Showing posts with label manhattan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label manhattan. Show all posts

Apr 24, 2015

The Luxury Collection


Browse some of the most luxurious homes in Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

The Luxury Collection

Mar 11, 2015

2014 ManhattanTownhouse Market Report

2014 Manhattan Townhouse Market Report

The Manhattan townhouse market had a phenomenal year as all three price indicators rose by double digits. This was particularly true for price per square foot, in which every neighborhood and property type posted strong increases.

The number of single-family townhouse sales decreased 10% while multi-family townhouse sales increased 6%, leading to a 2% decrease overall. The only region that did not have an increase in sales versus 2013 was Downtown.

Throughout Manhattan, the top end of the market thrived as the number of sales over $10M increased 26% versus 2013 to a new record high.

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

    Oct 26, 2014

    The Importance of a Pre-Approval in a Seller’s Market


    Urban Myth "A pre-approval will lower my credit score" 

    I'm often contacted by buyers that want me to show them apartments. Often these buyers do not know how much apartment they can afford. They require financing but have not been in contact with a lender.

    I recently spoke with a buyer that was interested in one of my listings. When I asked if she was pre-approved for a co-op loan she told me that she didn't want to get pre-approved because it would lower her credit score. 

    An "urban myth" and not a valid reason to not get pre approved before looking for an apartment in Manhattan. A credit score may have a temporary glitch after several inquiries although an inquiry is not an application for credit. This first time buyer told me "she begs to differ" and that she didn't want to get a pre-approval every time she viewed a property

    The Importance of a Pre-Approval in a Seller’s Market

    The lenders I work with and recommend will pre-qualify and pre-approve a buyer for several months at a specified maximum amount. 

    The pre qualification informs sellers and their brokers based upon the information received, the lender is indicating that the applicants’ financial, credit, and income information appear to support their eligibility for the loan amount listed on pre-approval letter. It is not a loan commitment. A loan commitment may be issued following the applicant’s consent to move forward with the loan, the payment of any fees, a satisfactory appraisal and underwriting approval.

    Buying a home and getting a mortgage is one of the biggest and most important lifetime financial decisions and a primary reason why a consumer should be concerned about their credit score. In my professional opinion and experience if an inquiry on your credit report from a mortgage lender has an adverse effect that lowers your credit score enough to affect the interest rate offered or your loan eligibility you have bigger issues than a couple of inquiries from lenders. Paying bills on time and paying down debt matters a lot more.

    Lenders are competitive. They also know how to read a credit report. They understand a buyer may be shopping for a mortgage when shopping for a home. In fact, if they see their competitor's inquiry on your report it may be leverage to your advantage. If one lender wants the business they may try to offer a better deal than their competitor.

    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 more stringent financial requirements than most lenders. Most coops use a 25%-30% 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 and some coops will allow 90% financing a seller may not want that risk and lenders will require PMI (private mortgage insurance) increasing the debt to income ratio. A minimum 15% or 20% down payment may be required. 

    Manhattan mortgage bankers and brokers

    Apr 22, 2014

    Happy Earth Day | Go Green


    Our Planet Earth 
    photos courtesy of Astronaut Sunita Williams

    Go Green for Earth Day!

     Green Big Apple | Green NYC


    PLANYC is a NYC sustainability program, PlaNYC,  encourages businesses, universities and other private organizations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and reduce the impact of climate change.

    Ten companies will participate in the Carbon Challenge and commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their offices by up to 40 percent in the next 10 years. 

    They include: American International Group, BlackRock, Bloomberg LP, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Google, JetBlue Airways, JPMorgan Chase, and PVH. 

    The companies join 17 universities with more than 35 campuses that accepted the Carbon Challenge when it began in 2007, and the 11 largest hospital organizations that joined in 2009. 

    The Carbon Challenge builds on the City’s own goal to cut emissions in municipal buildings by 30 percent by 2017 and will help meet the PlaNYC target to reduce emissions citywide by 30 percent in 2030.

    The City of New York is more than halfway to meeting its goal, having achieved 16 percent of its emissions in the last six years.

     What are you doing to make our planet greener?

    Apr 14, 2014

    East Harlem | Manhattan Neighborhood

    Metro North Railroad Station at 125th Street & Park Avenue

    'There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
    A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
    It is a special one, it's never seen the sun
    It only comes out when the moon is on the run
    And all the stars are gleaming
    It's growing in the street right up through the concrete
    But soft and sweet and dreamin'

    Ben E King 
    "Spanish Harlem" 

    Manhattan Neighborhood | East Harlem

    El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) SpaHa (East/Spanish Harlem) community stretches from First Avenue to Fifth Avenue and from East 96th Street to East 125th Street.

    Rich in history and residential charm, the diverse East Harlem neighborhood offers those in search of a new apartment or townhouse plenty to peruse. Housing stock runs the gamut from row houses to studios, from one-and two-bedroom co-ops to renovated tenements.

    A big draw in East Harlem is space — apartments often come with a dining room, an outdoor garden, or even parking. Large rental complexes like Hampton Court (complete with gyms, garden decks and retail shopping) are now being joined in East Harlem by luxury condos offering views of the East River, the George Washington and RFK (Triborough) Bridges.

    Lexington Hill Condominium (103/104th Streets)
    East Harlem’s cornucopia of food, culture and lively street life reflects its history. From the exclusive Rao’s Restaurant, founded in 1896, and Patsy’s Pizzeria, established in 1933 in part of Old Little Italy, to modern-day bodegas and botanicas, shopping and dining in this neighborhood continue to evolve even as the Uptown apartments do.

    On the artsy side of East Harlem, provocative murals by celebrated artist James De La Vega — some commissioned, some not — dot the neighborhood and the living legacy of Salsa greats continues at venues such as Creole, a jazz/supper club, and Orbit, a bar/restaurant that hosts open mic nights in its jazz and cabaret schedule.

    East Harlem residents enjoy the East River Plaza on 116th Street off the FDR Drive that opened in ’09. If you want to stock your home with everything, big companies that will be offering their wares for sale in East Harlem include Target, Marshall’s, Best Buy and Manhattan’s first Costco. Other neighborhood attractions include the Museum of the City of New York, El Barrio Museum, Central Park East and North Meadows.

    Easy access to get out-of-town. There's a Metro-North Railroad Station at 125th Street with a 4-5-6 Lexington Avenue subway stop and easy access to the FDR Drive and the west side via cross town bus on 125th Street. Easy access to La Guardia airport from 125th Street airport bus.

    There currently are approximately 40 active apartments for sale in East Harlem. Ranging from $139,000 for a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 5th floor walk-up to $2,980,000 for a 3 bedroom. 3.5 bath, 2849 square foot penthouse at the Crown Condominium.

    Currently there are approximately 10 residential buildings (single family, multi family, mixed use and income properties) for sale in East Harlem ranging from $1,150,000 for a two family house to an 8-story income property delivered vacant under construction condo for $15,550,000.

                                                                                                 There is a rose in Spanish Harlem...

    Dec 31, 2013

    Banner Year for NYC RE Ends | Happy New Year 2014

    2013 was a banner year in NYC real estate. It's been a great year for seller's. Lowest inventory in NYC history. While all indications point to a continuation in 2014, the end of 2013 marks the end of an era. The Bloomberg real estate era.

    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg became mayor 3 months after 9/11/2001. Lower Manhattan came roaring back. Since September 11, 2001, the number of people living in Lower Manhattan has nearly doubled. In fact, Lower Manhattan has added more people over the past 12 years than Atlanta, Dallas and Philadelphia combined.

    Our city’s rapid economic recovery was the result of strong leadership at all levels of government (local, state and federal) and the resilience of all New Yorkers who were determined to come back from this unthinkable event stronger than ever.

    Today Lower Manhattan is full of new housing, restaurants, hotels, bars, parks, schools, open spaces and new businesses big and small. Upper Manhattan including Harlem is thriving too. Neighborhoods throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn are thriving.

    West Chelsea from 10th Avenue to 11th Avenue, from 16th Street north to 30th Street, is booming with new condo developments that have transformed the neighborhood into a fashionable destination. Most of the new developments are around the High Line. New condos with park views.

    MTA Railyards in the Hudson Yards district was the single largest piece of undeveloped property in Manhattan and will be the biggest development that has been realized since Rockefeller Center. Manhattan's newest neighborhood, Hudson Yards will accommodate over 13 million square feet of commercial and residential space, development at the Railyards will transform the landscape of Manhattan and dramatically alter the City’s skyline.

    I bid farewell to Mike Bloomberg and I welcome the new mayor Bill de Blasio. I hope he is as successful a mayor as Bloomberg was including his vision for affordable housing.  Lets hope he delivers on his promises and will build or preserve affordable units for the middle class and will continue in the right direction.

    No matter who is mayor or what year it is currently well priced properties will continue to fly off the shelf in bidding wars. Buyers are enthusiastic yet cautious. Even in a low inventory environment, over priced properties will be over looked.
    Good bye 2013. Happy New Year 2014 to all.

    Sep 25, 2013

    Does Landmarking Curtail Affordable Housing Development in Manhattan?

    Study Finds No Affordable Units Created in Landmarked Districts Since 2008;
    Study Finds Decline in Diversity, Higher Incomes in Historic Districts

    A study by REBNY (The Real Estate Board of New York) finds designating large swaths of Manhattan as landmarked districts has stifled the creation of affordable housing in New York City, according to a press release issued by the Real Estate Board of New York. 

    Their analysis found that since 2008, zero units of affordable housing have been constructed in landmarked districts in Manhattan, with just five units built since 2003.  There were 8,070 new affordable housing units built borough-wide from 2003-2012. 
    In addition, of the 53,220 new residential units built in Manhattan during the 10-year period, a mere 1.9% -- 998 units – were in landmarked districts.

    According to the study, census data shows that residents within landmark districts have significantly higher household incomes and are dramatically less diverse than other areas of Manhattan and New York City.

    REBNY singled out density restrictions, landmark compliance costs, and a lengthy public review process as main reasons why housing and particularly affordable housing development is extremely unlikely on landmarked sites. 

    A July 2013 study by REBNY concluded that landmarking in Manhattan is growing at a rapid rate, with nearly 30 percent of properties protected by landmark regulations.   In some neighborhoods, such as the Upper West Side and SoHo/Greenwich Village, the level of protected properties has reached a staggering 70 percent. Given this and REBNY’s most recent study, it is clear that certain areas of Manhattan are closing off opportunities for affordable housing for future generations. 

    In addition to new construction, 114 affordable units were created through renovation – all built before 2008 on City-owned properties, with 85% of these units located within West Harlem’s Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Historic Districts and none south of 87th Street.

    As a proud member of the residential brokerage division of REBNY, I appreciate all their analysis and lobbying efforts on behalf of the real estate industry and NYC economy. The study makes sense because landmarking curtails all new construction development. 

    The whole idea of landmarking and preservation to preserve the historic and architectural integrity of a neighborhood or building. Unfortunately that includes affordable housing new construction developments. I'm pro development but I'm also pro landmarking. Not every neighborhood and building should be designated a landmark without a valid reason but every 19th century townhouse shouldn't be razed for a new glass sliver building. I beleive in moderation.

     As a broker who specializes in affordable housing the term "affordable" and "low income" in Manhattan is subjective. I have sold many HDFC coops in Manhattan. These "affordable" and "low income" coops are for households with maximum incomes of 120% to 165% of the NY metropolitan area as determined annually by HUD. 

    The median income of the NY metro area for 2013 is $85,900 for a household of 4. The maximum income 165% is $141,735 or $99,330 for a 1 person household. Most HDFC coops are in prewar buildings that NYC owned by default and sold them to the existing tenants. it is a successful program that offers affordable housing, home ownership, limited equity and equity. These coops helped gentrify blighted neighborhoods like West Harlem’s Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Historic Districts that the study mentions.

    Most of the new construction affordable housing in Manhattan is in the 80/20 program. Developers that build luxury developments get tax abatement's if 20% of the project is affordable.

    While this is an excellent way of creating affordable housing the 20% is usually rentals and the income requirements are so low $20,00--$32,000 (approx varies building to building) that moderate income New Yorkers such as NYC teachers, policeman, nurses and many other working middle class New Yorkers make too much money for these units. 

    A new  luxury condo going up on Riverside Boulevard by Extell Corp under the 80/20 program created a lot of media attention recently. Local politicians, activists and mayoral candidates all pandering with empty rhetoric about the separate entrances for the 80% wealthy condo owners and the 20% low income subsidized renters having separate entrances to the building. Much ado about nothing.

    Personally I would very very happy to get a $million+ apartment on the Hudson river for $500/month no matter what entrance led to my luxury subsidized apartment. Not one politician or news article suggested the need for "affordable" housing for middle class New Yorkers. 

    Manhattan certainly needs affordable housing. It needs affordable housing for the middle class. 80/20 is a great program but in my opinion it would be much better if it included affordable units for moderate incomes and for middle class New Yorkers.

    Aug 21, 2013

    Manhattan Wireless Subway Service

    36 Subway stations in Manhattan have wireless voice and data communication capability service.  AT&T and T-Mobile USA customers can already use their phones at the 36 stations; Verizon and Sprint are expected to join by the end of the year.

    Have you ever noticed some people are on the phone on the train?  While not great, some riders are able to complete calls and exchange text messages on trains, particularly along the No. 1 train line. I usually wait until the train pulls into the station before I hit send. 

    While the MTA has no plans to wire the entire tunnels riders might be able to find cellphone signals not just on platforms but on moving trains themselves because the stations nearby are wired.

    While the network allows full cell phone and Wi-Fi connectivity, enabling voice and data functions such as phone calls, text messages, emails, music and video streaming and more, all underground, it also enables important services that improve safety and security like E911.

    The list of stations now connected is as follows (* first six were part of the initial build):

    *1 23 Street – 8 Ave. C Subway Line IconE Subway Line Icon
    *2 14 Street – 8 Ave. A Subway Line IconC Subway Line IconE Subway Line Icon
    *3 14 Street – 7 Ave. 1 Subway Line Icon2 Subway Line Icon3 Subway Line Icon
    *4 14 Street – 6 Ave. F Subway Line IconM Subway Line Icon
    *5 14 Street – 8 Ave. L Subway Line Icon
    *6 14 Street – 6 Ave. L Subway Line Icon
    7 96 Street B Subway Line IconC Subway Line Icon
    8 86 Street B Subway Line IconC Subway Line Icon
    9 28 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
    10 18 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
    11 81 Street-Museum of Natural History B Subway Line IconC Subway Line Icon
    12 72 Street B Subway Line IconC Subway Line Icon
    13 79 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
    14 23 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
    15 96 Street 1 Subway Line Icon2 Subway Line Icon3 Subway Line Icon
    16 66 Street-Lincoln Center 1 Subway Line Icon
    17 72 Street 1 Subway Line Icon2 Subway Line Icon3 Subway Line Icon
    18 57 Street F Subway Line Icon
    19 47-50 Streets-Rockefeller Center B Subway Line IconD Subway Line IconF Subway Line IconM Subway Line Icon
    20 57 Street-7 Ave. N Subway Line IconQ Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
    21 28 Street N Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
    22 50 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
    23 50 Street C Subway Line IconE Subway Line Icon
    24 23 Street N Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
    25 49 Street N Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
    26 5 Ave.-53 Street E Subway Line IconM Subway Line Icon
    27 59 Street-Columbus Circle 1 Subway Line Icon
    28 59 St-Columbus Circle A Subway Line IconB Subway Line IconC Subway Line IconD Subway Line Icon
    29 7 Ave. B Subway Line IconD Subway Line IconE Subway Line Icon
    30 Times Square-42 Street 1 Subway Line Icon2 Subway Line Icon3 Subway Line Icon
    31 Times Square-42 Street N Subway Line IconQ Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
    32 Times Square-42 Street 7 Subway Line Icon
    33 Times Square-42 Street A Subway Line IconC Subway Line IconE Subway Line Icon
    34 Times Square-42 Street S Subway Line Icon
    35 5 Ave.-59 Street N Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
    36 86 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
    Will I still be able to use my favorite excuse for not taking a call? 
    Sorry I missed your call I was on the subway ,-)


    This blog site is designed and published as a consumer service by local real estate broker to help Manhattan, New York City buyers, sellers and renters make informed real estate decisions. This site and its feeds are owned and operated by Mitchell J Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York.

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

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