Apr 8, 2017

Harlem Townhouses on the Market Now


There are 43 townhouses on the market now in Harlem

  • Average price: $2,883,372
  • Median price: $2,795,000
  • Average price per square foot: $809
  • Average days on market: 119

57 townhouses sold in the last 12 months in Harlem

  • Average price: $2,285,000
  • Median price: $2,350,000
  • Average price per square foot $715
  • Average days on market 110

The Harlem Townhouse Market is very desirable as single family homes, multi-family and mixed use income producing buildings. 

Apr 7, 2017

Upper West Side Townhouses on the Market

There are 45 townhouses on the market now on the Upper West Side of Manhattan

  • Average price: $10,888,533
  • Median price; $9,800,000
  • Average price per Sq Ft: $1,763

Upper West Side, Manhattan Townhouse Market today is very desirable as single family homes and multi-family income producing rental buildings for investors. 

Apr 4, 2017

Manhattan Market Report | First Quarter 2017

I am delighted to share with you our Q1 Manhattan Report.  Inside you will find a detailed analysis of residential real estate sales that closed in Manhattan in Q1 2017 (January 1st -  March 31st).

Key Findings of the First Quarter Report:

  • A shift in the market. Buyers – who had shown fatigue with high prices in 2016 – came back into the market, while sellers who had adjusted to market conditions with price reductions found themselves making deals.
  • Prices hold their position. Overall, average and median prices were essentially unchanged from a year ago. The median price in Manhattan is $1.13 million and the median price per square foot is $1,360 (each down 1% vs Q1 2016).
  • Buyer activity returns. The First Quarter experienced the first year-over-year increase in signed contracts in six quarters. Contracts rose 3% versus a year ago and 5% over the prior quarter.
  • More inventory, but still mildly under-supplied. All bedroom types except studios had year-over-year increases in inventory; on the whole, there were 10% more properties on the market than in Q1 2016. This was the sixth consecutive quarter in which the number of properties available for sale was up.

 Manhattan Market Report -1Q 2017

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

Mar 22, 2017

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | February 2017

Market Wide Summary 

Contract activity increased market wide this past February, up by 7% compared to last year. The condo market saw notable year-over-year increases in all pricing metrics as the co-op market saw small decreases across the same metrics. Both markets, however, were marked by increases in the amount of time listings spent on the market, fueled by market wide inventory growth. Negotiability favoring the buyer was more pronounced in both markets, a trend that has persisted since early 2016 due to increasing buyer choice.

Condominium Market Snapshot 

While price metrics were promising this past February, condos spent significantly more time on the market than last year. Contract activity was down slightly compared to last year, though increased 11% from last month. Average price showed a significant increase this month, driven by a crop of sales at the top of market. In line with this rise in average price, the condo market saw annual gains in both median price and average price per square foot, by 15% and 10%, respectively.

One and three plus bedrooms each experienced 17% growth in average price per square foot as the metric for two bedrooms held steady. Average price per square foot for studios dropped 14% year-over-year as there were no sales over $2,000 psf. Continuing last month’s trend, year-over-year average days on market increased significantly - by 54%.

The past year has been marked by year-over-year inventory increases, and February was no different; inventory grew 6% versus last year. Discounts were pervasive, as difference from last ask to sale was -3.5% compared to -2.6% last year.

Cooperative Market Snapshot

 Co-op sales showed an uptick this past month, rising 17% from last February and a significant 35% from last month. Average price held steady, though average price per square foot dropped 5%. The greatest decrease this month was seen in the market for three bedrooms, while the greatest increase was in the studio market. Median price also dipped year-over-year, by 3%.

As in the condo market, average days on market for co-ops increased as inventory grew, both metrics were up by 5%. There was less negotiability this month than in January, but more negotiability versus last year as buyers continue to have more options in the co-op market.

Manhattan Total Listings

Typical of seasonality, February’s listings rose after a dip in inventory in the early months of winter. Total inventory was up 6% year-over-year, and condos continued to make up over half of all listings. There were 399 townhouses on the market this month, an annual increase of 6%. As seen in the condo and co-op markets, increasing inventory can have an impact on negotiability and days on market, as buyer have more options and feel less pressure to move quickly.

Ask vs. Sale Price Comparison 

Compared to last February, almost all price categories saw a decrease in sales above ask and an increase in sales below ask. The one notable exception is the market for listings under $1MM. Due to scarcity, listings in this market were sold above ask more frequently than in any other price category. At the other end of the spectrum, there were no listings sold above ask in the $5MM+ category, and almost 90% of transactions sold below ask. Negotiability in each price category is highly impacted by each price category’s amount of inventory relative to sales.

Mar 18, 2017

Brooklyn Market Report | February 2017

Brooklyn Market Wide Summary 

February saw a double-digit increase in contract activity versus last year, with 26% more sales. Listed inventory increased mostly, up just 3% versus last February.

Median and average sale price experienced significant annual gains, with double-digit growth of 22% and 29%, respectively, marking the largest increase in pricing since March 2015.

All bedroom types except for studios experienced a 6% rise in pricing over the last year, fueling overall price per square up 10% year-over-year to $880 per square foot.

The trend of price discounts continued into February, with an average discount of 2.4% off asking price, and nearly half of sales below asking price.

Brooklyn Apartment Listings 

Total listed inventory in February rose 3% compared to last year, and was up 2% month-over-month. The annual inventory gain was solely due to condos, as co-op inventory actually declined 6%. Condo inventory was up 11% year-over-year.

Mar 11, 2017

NYC Buyers and Sellers Beware!

I started this blog in 2006 and have been publishing it for more than 10 years. While the industry has undergone changes the "more it changes the more it stays the same" only different names and players.

In an early blog post back in July of 2006, (July 2006- creating-my-blog.htmlI told readers my blog's mission. I wanted to create a transparent blog about buying and selling Real Estate in Manhattan because the New York City housing market is so unique. Buying and selling a home in NYC is very different and more complex than any place else in the country. Generic real estate information was proliferating online that was not relevant to NYC housing.

Cooperative apartment ownership is the primary form of home ownership in New York City.
Co-op ownership requires submitting a comprehensive Board application (called a Board Package), being interviewed by the Board, and being approved. Helping a buyer pass a coop board is an important skill needed by the agent. A skill developed from training, experience and knowledge of a particular building.

At the time I started this blog in 2006 there was a cottage industry emerging of companies called "lead generatorsthird party lead generator sites and traffic aggregators from out of state. Some had actual broker's licenses and received referral fees but many were masquerading as Manhattan real estate brokers on the Internet through paid search and keywords sending consumers to their anonymous landing pages that captured their information that they forwarded to agents that paid for the leads. 

Consumers eventually caught on to the "Lead Capture" scheme and most decided they preferred to search listings anonymously without having to give up their personal contact information knowing they would be solicited by all those that paid to capture their information. 

After the lead generators, came the portals such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com and the independent NYC website StreetEasy that provided transparent NYC property listings.

Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com were not able to penetrate the complex NYC real estate market as they so easily did in markets in the rest of the country. So Zillow paid $50 million for StreetEasy after it bought Trulia in order to break into the unique NYC real estate market, the largest and peculiarly complex often puzzling to outsiders.

Zillow Group, a Seattle Washington based publicly traded company made many changes to the transparent NYC StreetEasy particularly aggressive monetization. As a media company rather than a licensed broker involved in a real estate transaction their revenue is generated by advertising. 

They don't sell "leads" they sell "impressions" Their business model is their business and should not concern you the consumer unless you are seeking transparency rather than confusion

Consumers beware! You are their commodity. Broker's listings are their content. They want your information so they can give your contact information to brokers and agents that bought zip codes that capture buyers looking for listings in a given zip code. 

Beware when searching for a listing. The so-called "agent expert" "for information" may not be an expert at all. They purchased the right to your contact information buy purchasing "impressions" for a particular zip code.

New media companies blur the distinction between advertising and editorial content. Newspapers must run a disclaimer "Advertising" when the distinction is blurred and may confuse. It's called an advertorial. The editorial content on these websites is not provided by journalists such as the articles written in the New York Times real estate section but rather by the brokers who are hired by sellers to exclusively list and market their property. The broker's listings have been "monetized" by these "aggregator" websites. The listing agent information is either eliminated or very difficult to find so they can send traffic for that listing to their paid "premier agent" instead. 

If you are a buyer looking for a property in a particular zip code you may be sent to either the agent who purchased that zip code "impression" or someone at the website. You may get an agent in Ohio even though you're looking for a coop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The agent in Ohio that purchased a NYC zip code will try to sell or receive a referral fee for your contact info to another more local agent. The local agent may or may not have ever sold anything on the Upper West Side. 

The property you're interested in may already have an accepted offer, it may be gone by the time all the third party payees get back to you. Don't worry they will try to sell you something else since they have no particular knowledge, interest or relation with the seller of the property you may be interested in. 

"Too many cooks spoil the broth"

Before you click for information make sure you know who you want to contact. If you want to go directly to the source contact Listing Agent or Seller's Agent or just visit the scheduled open house. Unless the building prohibits open houses Sunday open houses are still the best way to go in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

If you want buyer representation you should find a good buyer's agent to represent you. In NY state you are entitled to your own representation. The NY state disclosure form will help you make informed choices about your relationship with the real estate broker and it's agents. 

You should do some research in order to find and work with a good buyer's agent. An experienced knowledgeable agent with specific neighborhood and building experience. There are many good agents in NYC that are REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) members that can represent you that don't advertise or purchase "impressions" on other broker's listings in order to find buyers. *

"The more things change...the more they stay the same. Just different players.
 Here is an article I wrote back in 2006 about rental listings on Craigslist.

 Craiglist - No broker fee and bait and switch Craig Newmark the founder of Craigslist left a comment: 

Hey, please help me out and quote me right.
 I've pointed out that I've been working on this for a few years, and have handled thousands of cases.
 I've kicked off many unethical agents, have handled a few such cases already.
Since all real estate is local, I started this blog to give a local perspective of the Manhattan real estate market. If you would like to discuss this post, the market in general or anything about New York City real estate please reach out to meI'm always happy to talk to people at any stage of the Real Estate process and can discuss the opportunities in each neighborhood, price point, room count and type of ownership.

6. Advertisements referencing property not listed with broker. Any advertisement that references or includes information about a property that is not listed with the advertising broker or was not sold by the advertising broker shall prominently display the following disclaimer: “This advertisement does not suggest that the broker has a listing or has done a transaction in this property or properties.” Such advertisement: (i) shall not, absent consent provided pursuant to subdivision (b)(2)(b) of this section, suggest, directly or indirectly that the advertising broker was involved in the transaction and (ii) shall not refer to property currently listed with another broker. 

Legal Disclaimer: Mitchell Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York is author of this article. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policy of The Corcoran Group

Mar 3, 2017

2016 Manhattan Townhouse Report


Manhattan Townhouse Report | 2016

With fewer than 300 sales in any calendar year, townhouses represent one of the most fascinating niche segments of Manhattan’s residential real estate market. Corcoran’s 2016 Townhouse Report surveys sales of single-family and multi-residence townhouses throughout the borough.

Among its findings:

·         Fewer sales. The number of townhouses sold fell by 26% versus 2015.
·         Lower prices. After last year’s record-breaking levels, a slower pace at the high end caused prices to cool by 10% in price per square foot.
·         Townhouses go for $1M minimum. For the first time, no Manhattan townhouse sold for less than $1 million unless it was a gut renovation.
·         Fewer trophy sales. No townhouses sold over the $30 million mark in 2016.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the report or if you're considering buying or selling a townhouse. I welcome the opportunity to be of assistance to you.

2016 Manhattan Townhouse Report

Mar 2, 2017

Spring Home Enhancement Guide For Sellers


How to Get The Highest Price!

The First Impression

Did you know that within 15 seconds a buyer has already developed an opinion of your property? This is why establishing the right first impression is critical to achieving a successful sale. Following is a list of elements which create the overall first impression, including suggestions on how to make sure the buyer reacts favorably.

A fresh coat of paint can be one of the best investments you can make to increase the value of your apartment. If you do not want to spend the money to paint the entire apartment, consider just the entry at least.


Attractive windows can help increase appeal.

* Replace any cracked or broken glass.
* Make sure the windows are sparkling clean.
* Apply touch-up paint where needed.


The doorway is a focal point of your home.

* Repaint the door.
* Apply new door hardware.
* Install a brass kick plate.
* Replace apartment numbers.
* Install a new front light fixture.

Appeal to the Senses

There are many ways to create a more exciting and saleable interior, at surprisingly little cost.


People react more favorably to property shown under bright light than dark.

* Keep windows clean.
* Use adequate wattage in light bulbs.
* Consider replacing older fluorescent lamps, which darken with use.
* Use mirrors to magnify the feeling of light and space.
* Use track lights to create a high-tech look.
* Use light wall colors.
* Open drapes and blinds and turn on lights prior to showings.


Keep colors neutral and light.

* Shades of white, off-white and very light pastels are the safest choices for the interior.
* Avoid highly patterned wallpaper whenever possible.
* Try to limit bright colors to accents like fresh flowers, towels, area rugs and shower curtains.


The sounds of peace and quiet are some of the best sounds to have when your home is being shown to a prospective buyer. But there are other sound considerations you should also be aware of.

* Avoid barking dogs and noisy children, if possible.
* Also avoid sounds of work like vacuums, dishwashers and lawn mowers.
* Make sure there are no sounds of mechanical problems like banging pipes or faulty appliances.
* Light classical or instrumental music can be effective in creating a pleasing atmosphere.


Smell has more impact than you might expect. It can work for or against you.

* The smell of newness is positive. This scent can be achieved by applying a fresh coat of polyurethane to natural wood or latex paint to walls.
* The smell of cleanliness is important to the selling environment of your house. Beyond actually cleaning, lemon oil or lemon wax can help create a lasting scent of freshness. Fresh flowers can also be effective.
* For a real heart-warming touch, place a dish of vanilla in a warm oven to create the aroma of fresh-baked cookies or bread. Cinnamon stick in microwave for 30 seconds works great too.
* Sweeten the refrigerator with a box of baking soda.
* Smells to avoid include strong pet odors, tobacco, and cooking oil or gas.

Packaging the Interior


The entry is where the first impression of the interior is created. Here you have the opportunity to make a big statement in a small area.

* Repaint the entry using light, neutral colors.
* Move a prized antique or attractive furnishing to the entry, where it will have maximum impact.
* Install simple chair rail molding on the wall.
* Apply a fresh coat of polyurethane to a wood floor.
* Tile or linoleum flooring should shine.
* Replace plastic switch plate covers with brass or porcelain.
* A new hall light fixture can make a great impression.
* Make sure the room is well lit.


The kitchen is an important room in the apartment. Here is a list of ideas to increase the appeal of your kitchen without spending a great deal of money.

* Make sure the room is virtually spotless and smells fresh. Try putting a quarter section of a lemon in the disposal and grinding it up.
* Consider replacing outdated light fixtures with new track lighting.
* If your appliances are dated by colors like harvest gold or avocado, consider having them professionally refinished in a new color like almond or plain white. This will make appliances look new at a fraction of the cost of actually replacing them.
* Spruce up kitchen cabinets by installing new knobs or hardware.
* If your cabinets look especially old, you can have a professional replace the doors or door fronts.
* Organize your kitchen cabinets to demonstrate how much room you have. Cabinet organizers are a good investment for this.
* Remove small kitchen appliances and gadgets from countertops to create an uncluttered look.
* Chipped or damaged countertops should be repaired or replaced.
* If your floor is badly worn, replace it with neutral no-wax flooring or tile.
* A freshly painted kitchen may be well worth the investment.


The bathroom has become an important selling feature in today's home. It is a room that has moved from the utilitarian to the exciting. There are many ways you can improve deficiencies and create interest through various levels of enhancement.

* Place a vase of fresh flowers on the vanity.
* Install a wall telephone for a high-tech look.
* Replace an old toilet seat.
* Replace an old light fixture with a new style light strip or make-up light.
* Refinish an old porcelain tub using a porcelain finishing service.
* Place all personal care articles out of sight.
* Freshen the air with lemon scented products.
* Replace an old towel rack with one of brass or oak.
* Add color and richness with new towels and shower curtain.

Living Room

The living room is a major selling point of an apartment. Buyers look for elegant and impressive living rooms to make the right statements to their friends and relatives.

* Use mirrors whenever possible to enhance the perception of size.
* A fireplace is one feature that everyone can appreciate - show it off to its best advantage. Sweep it clean and make sure the screen is in good condition
* Use inexpensive free-standing "can" lights to create dramatic visual effects behind large plants or pieces of furniture.
* Use chair rail or cornice molding to create a feeling of elegance.
* Professionally clean wall-to-wall carpet or large area rugs.
* Sand and refinish stained hardwood floors.
* Clean windows and light fixtures.
* Make sure all cosmetic plaster cracks are repaired. (This applies to every room in the house.)
* Use lemon oil on hardwood furniture to create the right look and aroma.
* Liberal use of fresh flowers and plants will enhance the environment.


The bedrooms can do as much to sell your house as they can to turn off a buyer.

* Make sure the bedrooms are absolutely spotless.
* Rugs should be cleaned, windows washed and fresh smells from flowers or lemon oil should be in the air.
* Organize closets to increase their perceived size.
* Rubberized wire closet organizers do a great job of helping fully utilize space.
* Mirrored closet doors can add dramatically to the feeling of size in any bedroom.
* Bedrooms should be well lit. You may want to add track lights in the master bedroom.
* A ceiling fan can be an attractive and practical accent to any bedroom.

By showing attention to detail and understanding the buyer's needs to visualize your home against a neutral backdrop, you can dramatically increase the salability of your property.

Listing your home
Selling your home

Feb 23, 2017

Morningside Heights & Cathedral of Saint John the Divine Designated Historic Landmark

Morningside Heights  and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine  has been designated a Historic District by The Landmarks Preservation Commission  on Tuesday. The Morningside Heights Historic District Committee has been fighting for the past 20 years to create this district.

Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

The historic district consists of approximately 115 buildings in an area stretching from West 109th Street to West 119th Street, Riverside Drive to Amsterdam Avenue. 
West 116th Street 
From the top of a 135-foot bluff, Morningside Heights overlooks the Hudson River on one side and Harlem on the other. It is about 15 minutes from midtown Manhattan by subway.
The area that is now Morningside park was described as "inconvenient for use" by a city surveyor in 1867, meaning difficult to build property on, so it was made into a park, which was called "Morning-side park" because its east facing slope catches the morning sun.
Throughout most of the 19th century, Morningside Heights remained largely undeveloped except for scattered estates and clusters of mid-century frame houses clustered around West 110th Street (later renamed Cathedral Parkway) and modern-day Broadway.
That development history resulted in a cohesive residential district that is comprised primarily of apartment and flats buildings, along with a smaller number of rowhouses that represent the district’s earliest development.

Riverside Drive - Morningside Heights

Like much of the Upper West Side, the earliest residential development in the proposed district includes private town houses such as 625-627 West 113th Street (1897-98, C. P. H. Gilbert) and speculative rows such as 604-616 West 114th Street (1896, Frank A. Lang) that were built in the 1890s.
A cross between the Upper West Side and Harlem, Morningside Heights boasts some of the city’s most impressive architecture: Turn-of-the-century apartment buildings (many with marble lobbies grand enough to house a presidential reception) and row houses dominate. 
The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine a historic landmark. The awesome 125 year old building is one of the most famous church buildings in the world.
Within the boundaries of the district, 64% of the buildings were built between 1900 and 1910. Wide streets such as Riverside Drive, Cathedral Parkway, West 116th Street and Claremont Avenue are lined with impressive apartment buildings while the narrower streets have smaller apartment and flats buildings, row houses and club buildings. Many of the district’s apartment buildings were designed by some of New York City’s prominent apartment house architects.

Morningside Heights 

Feb 21, 2017

Manhattan 2016 Year End Review

Manhattan 2016 Year End Review


Manhattan residential real estate saw a mixed market in 2016. While closings were down 11% year-over-year, average price per square foot, average price, and median price all reached record highs for the second year in a row.

Average price per square foot in 2016 was up 12% year-over-year to $1,841, average price increased 12% to $2.045M, and median price increased 11% to $1.100M. Overall inventory continued to rise versus 2015, up by 16%.


Sales in 2016 were down 11% from 2015, and at 13,605 closings, fell to their lowest level since 2011. Record high prices, the undersupply of lower-priced inventory and the volatility of an election year contributed to this decline.


Each residence type saw increases in inventory during 2016. Fourth Quarter 2016 co-op inventory was up 11% from Fourth Quarter 2015, but the 2015 figure was a record low. Listed condo inventory increased for the third consecutive quarter, up 22% year-over-year, the most of any Fourth Quarter since 2011. With over 4,200 units in new developments projected to launch in 2017, condo inventory is likely to continue to climb in the foreseeable future, but will still be well below the peak in 2009.


Market Wide median price, shown below, increased by 11% year-over-year. Average price per square foot rose 12% year-over-year to reach $1,841, a record high. Median prices have now increased every year for the past five years.

Statistics by Type

Resale co-op sales in 2016 were down by 15% from 2015, while resale condo sales were down 10%. New development closings were level with last year. The rise in new development pricing was due to closings in buildings at the top of the market, including 432 Park and The Greenwich Lane. Prices for each residence type rose year-over-year. Resale co-ops median price increased by 5%, resale condo median price by 2% and new development median price continued to reach record highs, rising 52% to $2.75M.


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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