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An Uptick in Downtown Manhattan

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An Uptick in Downtown Manhattan

You hear the market is up, the market is down, but what is it really? A recent Wall Street Journal article suggests there’s an uptick to the luxury market, specifically in Downtown Manhattan. A large part of this could be the opening the 30 Park Place. In November, contracts were signed for five apartments in the condo building with prices ranging from $20 million to $26 million. There were several high profile buildings downtown that saw an uptick. A $34.5 million condo at 56 Leonard went into contract at the October. At Greenwich Lane, two units worth $25 million have gone into contract as well.

Some reason the uptick is due to the recent development downtown. Santiago Caltrava’s World Trade Center Transportation hub opened, along with the mall inside it. Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse, Cut, opened at the base of 30 Park Place.

The rise could also be due to the number of new condos opening. Previously buyers would look at renderings of the building and apartments and not want to buy instantly, instead they’re waiting till it actually opens, so they can see it for themselves. Others say it's the willingness of developers to cut deals. Who knows if the resurgence of downtown will affect the rest of Manhattan? It might be temporary but what do you think?

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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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Queens Becoming Brooklynized

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Queens Becoming Brooklynized

Long ago, Brooklyn was the refuge to those who couldn’t afford he sky high Manhattan prices. But not anymore. Queens is in the process of becoming “Brooklynized” by young professionals, hipsters and individuals trying to escape Brooklyn’s high rent. The shut down of the L train has also added to the influx of people headed to Queens. Woodside, Sunnyside, and Astoria have all had an increase to population according to U.S. Census Bureau. In 2015, Queen’s population grew by 16,700.

The median rental price for a Long Island City studio apartment is $2,425, a 1 bedroom is $2,889, a 2 bedroom is $3450. These prices are all more practical than the ones in Brooklyn, where the average monthly rent is nearly $3000 and above.

The trade off for cheaper rent is a slightly longer commute. Jackson Heights has seen an influx of people who can’t afford to live in Manhattan or Brooklyn. Jackson Heights is very convenient as there is a mass transit hub located there, and getting into Manhattan is relatively fast. Jackson Heights also has older building stock. Many of the apartments and co-ops in their extensive historic district feature private gardens.

With the influx of people heading into Queens, and gentrification landing on their shores, what will become of Queens? 

Image from momentcaptured1

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Fashion Week Takes over New York with Unconventional Locations

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Fashion Week Takes over New York with Unconventional Locations

When you’re in the city that never sleeps why limit yourself to the standard runway and 4 boring walls? Designers are pushing the needle for this New York Fashion Week. Taking Fashion Week to the next level, they’re using unusual and unconventional locations in NYC. NYFW isn’t just about clothing anymore, it’s about the venue, the presentation, the entire experience of it.

Kayne West unveiled his Yeezy collection outdoors at Franklin D, Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. Rebekah Minkoff shut down Greene Street in Soho for her show, complete with bleachers, live music and 300 on-lookers. Not to be outdone, Ralph Lauren shut down 10 city blocks for his fashion show outside his flagship store. Heron Preston launched his new collection at the Department of Sanitation’s Spring Street Salt Shed. Yes an actual salt shed with mounds of salt, the creation of Dattner Architects. Club Monoco went to the iconic Grand Central Station to show off their collection.  Tommy Hilfiger turned South Street Seaport into a carnival, which was open to the public after his show. Refinery29 used an 8000 square ft warehouse in Brooklyn, to turn into a funhouse for adults, with 29 rooms. Each one of these is memorable, not just because of the designer, but because of the unconventional location.

This shift in locations presents an interesting opportunity for real estate, no longer seeking a traditional venue, fashion designers seek something that will make them stand out from the rest. From a salt shed to a wooden boardwalk, anything can be made into a runway. Who knows maybe that warehouse or vacant lot you have will be the next venue for an up and coming designer.

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How will the L Train shutdown affect us?

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How will the L Train shutdown affect us?

The MTA’s plan to shut down the L train in 2019 for repairs has sent those living along the line in Brooklyn on a quest to find new places to live. A report by Ariel Property Advisors states that search will take them to Queens, especially along the 7 line. The “L train effect” saw residential growth along the line in Brooklyn, is predicted to happen in Queens.

Long Island City is already established as an in demand neighborhood.  The report states the city’s next hot spots are going to be Sunnyside, Woodside, and Jackson Heights. Rent and home prices have already increased according to the report. Home prices in Sunnyside increased from $168 to $426 per square foot during the last 4 years; in Woodside prices increased $132 to $306 per square foot; Jackson Heights $170 to $302; Elmhurst $204 to $258; and Flushing $190 to $293.

With each of these upcoming neighborhoods, each one has a very distinct sound, flavor and feel. Just like the artists who went to Williamsburg seeking cheaper places to live, these neighborhoods each offer something different.  Sunnyside is incredible diverse, with a population of Armenians, Romanians, Indians, Bangladeshis, Chinese, Koreans, Colombians, and Ecuadorans living there. It’s quite and safe neighborhood with better than average schools.  Woodside has a diverse population of Asians, and Hispanics, and a plethora of Irish bars, giving it a bit more nightlife. Jackson Heights also incredibly diverse, boasts a large Indian, South American, and South Asian community, and one thing that the other areas don’t have, an older building stock. Many of the apartments and co-ops in their extensive historic district feature private gardens.

With an increase in residents, there will be an increase in subway ridership as well. Long Island City saw the greatest growth, 18% increase since 2011. Other neighborhoods see an increase in ridership as well.

Another factor adding to residential growth in Queens is the opening of Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island. There will be an influx of students, and those working at the school.

Other experts expect prices to drop in areas serviced by the L line, but rise in other areas such as Greenpoint and Bed-Stuyvesant, which have other train options.

Much of Western Queens is already dense with existing housing, unlike Williamsburg and Bushwick which had a large number of industrial buildings perfect for residential conversion. Queens won’t see the same kind of new developments as Brooklyn did. There won’t be any huge towers but a lot of upgrades to existing buildings. Will Queens become the go to spot?

Where do you think the next hot spot will be? Queens? Brooklyn?

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What does Brexit mean for NYC?

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What does Brexit mean for NYC?

Brexit. What exactly does it mean? More importantly what does it mean for us here in New York City? The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union caused immediate and drastic results. The British pound dropped and their Prime Minister resigned. Across the pond from them, we may be feeling the ripples.

The British Pound has dropped, giving Americans a better exchange rate. Americans can go over to the UK and get a better value for their dollar, while the British won’t be crowding our sidewalks as much. The United Kingdom sends more tourists to New York City than any other foreign country, according to NYC & Company, the city's official tourism bureau. They sent 1.2 million tourists here in 2015.

Foreign investors from countries such as China and Canada are now looking at New York City residential and commercial real estate. New York City now looks more stable and appealing to foreign investors. They are shifting from London and looking here instead. This will cause a higher demand but also may potentially drive up prices for local buyers. However, there still a surplus of luxury real estate that’s sitting on the market, so this may not affect it as strongly. It may be a slight uptick in demand. It’s a positive but it may not be the game changer for the market. It may be too soon to tell right now.

The Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low in response to Brexit. The UK leaving the EU creates global uncertainty and possible fear of a recession. Low interest rates mean cheap financing.

Buyers from the UK may not be able to buy real estate here because the exchange rate now that the pound has dropped. A weaker pound means UK buyers won’t be interested in purchasing here. So while things are shifting and moving around, one thing is clear. All eyes are on New York City now. 

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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? 

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