Showing posts with label real estate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label real estate. Show all posts

Apr 24, 2015

The Luxury Collection


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

The Luxury Collection

Feb 20, 2015

NYC Market Values Comparison

Real Estate sales prices in the City have recovered from the lows of the recession and have been on a generally upward trajectory since 2009. What have increased much quicker though is the Market Values the City places on real estate in order to calculate taxes.

Below are tables showing the Market Value increases from the previous market peak (fiscal year 2009 taxes which reflect 2007/2008 market conditions) to the current Market Values from the recently released Fiscal Year 2016 Tentative Assessment Roll. 

Data Source: NYC Department of Finance Research Department

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.

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.

Dec 8, 2013

NYC Employment By Industry

REBNY research reports the employment recovery in NYC and the country since the financial 
crisis in 2008 has been sluggish. Although jobs have increased overall in the city, some industries 
are faring better than others.

The largest gainer in employment over the period from the October bottom of the recession to now was Educational Services with an increase of 22.5%  Important for the office market, Professional and Business Services increased 13.6% from the October low of the recession.  

Also important for the office market, Financial Activities, is only up 3.5% from October 2009. 
Construction employment is still down .8% from October 2009 despite signs of new residential 
and office development around the city.

                        NYC Employment Oct. 2009               NYC Employment Oct. 2013

All Industries 3,688.70 3,999.90
Professional and Business Services 563.3 640
Health Care and Social Services 575.4 627.7
Financial Activities 427.1 442.1
Leisure and Hospitality 314.9 379.4
Retail Trade 296.3 339.1
Education Services 171.6 210.2
Construction 120.1 119.1
Real Estate 108.3 110.3

Change in Employment % Change in Employment
All Industries 311.20 8.4%
Professional and Business Services 76.7 13.6%
Health Care and Social Services 52.3 9.1%
Financial Activities 15 3.5%
Leisure and Hospitality 64.5 20.5%
Retail Trade 42.8 14.4%
Education Services 38.6 22.5%
Construction -1 -0.8%
Real Estate                                           2 1.8%
Source: NYS Department of Labor
Numbers in thousands

REBNY Research Department

Sep 8, 2013

Back to Fall Real Estate Market

Fall Season

Summer is over.The Fall real estate market is underway. There is uncertainty in the middle east, a possible war in Syria an important election will take place for a new NYC mayor that may affect the real estate market and it's fashion Week. 

Real estate inventory is still very low. Interest rates while rising are still very low.  In July Average price per square foot for condos and coops increased significantly over last July. The strength of the market is evident in the rising prices and the increase of contract activity.  Average sale prices rose 55% year-over-year for condominiums and 69% for coops. This can be attributed to a decline in sales under $1M and a tremendous 400% growth in Corcoran sales over $5M this July compared to last July. 

Strong local, national and international demand is currently directed toward a far depleted supply. Prices responded to the strong demand, limited supply, low interest rates (now rising but still low) and continued confidence in New York as a safe and thriving market. The August monthly market snapshot should be out some time this week.

Happy buying and selling.

Aug 10, 2012

Manhattan Monthly Market Snapshot | July 2012


Dec 7, 2011

Manhattan Luxury Market Report

Manhattan Luxury Market Report

Manhattan’s luxury market is defined as the highest priced 10% of all co-op and condo sales. Pricing in the luxury market increased over both Second Quarter 2011 and Third Quarter 2010.

At $4.25 million, luxury median price increased 9% from last quarter and 4% from a year ago. At $1,947, average price per square foot increased 6% from last quarter and 8% from a year ago.

This positive growth was bolstered most notably by a pair of sales at or just over $30 million on Columbus Circle and Central Park South

Market-share by price category has remained relatively unchanged over the past year. Sales under $1 million accounted for 59% market-share in Third Quarter 2011. Sales in the $1 million to $2 million range saw a slight contraction and there was a slight expansion of sales over $5 million compared to a year ago.

As always, I will continue to follow closely sales activity and trends in Manhattan Lofts, and would welcome the oportunity to answer any questions about this report, the market in general or any questions about buying or selling real estate in Manhattan.

Data from Corcoran Report Third Quarter 2011

As always, I will continue to follow closely sales activity and trends in Manhattan, and would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions about this report, the market in general or any questions about buying or selling real estate in Manhattan.

Sep 9, 2011

9/11 - New York's Real Estate Market A Decade Later

9/11 - New York's Real Estate Market A Decade Later

I will always remember that sunny September day 10 years ago, all the innocent lives lost and all the heroes who sacrificed their lives to save others. 

This blog is a market report about the Rebirth of Lower Manhattan and New York's Comeback.
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 ten 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. Despite wide spread fear after 9/11 that New York's economy would never recover, The Real Estate Board of New York's (REBNY) examination of the city's real estate market shows that the city has demonstrated strength and resilience in the ten years following the attacks.

REBNY Study NY Real Estate A Decade after 9/11

Ten years later, New York City’s economy is strong and its real estate market is robust. REBNY has compiled data that chronicles the strides of NYC's real estate market in the last decade. Stimulated by government incentive programs, including grants for businesses and rent stipends for residents near ground zero, New York City has recovered and continues to thrive.

Today, New York City is thriving. Our population is growing and the city is adding new jobs. In re- sponse to the attacks, New York City has been a national leader in implementing more stringent building safety requirements. These include wider emergency exit stairs to make evacuations quicker, the installation of photoluminescent strips to make building evacuations safer and the full sprinklerization of office buildings to better safeguard property and protect lives.

In the spirit of the fellowship and unity that brought New York together in the wake of the September 11 attacks, Community Board 1 invites you to join us for Hand in Hand -- Remembering 9/11 as we stand together to show our resilience, unity and remembrance.

On Saturday, September 10th, 2011 at 8:46am, we will commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks, when thousands of people will grasp hands to form a human chain along the waterfront from the tip of Lower Manhattan heading north.
> Register now.

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


Sep 24, 2010

What is a Room in New York City Apartments?

Legal definitions and requirements that govern the various types of rooms in New York City’s apartments compiled by REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York)

What is a “room”?
(Source: NYC Administrative Code §§ 27-750, -751, -2058)

•    Size requirements: Generally, a room must have minimum dimensions of 8 feet x 8 feet x 8 feet, and must have a minimum floor area of 80 square feet. A room which opens into an adjoining room may have a minimum floor area of seventy square feet and a minimum horizontal dimension of seven feet. Other exceptions apply to bedrooms and dining rooms (see those definitions).

•    Lighting requirements: Every room must have at least one window that opens onto a street, yard, or court on the same lot. The total area of the windows in the room must at least be one-tenth the floor area of the room. Every part of every room in non-fireproof buildings must be within 30 feet of either a court, or a window opening to a street or yard. Dwelling with three rooms or fewer in fireproof buildings must comply with this requirement as well.

•    Usage requirements: The following are rooms: bedrooms, living rooms, studies, recreation
rooms, kitchens. The following are not rooms: closets, halls, stairs, laundry rooms, bathrooms, foyers, dining spaces.

 What is a “bedroom”?
(Source: NYC Administrative Code § 27-2004, -2076, -2058; MDL § 1-4-18)

•    Definition: A bedroom is a living room used for sleeping purposes.

•    Size requirements: Generally, a bedroom must have minimum dimensions of 8 feet x 8 feet x 8 feet. A bedroom must also have a minimum floor space of 80 square feet, and must be six feet wide at its narrowest part. However, if the apartment contains three or more bedrooms, half of the bedrooms may have minimum dimensions of 7 feet x 7 feet x 7 feet.

•    Lighting Requirements: All bedrooms must have at least one window that opens to a street, yard, or court on the same lot.

The window may also open to a balcony that opens on a street, yard, or court. The total area of the windows in the room must at least be one-tenth the floor area of the room. All required windows must be at least twelve square feet in area.

•    Additional Points:  A room may not be counted as a bedroom if it is a: kitchen, foyer, bathroom,
water closet, dining room, dinette, dining bay, hall, corridor, or passageway. A room may not be counted as a bedroom if an occupant must pass through it to reach other parts of the apartment.

What is a “living room”?
(Source: NYC Administrative Code § 27-2074, -2058; MDL §§ 1-4, 3-31)

•    Definition: A living room is any room other than a dining space, kitchenette, bathroom, foyer, or hallway. A living room can be a bedroom, if it meets the criteria set forth above.

•    Size requirements: Every living room shall have minimum dimensions of 8 feet x 8 feet x 8 feet, must have a minimum floor space of 80 square feet, and must be six feet wide at its narrowest part.

•    Lighting requirements: A living room must have at least one window that opens onto a street, yard, or court on the same lot.

All windows in living rooms must comply with the size requirements for windows in bedrooms: The total area must be at least one-tenth of the floor area of the room. All required windows must be at least twelve square feet.

•    Usage requirements: If a living room is subdivided, each subdivision must comply with all of the above requirements.

What is a “dining space”?
(Source: NYC Administrative Code § 27-2004, -2058; MDL §3-31)

•    Definition: A dining space is an area used for eating that is located off a living room, foyer, or kitchen. A dining space is not a room.

•    Size requirements: A dining space has 55 square feet or less of floor space.

•    Lighting requirements: Dining spaces must comply with the lighting requirements for living rooms. Additionally, windows in dining spaces must have an area at least one-eighth the floor space of the dining space.

What are “kitchens” and “kitchenettes”?
(Source: NYC Administrative Code §§ 27-758, -2004, -2071; MDL §3-33)

•    Definition: Any space used for cooking is either a kitchen or a kitchenette. •    Size requirements: A kitchen is a type of living room and has 80 square feet or more
of floor area. A kitchenette has less than 80 square feet of floor area.

•    Lighting requirements: The lighting requirements for “living rooms” apply to kitchens and kitchenettes.

•    Ventilation requirements: Windows in kitchenettes must have a total area of at least three square feet and be at least ten percent of the kitchenette’s floor area. However, if the kitchenette does not have a window, it may have either a) mechanical ventilation or b) a skylight if the kitchenette is on the top floor.

What is a “foyer”?
(Source: NYC Administrative Code § 27-2004; MDL §3-31)

•    Definition: A foyer is an entry space within a dwelling unit that leads to the public hall. A foyer is not a room.

•    Size requirements: An entry space is a foyer when the floor area does not exceed either a) ten percent of the total floor space of the dwelling unit; or b) twenty percent of the floor area if every living room is larger than 96 square feet.

If the entry space has a floor area of at least 80 square feet, it may be a living room.

What are “basements” and “cellars,” and when may they be occupied as apartments?
(Source: NYC Administrative Code §§ 27-2004, -2082, -2083, -2086-87)

•    Definition: A basement is an enclosed space partly below curb level, but having more than one-half its height above curb level. A cellar is an enclosed space having more than one-half its height below curb level.

•    Occupancy requirements: Units in basements and cellars of multi-family dwellings have complicated requirements regarding their dimensions, lighting, and ventilation, and whether they may be occupied. In addition, no room in the cellar of a one- or two-family dwelling shall be rented and no member of the family or families occupying the dwelling shall use such room for sleeping.

New York City Building Terminology

Jan 20, 2009

Congratulations President Barak Obama

Today the nation's 44th President, Barak Obama was sworn in. He has the support of Congress with legislation that will stimulate the economy and help the housing market.

Part of the economic stimulus bill is aimed at stimulating home buying and preventing foreclosures. The bill includes tax breaks for first-time home buyers, and a return to the higher loan limits in place for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is intended to create 3 million to 4 million jobs. The bill would provide $275 billion in tax cuts and $550 billion in spending in areas such as increased unemployment benefits for workers and investments in science and technology.

There are several real estate-related provisions, including returning FHA loan limit ceilings in high-cost areas to the higher, temporary limits put in place during 2008. The bill allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to once again purchase and guarantee loans of up to $729,750 in high-cost areas such as Manhattan.

In the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, the previous $417,000 conforming loan limit was raised to $729,750 until December 31 2008. As of January 1 2009 the limit was lowered in New York (high-cost area) to $625,000.

Unfortunately many buyers in Manhattan were not able to take advantage of the $729,750 temporary limit. It began in the spring of 2008 and coops were not included. It wasn't until the summer of 2008 that coop buyers were able to get the loans. A coop transaction usually takes 45 - 90 days from the time a contract is signed.

The $625,500 limit now in place in New York is better than the previous $417,000 conforming loan, but the real estate industry including the National Association of Realtors are pushing for a return to the higher limits. Borrowers who require "jumbo" mortgages larger than those eligible for purchase or guarantee by Fannie, Freddie and FHA pay higher rates.

Interest rates on jumbo loans are at least 2 percent or more higher than conventional conforming loans. The 2008 temporary limit of $729,750 was more realistic for Manhattan home buyers since the average price of an apartment in Manhattan is over a million dollars.

The past 2 Sundays here in Manhattan there has be a lot of activity at Open Houses. Last week I was with a buyer looking for an apartment in the $500,000 range. An open house we attended for a 500 square foot studio was packed with buyers.

Buyers with good jobs and decent incomes seem to be taking advantage of the current low interest rates and price decreases. Many buyers were out looking this past Sunday as well. At some open houses there were lines of boots outside the door at some buyers were waiting in the lobby to be brought up. Many of the properties had price drops and are still negotiable.

New Yorkers are excited about the Inauguration today, people are feeling optimistic about our President Obama and his vision for the future.

Congratulations to President Obama. You are inheriting huge problems but the nation is behind you as you make history today.

"What works, we will keep, what does not, we will shed" President Barak Obama

Feb 1, 2008

Foreign investors favor NYC real estate

CNNMoney (01/28/08) reported that according to a new Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate report, foreign investors named New York as the top city for commercial real estate investment--an improvement from second place a year earlier.

Washington, D.C., and London tied for second in the latest poll, with Paris and Shanghai placing fourth and fifth, respectively. This marks the first time that U.S. cities have nabbed the No. 1 and No. 2 spots since the category was added to the yearly survey.

Poll results also show that an overwhelming majority of foreign investors believe the United States offers the most stable and secure property investments in the world despite the recent credit crunch and a slumping economy.

Finally, respondents say the U.S. market currently offers the best opportunity for capital appreciation, followed by China, India, Russia and Mexico.

Click here to read the entire CNNMoney article.

Sep 8, 2007

Manhattan Coop Financing Allowed

In Today's NY Post an article titled The 25 Percent Solution By Jane Reilly Mount reports about a coop in the meat packing district. The author is a shareholder, the board raised the required down payment from 15% to 25%.

The author reports that real estate agents living in the building are opposed to the 25% and would prefer 20%. The pros and cons discussed were:
  • Pro: higher-percent down payment from new buyers protects current residents now and in the future.
  • Con: hurts those residents looking to sell now by narrowing the pool of potential buyers.

An increase in the amount required for a down payment does not bring any additional revenue to the coop. The down payment goes to the seller. The coop and shareholders benefit by having more qualified buyers that most likely can afford financial emergencies.

Every coop has different financial needs. Some coops would rather have a buyer with a large mortgage and liquid assets than an ALL CASH buyer that is using up all their assets to buy the apartment.

IMHO the financial requirements for purchasing in most Manhattan coops has insulated the Manhattan residential real estate market from the current mortgage/housing/foreclosure crisis taking place throughout the rest of the country.

In many parts of the country home ownership "The American Dream" has become an entitlement. Buyers didn't need to save for a downpayment with 100% financing and many didn't even need incomes to purchase with stated income loans.

75% of home ownership in Manhattan is in coops. Buyers looking for coops have to be financially responsible and extremly qualified. The required down payment automatically gives coop shareholders equity and an asset the day they close. Manhattan coop home owners have some "skin-in-the game."

A study conducted by Miller Samuel and NYU in 2003 studied the amenities and attributes including financial requirements of NYC apartments.

The study used the 60 to 79 percent financing-allowed category -- the most common -- as the reference point. The study concluded the higher the barriers the higher the coop sale price.

Co-ops that allow 80 to 99 percent financing had a 2.71 percent discount from the reference point. Co-ops allowing 40 to 59 percent financing saw a 14.55 percent premium. Those that allow 10 to 39 percent financing had a 22.19 percent premium. All-cash co-ops, those that don't allow any financing, had a 47.94 percent premium.

Aug 24, 2007

Manhattan Real Estate Market and Mortgage Update

It has been a busy year and summer. The busiest August I can remember. Manhattan has been very fortunate this year compared to the rest of the country. Our market continues to be very strong.

The fall out from the sub prime mortgage meltdown during the last several weeks is now affecting the mortgage, credit and financial services industries. The stock market has been volatile the feds added liquidity to the markets and lowered the prime rate.

It remains to be seen what affect this will have on the real estate market in Manhattan. We still have low inventory. Most of the inventory is in new construction and there seems to be plenty of buyers interested in new development condos.

However, borrowing will become harder for many buyers as lenders are tightening their criteria for loans. The mortgage industry will have layoffs, consolidation, mergers, take-overs and bankruptcies.

It is now more important than ever for buyers to be pre-approved and to have a commitment from a lender before they start apartment hunting. The first step in the home buying process involves a good lender who will determine how much the buyer is qualified to purchase.

My preferred lender is Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking. For a free consultation, pre-approval and commitment contact Glen Pedersen.

All CASH and large down payments will become more important terms for sellers. A couple of weeks ago when I told a sales agent for a new development that my buyer is ALL CASH the response was "they're all cash to us" I think that attitude will change on the part of sponsors selling pre-construction.

Eighteen months from now anything can happen. Someone qualified today might not qualify eighteen months from now. Wells Fargo has a loan product specifically for new construction that will lock in a rate for a year.

When I bought in a new development on the Upper West Side back in 1989 I had to be approved by citi bank the developers lender that financed the construction. I was able to get financing from any lender as long as I was approved by citi and if I couldn't get financing from another lender I had to go through with the citi loan. I shopped around and went with the Bowery Savings they later became Home Savings of America and then it ended up with Washington Mutual.

I think we will be seeing more of this type of requirement again from sponsors and perhaps listing agents. When I list a property I have Wells Fargo pre-appove the property and provide a financial analysis for potential buyers.

If major mortgage brokers are in trouble and will not be able to fund or close on loans, I will require buyers of my listings to at least be pre-approved by Wells just in case.

Aug 20, 2007

Real Estate "Queen" Leona Helmsley Dies


Leona Helmsley, The New York hotel and real estate "Queen" died of heart failure today at age 87. Leona was a successful residential real estate agent before her marriage to Harry Helmsley the NY real estate magnate.

Leona helped her husband run a $5 billion empire that included managing the Empire State Building.

Helmsley became known as the "queen of mean" when a former housekeeper testified that she heard Helmsley say: "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes," during testimony at a trial where they were being charged with tax-evasion.

In 1980 Leona became president of Helmsley Hotels, a subsidiary which including the Park Lane, St. Moritz and Palace in New York and the Harley Hotels.

While I've never had any dealings with Leona in real estate, I did in a previous life in advertising. During most of the 80's Leona Helmsley was featured smiling in glamorous magazine ads dressed in luxurious gowns and tiara, advertising the Helmsley Palace as the only hotel in the world "where the Queen stands guard."

During the 1980's I was the Advertising Director for the Hollywood Reporter. I was invited to a lunch launching the new Park Lane Hotel. At the time I had many hotels and upscale advertisers but I wasn't getting business from the Helmsley hotels.

During the lunch I went up to Leona, introduced myself and gave her a copy of Our Anniversary issue, while pointing out to her an ad from Harry Winston Jewelers and the Parker Meridien hotel on the covers. She was not mean but quite charming to me. She called over Harry and said "Harry look we should be in here".

The next day some one from her office called, gave me the name of someone at their ad agency and they booked the ad campaign.

Jun 26, 2007

In the ZONE: "congestion pricing"

I just saw a piece on Fox 5 with Arnold Diaz uncovering a parking scam on the Upper West Side at The Landmark Beacon Theatre on Broadway. My office is on Columbus Avenue between 75th and 76th Street two blocks away.

There was a Stealy Dan concert a couple of weeks ago. Parking is tight so employees of the Avis rent a car at the corner were selling parking spaces in the street for $25. The reporter went undercover and caught them on tape moving the Avis cars from the spots on the street and charging concert goers for the spots.

It is illegal to sell street parking, scalping tickets at concerts is illegal too. I'm not condoning it but the concert goers didn't seem to be complaining about the Valet Parking.

Traffic and parking in Manhattan is a major issue. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has a plan to charge motorists to drive below 86th Street in Manhattan.

If approved, many real estate brokers are already saying it may do more than simply reduce traffic, noise and pollution in the Manhattan business districts. They are saying that it could add an extra sense of exclusivity to what is already some of the most expensive residential real estate in the country.

Mayor Bloomberg’s plan for what he calls “congestion pricing” would impose fees of up to $8 a day for cars and $21 a day for trucks driving below 86th Street between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays

Lucky for me I live between 86th and 87th St. right on The Golden Line. According to the NY Times "Crossing the Gold Line" By JOSH BARBANEL who called it the golden boundaries that
lassoed in hundreds of residential buildings where some of the most affluent New Yorkers live, including Mr. Bloomberg on East 79th Street.

There is a similar plan in London. I'm not sure what affect charging a toll will have but the right zip codes and phone prefixes have become status symbols so I suppose the golden traffic zone might become one too. It is also possible that the neighborhoods north of 86th will be in demand for people who want to keep cars without paying "congestion pricing".

Jun 20, 2007

Hot Town, Summer in the City: Residential Market Report

Summer is here and the Manhattan Residential market has not cooled down. Sales activity remains strong, especially among the priciest properties reports The Real Deal.

While new condos hit the market, co-ops are in short supply. Listing inventory is up, but less than last year and the upper end of the market is thriving.

On May 15th I posted the REBNY Residential city wide sales report that reported a 23% increase in apartment sale prices in NYC for the 1st quarter of 07 compared to 06. According to the REBNY report the average first quarter sale price rose to $1,107,000.

Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel appraisal firm says prices rose 5.4% to $1,290,000. There is high level activity across the market and upper-end pricey properties areharder to find.

I've been very busy the last several months. Actually it's been really busy since Thanksgiving. The market has been busy there are bidding wars. Some apartments in bidding wars are selling for 20% above ask.

I really thought after Memorial Day it would be slow and I could get to the beach this summer. I thought wrong. I guess there is always 4th of July.

Feb 7, 2007

Manhattan Neighborhood: Hells Kitchen


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

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

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

The Link a new downtown style building on 52nd and 8th Avenue

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

The Residences at Worldwide Plaza on 50th Streets between 8th and 9th Avenue has been a popular condo with studio apartments starting in the high $400,000 range.

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

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Jan 20, 2007

Go Green


In spite of the recent cold weather, has this record-making, warm winter made you wonder?

If you're thinking about easy ways to be "green", here are some simple ideas that might actually save you money. suggests the following:
  1. Recycle according to your building's guidelines.
  2. Unplug "ghost appliances such as VCR or a coffee maker when you're not using them. Believe it or not, left plugged, these appliances take up energy. You'll actually save on your electric bill. And when buying appliances, look for the "Energy Star" label.
  3. Most notably, Con Ed offers green power to find out more, go to: They are offering a $25 rebate to sign up with this eco-friendly alternative.
  4. And finally, take mass transit whenever possible.

For the ultra "green" enthusiastic, has a downloadable map with information about organic dining, where to buy recycled or organic items such as linens and transportation choices around New York. For instance, it mentions OZOcar which calls itself NYC's 1st eco-friendly car service with hybrid cars. (877-OZO-5966) or ...when mass transit isn't possible.

For home renovations, go to, where you can purchase green building materials such as paint, countertops, flooring, cleaning supplies, etc. The has useful, practical everyday living information.

And finally if you're ready to live in a new "green" luxury condo recently built or currently under construction from Harlem to Battery Park City - go to my new developments page on my website fill out the buyer form and write "green" in the comment section. I will send you email listings of "green" condos that match your buying criteria.


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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