Viewing entries tagged
real estate

Are Apps Taking Over Real Estate?

Comment

Are Apps Taking Over Real Estate?

In this digital age, there’s an app for everything. It was only a matter of time before they entered the real estate market. Previously mentioned was Haus, the online platform to help buyers and sellers, giving them full transparency on offers and bids.  Now there’s Easyknock, a direct sales platform that pulls real time market data on homes that are both listed and unlisted. It matches homeowners with vetted buyers and facilities their transactions. They even provide third party referrals of appraisers, inspectors, mortgage advisors, lawyers and more.  Easyknock is still in its early stages, but it streamlines the process and cuts out the middle man.

And now Alexa, Amazon Echo, has an app for real estate as well. It can be found in the amazon Alex Skills section. Alexa can tell you the weather, turn on your lights, play music and now she can become your virtual agent. She’ll ask if you’re buying or selling, and she will pull matches from the local MLS integration. This app is currently being tested in Albany, New York. It’s directed to buyers, sellers, and renters and also designed to be a lead captor tool.

These apps attempt to make buying, selling, and renting easier. They want to make the process more efficient, but at the same time lack the experience a seasoned agent would have about staging, marketing the property, and of course the dreaded paperwork that follows. If only Alexa could fill out board packages, leases, and contracts. These apps can’t replace the human touch an agent provides. But should real estate embrace the change technology is bringing or stay on the same course?  Where do you stand on this?

Comment

Brooklyn on the Rise

Comment

Brooklyn on the Rise

While things are moving slower in the Manhattan luxury market, Brooklyn’s market is rising. One should note that what defines the luxury market in Manhattan is a price of $10 million plus and in Brooklyn is a price of $2 million plus.

In October alone, 34 contracts were signed for condos, co-ops and townhouse in Brooklyn, priced at or over $2 million. What is interesting to note about October, was the sales market was predominately dominated by brownstones. They tend to sell at a lower price per square foot than their condo counterparts. The average price per square foot is approximately $1200. The stretch of brownstone from Brooklyn Heights to Cobble Hill were the borough’s rising star. Brooklyn Heights led the charge with an average asking price of $3.8 million and a total of $26.6 million in sales. Cobble Hill not to be outdone followed with 18.6 Million in sales.

Even though the L train is shutting down, Brooklyn is still on the rise.

Comment

NYC has yet to Tax Foreign Buyers

Comment

NYC has yet to Tax Foreign Buyers

All over the world, foreign investors and buyers have been hit with a penalty tax for buying properties and using them as a pied-a-terre, or temporary residence. When the market is hot in these foreign countries, buyers and investors flood the market, driving prices up. Several countries have said enough is enough. In October 2012 the Hong Kong government imposed a 15% tax on properties purchased by anyone who was not a permanent resident. This was in response to the events in 2011, when foreign buyers’ demand for properties forced the average price for a mid-sized apartment to skyrocket up by 65%. In the 2 years since the tax was imposed the same mid-sized apartment price only rose by 5.3%

Other countries have followed similar suit. Singapore imposed a 15% tax on foreign buyers. Switzerland set a 20% cap on the number of pieds-a-terre in any community. Britain imposed a “stamp tax” on pieds-a-terre. Australia introduced 3% and 4% taxes on foreign home buyers.  Vancouver set a 15% tax on foreign property buyers. Where does that leave New York City?

New York City has not imposed a tax on foreign buyers. One reason is that in New York City, no one wants to raise taxes, and those elected in political office avoid the subject all together. It seems that foreign buyers aren’t really driving prices up in New York City. The average apartment prices only rose 13% over the past year according to a report by Douglas Elliman, while the market shows signs of slowing down. Also anti-discrimination laws prevent brokers and city agencies from collecting dating on the amount of foreign property buyers. Translation, no one knows how many foreign buyers there are. The New York Times cited census data in 2014 showing that more than 50% of apartment units within a 3 block area of Midtown East were vacant the majority of the year. If no one is there for most of the year, then they won’t be using up any of the resources available in that area and building. Do you think the lack of tax on foreign buyers is hurting or helping New York City?

Image from 401kcalculator.org

Comment

Manhattan Apartment Sales Down 20%

Comment

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.

Comment

VR real estate

Comment

VR real estate

With emerging technology and the rise of VR headsets becoming so mainstream and easily accessible it seems natural that real estate companies are picking up on the trend. There are companies out there offering a VR tour of the real estate space. But is it really worth it?

Imagine your client wants to view a building or unit that hasn’t been built yet. You can show them renderings or images of what it will look like. Or you can allow them to see it on the VR headset. Your client can walk through the space, turn around and get a true feel of the space. Some companies can even show the different shades of furniture within the space, making personalized decorating easier. And there is no fear of having to climb through a construction site of the unfinished building or unit. This technology is makes it easier for foreign buyers to invest and buy without stepping foot inside.

Due to the price of the software and the technology of these VR tours, they remain exclusively for luxury properties. Though some feel that this is just a trend and too gimmicky, while others feel this is beneficial. You can’t be misled by sneaky angles of tiny rooms in images, because you can walk in the space and see just how big it exactly is.

Where do you stand on this? 

Comment

Bitcoin Accepted?

Comment

Bitcoin Accepted?

Bitcoin Accepted Here

 

Brelion, a real estate crowdfunding company, announced earlier this week the launch of a bitcoin digital currency investment opportunity. Bitcoin digital currency users now have the option to invest and make up to a 24% return. The pilot property is a suburban, 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath residence. It was purchased and in need of renovations. The property manager expects the property to appraise for about 120.21 XBT. (click here for bitcoin exchange rate)

Brelion’s goal is to remove barriers to real estate investment by taking it out of the hands of banks, major funds, and giant corporations and making it accessible. Using the crowdfunding concept popularized by Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Berlion gives individual accredited investors access to alternative investment options as well as the ability to select projects. This gives mid-sized and small renovation firms access to capital without having to deal with traditional financing.

Bitcoin is a decentralized currency system that allows peer to peer payments via the internet. It exists outside the control of any government and banks, preventing anyone from manipulating its value. Bitcoin has the potential of being an international currency, but is still in its early stage of consumer adoption.

However, the question on how secure Bitcoin is has come up. Just a few days ago, hackers stole bitcoins worth about $65 million in Hong Kong. The price of Bitcoin dropped 20% following the news.  Another incident is one that took place in 2014 at Mt. Gox in Japan. This raises the question on just how secure Bitcoin really is. This is not the first incident, and it may not be the last.

Berlion is taking a huge step forward with Bitcoin, but do you think it’s the right one?

Comment

Comment

What is Haus?

hauslogo

From Uber to Haus, Garrett Camp has a new project. Haus. Clear for everyone. Fair for everyone.  This new platform focuses on the buying and selling of residential property, digitizing and organizing offers from all parties to have more transparency during the negotiation process.

Currently real estate brokers send offers to sellers’ agents, through email, fax, and sometimes in person. Conversely, sellers’ agents compile offers in a spreadsheet, in an email, or sometimes with pen and paper.

Haus digitizes everything, allowing the seller to post their listing on their platform. Buyers and agents can both post offers, modify them, and see other anonymous offers.

There is a downside to this as well. Buyers can see all the other offers submitted on Haus, and cause a bidding war, driving the price up. Unethical sellers and agents could also inflate the prices through shill bidding.  With that said, it may also drive away buyers who do not want to engage in a bidding war.

There is some concern this may replace agents entirely. Camp feels this platform would help instead of replace. It offers efficiency in the process such as compiling offers which can be time consuming. And most people still need the broker’s knowledge when it comes to marketing the property, understanding the value of a property and of course the dreaded paperwork that comes after.

Haus currently doesn’t charge anything but they may eventually ask for their showing fee. What do you think about Haus?

Comment

SoHo: Where to Eat, Sleep & Explore

Comment

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!

 
nomo soho.jpg

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.

 
Balthazar.jpeg

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

LouisV.jpg

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. 

 
inlieuofflowers.png

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!

Comment

Everything You Need to Know About Airbnb's NYC Takeover

Comment

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.

Comment

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

Comment

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.

Comment

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

Comment

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!

Comment