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manhattan

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Lofty Pursuits & Commercial Conversions

There's no doubt that loft style living is one of the most common New York City dreams. With the surplus of commercial property in the city, it's fair to wonder if it's worth it to convert a commercial space into a home. Apart from the obvious benefit of living among open and airy spaces, an uncharted floor plan leaves the outcome entirely up to your imagination. And if you decide to search for your diamond in the rough, you could actually save around 20%-30% compared to the current residential market price per square foot.

First and foremost, using an experienced broker who knows both commercial and residential properties and how to deal with zoning issues and expediting paperwork is a priority. Finding a place that will allow for residential conversions is best attempted in neighborhoods were manufacturing areas in the past, predominantly Tribeca, Meatpacking, Long Island City, Dumbo, and Red Hook. Generally, most neighborhoods with commercial areas designated for retail and office space will allow residential conversions.

So you discovered your property, closed, and the keys are in your hand... now comes the tricky part: renovations. The timeline and completion of your project is entirely in the hands of your contractor and architect. Horror stories may be more common to hear than success in this realm, so it is important you have a reliable and proven team in place. The basic amenities of a home are far different from an office space, so electricity, plumbing lines, and any existing walls or fixtures are all to be considered. During renovations, you can expect to pay commercial taxes until you secure a temporary certificate of occupancy, which can cost a pretty penny.

If you are up for the challenge, have some extra time, and aren't afraid of a major project, converting a commercial space into a residential dream home may be just what the real estate doctor ordered. The photos here within are from a previous Bracha New York listing on West 22nd Street. 

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Manhattan Apartment Sales Down 20%

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Manhattan Apartment Sales Down 20%

Supply and demand. It’s one of the first things we learn in business. Right now there are a lot of apartments available for purchase in Manhattan and less people buying.


Sales of previously owned condos and coops fell 20% in the third quarter as compared to the previous year in a report from Miller Samuel Inc and Douglass Elliman Real Estate. There were 5290 apartments on the market at the end of September, 53% more than the number available in 2013.

Sales of units less than $1 million have been in short supply and those that made it to market, sparked bidding wars. Consumers are also taking longer to make a decision. However previously own properties spent an average of 72 days on the market with an average price of 1.5 million, an increase from last year which was only 67 days with an average price of 1.48 million.

The median price of resales in the quarter reached 2.6% according to the report. That is a step down in a 3 year period which the annual price growth reached 18%.

Though new developments are partly to blame. Both the average and median prices for new developments have skyrocketed. The average price is $5.3 million while the median is $4 million according to Halstead. The luxury market this quarter had the highest number of apartments over $10 million sold since the financial crisis of 2008.

Though sellers remain optimistic. In a report by Compass, the median condo asking price reached 2.3 million. The median for condos that went into contract was 1.6 million about 18% less than the peak in 2014. Prices have been going up, so it’s normal for the market to take a pause, because it simply cannot go up forever.

However when priced correctly, units will move. Sellers have to curb there exuberance and know the market. They have to trust their agents in pricing because the demand is still there.

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Neighborhood Tour: Luxury, Proximity, and Class in Midtown Manhattan

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Neighborhood Tour: Luxury, Proximity, and Class in Midtown Manhattan

Midtown Manhattan, home to landmarks like Times Square and Grand Central, has long been known as a popular tourist and business destination. What you might not know, though, is that its proximity to world-class shopping, top international corporations, and some of the most decadent restaurants the city has to offer has made it a top choice for young professionals, established businessmen, and families alike. And its popularity seems to only be growing as buyers and renters who once left Manhattan for cheaper real estate in the outer boroughs like Queens and Brooklyn return to the city. 

From Murray Hill in the east to Hell’s Kitchen in the west, Bracha New York breaks down all the reasons Midtown Manhattan is the new real estate destination.

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