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Manhattan Market Report:  4th Quarter 2015

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Manhattan Market Report: 4th Quarter 2015

Overview
The Manhattan marketplace continues to push higher, reaching new record prices in Q4. From this time last year, the average sales price of Manhattan property rose over 16% to $1,979,690, while the median price per square foot rose 9.58% to $1,392. Median days on market continued its historically low trend, coming in at 54 days.  While this is nearly unchanged from a year ago, it is 10 days longer than Q3, reflecting the seasonal nature of Manhattan real estate.

Buyers responded to slowly rising supply trends, nudging the average price for a Manhattan co-op apartment to $1,284,427, up just over 7% from a year ago, and up 4% from last quarter. The median price for a co-op was $740,000, up 2.78% from a year ago, and down slightly from last quarter’s $755,000. Median price per square foot for co-ops told a similar story, with Q4 coming in at $974, up 8.24% from last year, but down 0.49% from Q3.

Manhattan condo prices also saw continued price action to the upside. The average price of condos came in at $2,529,200, a 20.51% gain year-over-year, while the median price per square foot increased 10.16% year-overyear to $1,593. Soaring condo prices contributed to the widened price differential between co-ops and condos.  Overall, the strong price action in Q4 hints that the macro uncertainties in Q3 are yet to filter through the lagging sales pipeline. Looking forward we expect a normalization of price action as we enter the new year.

WONDERING WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU? 

Ask Bracha New York for a complimentary consultation.

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SoHo: Where to Eat, Sleep & Explore

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SoHo: Where to Eat, Sleep & Explore

Located in downtown Manhattan, SOHO (short for South of Houston) is one of the most intrinsically diverse neighborhoods in NYC with decadent restaurants, world-class art galleries, shopping from international designers, and an annual film festival that showcases magnificence from around the world. North of Canal street and nestled between Little Italy and Greenwich Village, this former million-dollar textile industry neighborhood transformed in the 1960's through artistic expression and created a prime New York real estate area that is synonymous with avant-garde, contemporary, and diversity.  A fairly small area, people often say living in SoHo you get to know your neighbors and feel like part of the community.  Here are our favorite places, to eat, sleep, and explore in SoHo.  Enjoy!

WHERE TO STAY

Make SoHo your home with a Cast Iron loft

SoHo is famous for its distinctive and ornate architecture and is filled with Renaissance-style buildings encased in large airy windows and cast-iron facades.  The restored industrial buildings, impeccably renovated into breathtaking lofts are by far the most authentic place to live in this haven for culture & trends.  Many have been converted into coops for artists in residence like 565 Broadway, Apt. 5W, to the left which was sold for $3,900,000 last year by Bracha New York's Lisa Joa.  Contact us today if you'd like to make SoHo your home!

 
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For a Short Stay: NoMo SoHo

If you're looking for a lavish hotel with enough charm and character to do SoHo justice, look no further than Nomo Soho, formerly the Mondrian and personal favorite of Bracha New York's Maryana Khimich.  Be sure to stop at their speakeasy rooftop bar and five star restaurant.

You can book your stay on their site here

WHERE TO EAT

Lure Fishbar

Tucked away sub-level on Mercer Street, Lure Fishbar is easy to miss walking by but the food is phenomenal.  Bracha New York's Natalie Baghdadi swears by them so be sure to stop by and experience it for yourself!

Peruse their menu and make a reservation on their site here.

 
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Balthazar

Enjoy exceptional bistro fare in a renovated warehouse

View their menu and make a reservation on their site here.

 

 

 

The Dutch

A hipster spot that cooks with the freshest locally grown foods.  View their menu and make a reservation on their site here.

 

Colombe
 

Enjoy delicious espresso and an almond croissant from La Colombo that always has this area percolating with delight

Visit their site to find the nearest cafe to you here.

 

WHAT TO EXPLORE

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Shopping

Some of the fashion industry's top designers have storefront displays basking on Prince Street that passersby peruse as they stroll down the cobblestone streets. From Prada to Chanel, high-end housewares shops like Crate & Barrel, to computer mega-retailer The Apple Store, a variety of boutiques inhabit the bustling marketplace of SOHO. 

 

Galleries

SoHo has long been an artistic center and is filled with more galleries worth visiting than we could cover here.  For a list of the top 10 to visit, view the New York Times picks here  

To the left:  “Liquidity Inc.,” by Hito Steyerl, at Artists Space in SoHo. 

 
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SoHo International Film Festival

To the left:  "In Lieu of Flowers", a romantic film submitted in the SoHo International film festival featuring two up and coming actors Spencer Grammer and Josh Pence.

Submissions are now open for this May's 2016 festival.  

 

What is your favorite spot in SoHo?  Share your thoughts below!

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Fair Housing:  Past, Present, & Future

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Fair Housing: Past, Present, & Future

Last week, Pope Francis made his historic first visit ever to the United States and our fair city of Manhattan.  Perhaps one of the most accessible spiritual leaders of our time, tens of thousands of New Yorkers saw him during his parade through Central park, visit to Ground Zero, mass at Madison Square garden, and the many smaller events held during his visit.  Those of us who did not get a chance to meet the Pontificus in person, felt his presence not only through inevitable grid-locking in the city, but through something else- a very rare and special shift in our collective consciousness.   The city that never sleeps and bustles and hustles with millions willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead, for a brief moment, turned its focus to the greater good and the value of love and inclusion.  It is in this spirit that we reflect on the ethics and fairness of our housing industry.  How far has the housing industry come in offering equal opportunity to all and what remains to be improved? 

Before the Fair Housing Act of 1968:

Before the Fair Housing Act of 1968, explicit discrimination ran rampant in the housing industry.  Banks, real estate agents, and landlords regularly engaged in practices that denied funds and housing opportunities to minority groups, the most notorious and widespread being redlining, steering, and block-busting.   Such complete institutionalized discrimination worsened segregation and has had widespread and drastic effects on the socio-economic well-being of those discriminated against.  Housing touches every aspect of our lives, affecting the schools our children attend, the jobs within reach, and the hospitals, parks and public services available to us.  During the height of the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King knew that housing desegregation was a key battle that must be won.

Fair Housing Act of 1968:

Seven days after Martin Luther King’s assassination, amidst widespread riots, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the last piece of legislation in the Civil Rights Act. Born from their fraught partnership and years of persistence, it marked the single greatest milestone in the fight towards fairness and inclusion in the housing industry.

With its passing, this explicit discrimination finally became illegal.  It was no longer legal for banks to redline areas predominately inhabited by minorities to deny funding to them, Realtors could not steer people to specific areas based on their protected class, and landlords could not deny tenant applicants simply based on someone’s race, color, religion, national origin, or age.  Through future amendments, the state of New York expanded these protections to people based on their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, lawful source of income or occupation, and pregnancy.  Furthermore, the Fair Housing Act could be enforced based on proving a disparate impact on a protected class meaning that it did not matter if a bank or real estate agent intended to discriminate based on status in a protected class, only that this was the effect of their actions.  However, even with this interpretation, the Fair Housing Act’s effectiveness relies heavily on its enforcement.

Where we are today:

While progress has been made, housing throughout the country is still deeply segregated.  According to a Brown University study in 2010, over 90% of the black and Latino population would need to move to create truly racially balanced communities.  Also, the Fair Housing Act did not bring an end to discrimination but instead changed its form.  While explicit discrimination is much more rare, new and more subtle forms have arisen.  While banks may not outright deny funding to areas they have redlined, they have still been found to offer higher interest rates to different neighborhoods.  What’s more, the Fair Housing Act is only effective when enforced.  With this in mind, the Obama administration announced new rules in July to foster integration on a community level. 

In New York City, special tax abatements have successfully incentivized many new developments to allocate some units to low-income housing.  However, to presumably prevent the “haves” from having to see the “have-nots”, plans for many included separate entrances, or “Poor Doors” for those in low income housing units.  This policy may not directly violate the Fair Housing Act but it certainly is not in the spirit of equality.  We cannot help but guess that Pope Francis, the first Pope to wash the feet of women alongside men in the traditional reenactment of washing the feet of the 12 apostles, would certainly not approve.  Fortunately, such plans were struck down through an addition made in a rent-regulation bill that "Affordable units shall share the same common entrances and common areas as market rate units."  

At Bracha New York, we are happy to see progress continue in the direction towards equality, integration, and fair housing opportunities for all.  In facing the future, we contemplate what else can be done and what will be the next great battle for housing equality and fairness? 

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Everything You Need to Know About Airbnb's NYC Takeover

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Everything You Need to Know About Airbnb's NYC Takeover

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past seven years, you've probably heard of tech startup Airbnb. The online platform allows everyday homeowners (and renters-- but we'll get to that controversial subject later) to rent out extra bedrooms or even their entire home to those looking for an alternative to pricey, impersonal hotels. 

In NYC, the use of Airbnb has become an especially hot topic with in the real estate world. But despite local governmental pushback, today, in the city's most popular neighborhoods, as many as 1 in 5 apartments are listed on the site. So what does this mean for you, should you hop on the bandwagon, and how can you go about taking part legally? Bracha New York breaks it down.

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The New Mortgage Rules You Need to Know for 2015

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The New Mortgage Rules You Need to Know for 2015

When it comes to home buying, the financing stage can often be the most daunting and confusing step. From finding the right lender to keeping up to date on standard rates and regulations, the mortgage climate is always changing and it’s hard to stay current. To bring you up to speed, we worked with mortgage specialist Sheetal Sawhney to highlight some of the most important changes to the rules of obtaining a mortgage in 2015.

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Moving En Masse: The History of NYC's May Day

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Moving En Masse: The History of NYC's May Day

Moving is stressful, there is no denying it. Now, imagine doing it alongside thousands of other New Yorkers. While the 1st of each month still sees an influx of moving vans and sidewalk cast-offs, until around the second World War, most housing contracts, unless otherwise specified, ended on the 1st of May, prompting a mass “musical chairs” of sort, as the bulk of Manhattan moved into new rentals.

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Understanding the NYC School System

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Understanding the NYC School System

When searching for a new home, finding the right neighborhood is essential, one that fits your personal wants and needs.  For families or individuals planning to start a family, this includes selecting a neighborhood with a great school district. 

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Tackling the Age Old Question: To Rent or To Buy

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Tackling the Age Old Question: To Rent or To Buy

The sun has finally graced us with its presence after months of snow and dreariness, a reminder that spring is indeed on its way and, with it, the NYC scramble to extend leases or find new housing before summer prices take effect.

But with NYC rental prices still rising steadily-- and outpacing income gains by more than two-fold, according to Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries-- now may be the time for many long-time renters to re-consider their stance on the age old question: To buy or rent?

Here are five reasons why 2015 may be the year to buy.

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Home Buying Timeline 101: From Picking an Agent to Getting Your Keys

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Home Buying Timeline 101: From Picking an Agent to Getting Your Keys

Whether it's your first time or your tenth, home buying can be an exhilarating yet nerve-wracking experience. At Bracha, our dedicated agents walk clients through the whole process with a level of transparency and knowledge that is unrivaled, but it's always helpful to get an idea of what you're in for ahead of time.

Because we know how important it is to future and current buyers alike, we've put together this handy overview of what the buying process actually looks like, and will follow it up with a more thorough breakdown of each step in future posts. Enjoy!

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Condo vs. Co-op: What You Need to Know

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Condo vs. Co-op: What You Need to Know

Buying a home in NYC is like nowhere else in the country. Whereas in the rest of the US, home choices are mostly limited to individual houses or condos, in NYC most people opt for a condo or a co-op. Despite the prevalence of these two types of homes, you might be wondering what the difference even is between the two and which one makes more sense for you as a home buyer. Here's what you need to know.

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