493M. Condos have been in the spotlight since 2013 as flashy new developments and staggering prices catch headlines but the co-op market has remained stable and strong, with healthy fundamentals in every category. Average days on market for co-ops dropped 16% compared to last December and co-op inventory is at the lowest point since we began tracking in November 2007, with just 2,235 units on the market; co-ops have not seen an annual increase in inventory in over three years. Condos also had a strong month with average and median price increases and a decline in days on market. Inventory is up 12% year-over-year from the trough at the end of 2013. Contracts signed were up significantly versus last year providing a strong finish for 2014 sales.

    Condominium Market Snapshot

    All metrics are positive in December for the condominium market compared to last year. Prices are up year-over-year by healthy percentages while days on market decreased, negotiability remained stable, and contracts signed increased. Within bedroom types only two bedrooms saw growth in price per square foot, up 12% versus last year. One bedrooms declined 3% and three+ bedrooms declined 5%. Contracts signed were up 8% over last year and were up 14% compared to last month, breaking the typical seasonal trend. Inventory increased by 12% compared to last December, which represented the inventory trough. As condo listings return to the market buyers will have more choices, however a continued lack of supply in the lower price brackets is preventing many buyers from entering the market.

    Cooperative Market Snapshot

    December 2014 was a notable month for the cooperative market with a number of milestones. The average sale price of $1.493M is 31% above last year’s average and the highest average price for co-ops since we began keeping record in November of 2007. Also reflecting strong demand, days on market dropped 16% compared to last December, to just 90 days to sell a unit on average. Simultaneously, co-op inventory is at the lowest point since we began tracking, with just 2,235 units on the market. The co-op market has not had a single month with a year-over-year gain in inventory in over three years. Contracts signed increased by 33% compared to December 2013 and were even compared to last month.

    Jan 11, 2015

    "That and a MetroCard will get you on the Subway"

    High Line 23 - Chelsea
    There is an old expression in NYC: 

    "That and a token will get you on the subway.'' 

    In fact, all it took was a token to get on the subway for more than a century. Implication being that whatever "that" referred to was worthless. 

    The MetroCard replaced the token in 2003 but a New Report shows how a MetroCard in NYC may be more valuable than a college degree. Transportation plays a very important role in the earning power of New Yorkers.

    NYU's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management studied 177 different zip codes, and found that neighborhoods with the best access to transit, usually in Manhattan, (Chelsea is number one) also have the highest median household income, and the lowest unemployment
    . In those neighborhoods, 79% commute by walking or public transit, and only 10.9% by car.

    Neighborhoods with the worst access to transit had lower median incomes but more than 50% commuted by car. The neighborhoods with limited access to public transit, were the worst: their unemployment rate is nearly 12%, and their median household income is significantly lower.

    The more jobs you can reasonably commute to within an hour, the more job opportunities you'll have, and the higher your wage will be. 
    In New York, mass transit is the path to economic mobility.

    In a previous post I wrote about Location Affordability, a concept developed by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development (HUD) which includes the cost of transportation as well as housing usually the two largest items in a household's budget to determine affordability.

    New York City has the sixth highest housing costs of the 21 major cities surveyed by HUD but since NYC has the lowest transportation costs in the nation it was deemed the third most affordable housing location according to HUD. 

    "Everything is relative". Albert Einstein

    Jan 10, 2015

    Interest rates at ALL Time Lows

    The Bond rallied and rates dropped, it’s a great time to buy or refinance.  Rates are now at historic lows. Start the new year by purchasing a new home in New York City. 

    Interest Rates as low as: 

    •             7 Year Arm is 2.75%
    •             10 year Arm is 3.0%
    •             15 Year Fixed is 3.125%
    •             30 Year Fixed is 3.625%

    Jan 7, 2015

    175 West 95th Street | UWS New Condo Conversion

    175 West 95th Street
    175 West 95th Street
    New condo conversion development on Upper West Side originally built in 1971 - 27 floors with 226 apartments.
    175 West 95th, a full service building, is located on a beautiful tree lined street just two blocks from Central Park. 
    Creatively redesigned, this property offers studios, one, two and three bedroom residences most with private outdoor space and expansive views of both the city skyline and Hudson River. 
    Current prices range from studio apartments starting at $630,000, One bedrooms starting at around $680,00 to 2 bedroom 2 bath 23rd floor apartment for $1,585,000 with various options in between.
    175 West 95 Street is in the heart of the Upper West Side providing access to desired daily conveniences such as gourmet markets, great dining and many cultural attractions. Just minutes from many subway lines, 175 West 95th Street puts all of New York City within reach.
    A tasteful contemporary sensibility has been applied throughout offering an incredible lifestyle opportunity. Amenities include a stunning new lobby with a full-time concierge, a glass enclosed residence lounge, an outdoor landscaped terrace with seating and a separate children’s play area, fitness center, and indoor playroom. 
    Additional features of this new development include: Central laundry, fitness center , indoor playroom, landscaped terrace , outdoor play area, package room, resident's lounge.
    In the conversion, the building's entrance was moved from Amsterdam Avenue to West 95th Street. 

    175 West 95th is in the heart of the Upper West Side, conveniently near transportation, many new and vibrant restaurants, and gourmet shopping such as Whole Foods and The West Side Market.

    Click here to receive new development listings or call me at 917-312-0924 or email me to schedule showings.

    Jan 6, 2015

    Manhattan Market Report | Third Quarter 2014

    Manhattan Residential Real Estate Market Report | Third Quarter 2014

    This report uses market-wide data based on transactions that closed in the Fourth Quarter 2014 (October 1 through December 31st) and compares it to closings that took place last quarter and during the same quarter last year. Closings typically occur eight to twelve weeks after a contract is signed in the resale market but can occur several years later for new developments. For that reason, the sales activity discussed trails actual market conditions. 

    Key findings of the current report:

    ·         Inventory challenges.  Inventory has grown by 20% since last year, but almost entirely on the basis of condo availability and the introduction of significant high-end new development product.  The number of co-op listings has remained flat since Q2 2011, and the market is significantly under-supplied below $2M.
    ·         Contract signings are up.  Signed contracts rose 3% versus last year.  A lack of affordable inventory sent buyers to the co-op market.  Co-ops accounted for 58% of signed contracts, their highest share since Q3 2009.
    ·         High-end sales helped value reach new peak.  Thanks to activity at the high-end, the average price per square foot increased to $1303, up 6% versus Q4 2013.

    Jan 2, 2015

    How to Buy in a New Development in NYC in 2015

    It's time to say Good-Bye to 2014 and Hello to 2015. Looking forward to a brand new start? There is nothing better than a brand new home. Be the very first to live in your home and enjoy brand new infrastructure throughout.
    Zaha Hadid’s 520 West 28th Street
    In 2015 there will be many new residential developments including both ground-up construction and the conversion of existing structures such as a commercial building or rental property. 

    Some anticipated and current new developments include The Woolworth building, the MoMA tower, Zaha Hadid's High Line condos, Ben Shaoul's Verizon building conversion, the Hudson Yards neighborhood, The Chatsworth conversion and Riverside Center, the final piece of the Riverside South community

    Riverside Center
    There will be many more apartment options and lifestyles to choose from this year. Your home is more than just your condominium apartment—it’s the fitness center, outdoor space, pool, private lounges, doorman and concierge, at your service.

    21st Century Designed. Modern room proportions, high quality materials, and windows that maximize light and air add up to a home that complements your lifestyle. Many new homes are healthy homes with green features. 

    Green features make your life healthier, and energy efficiency benefits you and the environment. Brand new apartments are outfitted with top of the line materials, the most up to the minute technology, and all the little extras that make life easy. Move in and build a new community with your neighbors.

    How to buy in a NYC New Development:

    Easy to purchaseBenefit from a hassle-free purchase process with no board packages, interviews, and use your residence however you want—live, rent, or pied-à-terre.

    Once an offer is accepted by the Sponsor, The Sponsor's attorney draws up the Purchase Agreement. The Purchase Agreement and Offering Plan are then sent to the purchaser's attorney for review. 
    Hudson Yards 

    Chatsworth Apartment conversion 340 West 72nd St.

    Once both parties have signed the Purchase Agreement and the Sponsor receives a deposit, the residence is considered "in contract."

    A Sponsor can only send out one contract per unit at a time for a New Development deal. 

    This can be to your advantage to get a contract out on a property you may be interested in. If you change your mind you can easily withdraw offer.

    If you’re facing a river or a park you are most likely safe of nothing going up around the area you are purchasing. If you are worried about views and are willing to spend a little extra money you can get the proof at least for the near future because a view can not be protected or guaranteed without owning the air rights.

    Contracts are not very transparent, buyers need to get the right attorney and mortgage broker involved, it is very important to get a mortgage person that can finance in a new building. Everything has to be quick. 

    It is important to have an experienced buyer's broker represent you in New Developments. On-site sales agents represent the seller/sponsor/developer's interests.

    Click here to receive new development listings or call me at 917-312-0924 or email me to schedule showings.

    Dec 28, 2014

    NY State Electronic Disposal Ban Starts January 1st

    Starting January 1, 2015, a state law will make it illegal for New Yorkers to discard most electronics in the trash. Sanitation Workers will no longer collect electronics left at curbside, and the resident may receive a summons. Coop and condo boards and landlords should notify all building residents.

    The electronics covered by this New York State law include computers and their peripherals, televisions, fax machines, VCRs, DVD players, printers/scanners, video game consoles, MP3 players, tablets, and small servers. The law does not include appliances, batteries, or light bulbs.

    There are many FREE, convenient options to properly recycle your unwanted electronics:
    • DSNY's e-cycleNYC program.
      Apartment buildings with more than 10 units can enroll for this free and convenient pickup service. In e-cycleNYC’s first year, the program enrolled over 400 apartment buildings in all five boroughs and recycled 255,000 pounds of e-waste.
    • Retail drop-off programs.
      There are more than 90 locations where you can drop off electronics (no purchase required), including any Goodwill, Salvation Army, Best Buy, Staples (no TVs), or the Gowanus E-Waste Warehouse.
    • Free mail-back programs.
      Check your brand's website for details.
    • Electronics recycling events.
      Bring to drop-off events run by organizations such as the Lower East Side Ecology Center, or the Department of Sanitation’s SAFE Disposal Events.
    • Donate or sell working electronics.
      Visit nyc.gov/stuffexchange to find a place to buy, sell, or donate electronics.

    For a complete list of covered electronics and recycling options, visit nyc.gov/electronics.

    Dec 24, 2014

    Merry Christmas | Seasons Greetings


    I want to thank all my subscribers, friends, clients customers and colleagues for making this a wonderful year. Thank you so much for reading my blogs, for all of your comments, and for your continued support. Hope to see you in 2015.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Winter Solstice 

    Happy Celebrations to All.

    Dec 10, 2014

    Manhattan Market Report | November 2014


    Manhattan Market Report | November 2014

    In November 2014 strong year-over-year price growth resumed in the condo market; median price, average price, and average price per square foot all saw double-digit gains. Price gains, however, in part reflect the increase in quality of available inventory and lack of lower-priced options, in addition to appreciation. 

    The co-op market continued to see steady overall price growth since last November with price per square foot up 4% and average price up 11%. The market still suffers a surplus of high priced inventory and dearth of product under $3MM; just 3% of sales this month were above $5MM while that price bracket makes up 18% of current inventory. 

    Market-wide inventory has increased since last month as well as last year, although nearly all of this growth is due to condo listings as co-op inventory remains flat. Contracts signed are down 6% year-over-year overall, but again split by market: condo sales are down 19% while co-op sales are up 5%. 

    The increase in co-op sales has kept pace with supply while the decrease in condo sales has augmented the growth in available listings. With no change versus November 2013, co-op listings remain near historic lows. 

    This month saw co-ops take the highest percent of sales (60%) compared to condos since January 2012.

    Dec 6, 2014

    Upper West Side School to Residential Conversion


    555 West End Avenue  (photo courtesy of ©Mitchell Hall)

    St Agnes Boys High School building on West End Avenue at 87th Street will soon be converted into condos The Real Deal reported.

    The High School closed in 2013. According to the article Cary Tamarkin’s architecture and real estate development firm paid $50 million to the Archdiocese of New York for an Upper West Side church property. Tamarkin Co. bought the six-story building at 553-559 West End Avenue, at the corner of 87th Street, according to public records. 

    Built in 1919, the limestone and brick building housed St. Agnes from 1990 until last year. The building is 80 x 100 feet with 41,561 square feet above ground, the building was sold for nearly $1,200 per square foot. The property also has approximately 39,000 square feet of additional air rights. The building is located in the Riverside-West End Avenue historic district. 

    West End Avenue 

    Manhattan New Developments and Conversions 

    Dec 5, 2014

    Seller Tips | How to get the Highest Price

    • Clean it up – Buyers respond to open, bright, and uncluttered. You may love your d├ęcor but unless it is up to date, well lit, bright and tchotchke-free, buyers probably won’t.
    • Price it right - Every seller in the world believes his or her property is worth more than the competition, simply because it belongs to them. It’s normal and inevitable. But it’s not true! Listen to your broker on this one. The best time to sell your property is during the first three weeks it is on the market. Why? Because during that period, you get the benefit of pent up demand. The current market offers few choices in most price brackets due to low inventory. So these days, when something new comes to market, it receives a lot of attention from the buyers who are poised to buy when the right thing comes along.
    • Don't second guess yourself – The attention your property gets when it hits the market does NOT mean you under priced it. So if you’re lucky enough to get three offers during the first week, don’t remove the property from the market and increase the price! If your home is that popular, competitive bidding will find its best price, often above your asking price.
    •  Don't make a deal during first 48 hours – A bid on the first day usually means others are coming. Often your first bid is the best one, but not always. If you expect multiple bids, work out a plan with your broker and stick to it. I usually advise going to “highest and best” offers after ten days or two weeks. That usually provides adequate time for everyone who is interested to see the property.
    •  Listen to feedback – If the property does NOT receive any offers during the first three weeks, it is almost certainly overpriced. The sooner you and your agent correct that pricing problem, the more likely you are to sell the property promptly and well Sellers often say they don’t want to reduce their price, urging their broker instead to encourage prospects to make offers. But buyers don’t work that way. Unless they perceive your property as appropriately priced, they don’t want to make an offer. That is just the way it is.
    • Be patient – If it doesn't sell during the first few weeks, your property may be on the market for a while. But it WILL sell! You may have to make a price adjustment. You may have to re-stage it. Buyer interest often follows a particular trajectory: during the first few weeks, pent up demand provides a steady stream of lookers. That tends to dissipate by the end of week three. If the property has not sold, there is then usually a slow period- it can last for weeks or months. This tends to be followed by a catalytic event: usually a price reduction. And THIS, in turn, generates additional interest. So it is not uncommon for a property which has been on the market for four or five months to have a second spike of activity, frequently resulting in two or three offers the same week after a long period with no offers at all. By this time the market will have given you a clear sense of the right price. Now it’s time to make the deal.

    Dec 4, 2014

    Tips for Tipping

    Year in and year out, we are asked about New York City holiday tipping etiquette, especially for apartment building staff. 

    Here is my take on the situation:
    So many ask, “why tip at all for someone who is merely doing his job?” We feel that an additional reward for work well done is a welcome gift. It is good manners, and customary to show one’s appreciation by giving a little something extra during the holiday as a way to say “thank you”.

    Keep in mind the following factors in determining what to give:
    • how pleased are you with the service
    • the frequency of the service
    • how long you’ve known the person
    • your budget
    • the local custom
    • the type of establishment (deluxe vs. moderate building)The following are ranges of suggested gratuities:
    • Apartment Building Superintendents: $25 - $150 There is a wide range here depending on the services offered by your building and how much the staff are at your beck-and-call during the year.
    • Doormen: $25 and up Take into consideration how nice they are to you, if you get lots of visitors and deliveries, and if they actually open the door for you. To maintain a level of quality service, you need to pay for it.
    • Porters: $15- $30 These people have a difficult and sometimes unpleasant job. If you’ve spilled Styrofoam packaging stuffers in your hallway or incinerator room, you owe it to your custodian to remember.
    • Handyman: $15 - $30 This is an instance where your tip can be proportionate to the amount of the work you’ve requested during the year. If you merely greet the handyman in the hall, the lower end of the range should suffice. If you’ve gotten him out of bed in the middle of the night to repair a gushing water leak, ask yourself how much such a task is worth to you and show your appreciation accordingly.
    • Mail Carriers: $10 - $20
    • There is a long list of other people to remember during the holidays-garage attendants, personal trainers, housekeepers, babysitters, stylists, etc., and the range of what is considered appropriate is wide and left mostly to personal judgement.
    Regardless of the cash value of any gift, however, it is important that a gratuity be given as a present. Include a nice card with a hand written note and deliver it personally.

    Cash is appreciated, rather than checks.In what can seem like an uncivilized city, it is important to remember to make a gesture of appreciation to those who make your life easier. The holiday season is the perfect time to do so.

    Dec 2, 2014

    Sprinkler Disclosure

    Governor Cuomo signed a bill that requires all leases include a disclosure of the existence or 
    non-existence of sprinkler systems in the leased premises. 

     The new law takes effect on 12/3/14.  

    The legislation requires inclusion of the disclosure if the lease is for a property that is residential.

    The legislation is only applicable to residential leases regarding the presence of sprinkler systems
     within the leased premises.

    It applies to all residential leases, so a renewal would therefore have to include the notice. 

    Nov 27, 2014

    Happy Thanksgiving


    Nov 21, 2014

    Pier 55 - Floating Park in Hudson River

    Futuristic Floating Hudson River Park
    Artist's Rendering CreditPier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio
    Media mogul Barry Diller and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg plan to create a $170M floating park in the Hudson river near Chelsea and the Meatpacking District.

    View from Manhattan 
    CreditPier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio

    As reported by the New York Times, an additional $39.5M of funding for Pier 55, which has the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, would come from the city, state and Hudson River Park Trust, subject to approval of the Trust's board.

     CreditPier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio 
    The Diller-Furstenberg Family Foundation will supply $130M. It will feature lawns, gardens and three performance spaces, including a 700-seat amphitheater.

    The 2.7-acre project, dubbed Pier 55, would replace the decaying Pier 54 on West 13th Street and be connected to Hudson River Park in Manhattan via platforms.
    Pier 54
    Credit Mitchell Hall 
    Approvals also must come from the Army Corps of Engineers and state Department of Environmental Conservation before construction can begin in 2016.


    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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