Articles on High-End Manhattan Condos

February Sales Market Activity Exceeds Pre-Lehman Levels

Market activity for Manhattan sales is on the riseThe recent slowdown in the Manhattan sales market is on the way out. Despite the fact that sales have been way down in the past two financial quarters, buyers of luxury apartments in Manhattan signed 871 contracts in February. This strong showing exceeds pre-Lehman market activity in 2008, and it shows just how far we’ve come – at the nadir of the sales market in February 2009, only 484 signings took place. Even more impressive: a severe decline of supply in luxury condos and co-ops has done very little to deter activity. Supply dropped from 7,346 units-for-sale in 2011 to 6,738 in 2012, yet 2012 saw more signings. In other words, luxury apartments for sale in Manhattan are more popular than ever before, especially on the higher end of the market and more popular Manhattan neighborhoods.

Builder Confidence in Housing Market Increases Nationwide

The National AssociatioHome builder confidence increases across the countryn of Home Builders and Wells Fargo have released the February Housing Market Index, a monthly gauge of builder confidence in the national housing market. The index number of overall confidence in February was 29, a 4 point climb from January, when it was at 25. This is the fifth month in a row the number has gone up, and while still low, it is a promising indication that confidence in the market is improving nationwide. The Index includes information on different regions, but not for New York City specifically. But as we've written before, the housing market in Manhattan is healthy.

Developers Pushing for More And Larger Condos

Gramercy Park in ManhattanThe demand for high-end Manhattan apartments is a topic that has been covered tirelessly and extensively on New Construction Manhattan. As we mentioned earlier this month, the list of luxury condos buildings scheduled for 2012 is optimistically plentiful and highly reminiscent of the strong sales numbers from the fourth quarter in 2011. The real estate conversion movement from institutional buildings into luxury condos has garnered a great deal of attention and the New York Times recently reported that this is just the beginning. More than ever, developers are now tearing down the walls of smaller apartment units and combining them into fewer but bigger luxury condos.

Deal Closed for Property on 71 Laight Street

71 Laight Street in TribecaBefore the ink dries on the contract, we’re going to tell you about the next completed development deal to happen in Manhattan. 71 Laight Street, a luxury Manhattan condo in Tribeca, has just been sold to Taconic Investment Partners for a cool $65 million, or around $600 per square foot. The transaction will officially close in May or June.

Alvaro Arranz, a Manhattan developer, currently owns the property, which is an old warehouse that doubles as a parking garage. He initially bought it in 2007 for $57 million. At first he conceived of converting it into a luxury residential building, but after a construction freeze he decided to sell the property instead. He put the site on the market in 2010.

The Comeback Story of The Sheffield

Sheffiled57 in Manhattan is making a comebackWith a distinctive brown-brick and glass facade, the 57-story high-rise condominium  Sheffield57 at West 57th Street and 8th Avenue seems to fit right in in the up-and-coming Clinton neighborhood. But this recent development has a quirky portfolio, and until being foreclosed in late 2009, was steadily heading downhill. The desperate behavior of the building's developers reflected the frustration of a bad market coupled with poor managment, as developer Ken Swigs hired a marching band with trumpets and tubas to drown out the the sound of renters protesting eviction. Later his partner would make headlines (and a court appearance) for throwing a metal ice bucket at him. But under new management, and with a new name, The Sheffield has drastically resurrected sales, which seemed at one time unthinkable.

Manhattan is Low on Luxury Condos

This is what they call a sellerGraph showing the metropolitan area house prices’s market. Crain’s New York took a look at sales of luxury condos in Manhattan on StreetEasy.com and found that overall inventory for condos over $5 million is at its lowest level since 2007. Realtors in Manhattan suspect that international buyers looking for stable investments, and prospective condo-owners aggressively pursuing prices still affected by the once-troubled New York real estate market, are responsible for the increased demand. But as the demand rises the available condos for sale in Manhattan are dropping. Last October there were 832 available listings of condos priced at $5 million or more. That’s the lowest October number since the market peaked in 2007 and StreetEasy was posting only 588 listings.

Latest NYC Trend: Condo Owners as Landlords

Luxury condos in Manhattan as landlordsA trend is emerging in New York City real estate that doubles as an ideal way to deal with the struggling housing market. High-end condo owners are subletting their homes and moving into new apartments in New York. This trend of subletting in Manhattan began as a way for homeowners struggling to afford their mortgage in a difficult economy to lessen their housing expenses, but it’s since become an option for property owners who want to do things as simple as bring in some extra cash, or move into a more convenient location. And apartments for rent in Manhattan are difficult to come by, so people looking for real estate in New York benefit as well. But the process of becoming a landlord in NYC is often fraught with some surprising concerns that may not have crossed an owner's mind right away. If you're a condo owner who has recently decided to sublet your apartment and add your name to the list of New York City landlords, here are a few tips and suggestions you should keep in mind as you embark on your new role.

Revival of the Harlem Condo Market in Full Swing

The Harlem condominium market is on the upswingWhen Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in the fall of 2008, perhaps no neighborhood was more greatly affected than Harlem. The ill-timed flurry of construction in Harlem that preceded Lehman’s collapse left about a dozen new developments stranded, so to speak. In other words,  those new luxury condominiums either on the market or about to be on the market at that time suddenly had no buyers and a bleak future. So, almost overnight, the new construction revival in Harlem created a glut of luxury condos that no one wanted to live in. This unfortunate turn of events had defined Harlem real estate for the past few years, but it looks like the damage wrought by those events has finally abated: in the third quarter of this year 150 condos sold in Harlem, marking the fifth quarter in a row where condo sales in Harlem exceeded 100 units. Despite the odds, sales of new luxury condos now exceed pre-Lehman levels. Granted, this is due to greatly reduced inventory and an extreme shortage of quality inventory elsewhere in Manhattan, but this recovery is still impressive, and it spells good news the Manhattan luxury real estate market as a whole.

Time to Rethink Manhattan Zoning Laws

A rezoning map for new construction from ChelseaMost of us don't think too hard (or at all) about zoning laws in Manhattan, unless we’re developers. That’s why we often know nothing about the regulations that literally shape the face of the Manhattan. Zoning is an all-encompassing subject that touches every aspect of new development, and it has done so for over a century. So what are the zoning rules that regulate new condo construction Manhattan? Anyone? Well, here’s a starting point to understanding our current situation: for 50 years, the basic structure of New York’s zoning laws installed by then Mayor Robert Wagner has remained the same. Currently, numerous neighborhoods such as the East Village and East Harlem are overhauling the details their zoning laws in order to accommodate new condo construction in Manhattan, but even with these changes, the basic structure of zoning laws remains untouched. A panel of planning experts met last week to discuss whether or not that structure can be improved, and the consenus was that our zoning laws are badly in need of change.

The Numbers Are In: 15 Central Park West Is The Richest Address In Manhattan Real Estate

One thing is certain about Manhattan luxury condominiums -- they are luxurious condominiums located in Manhattan. That particular tautology aside, though, the world of Manhattan luxury real estate can often seem like an especially well-amenitized bit of science fiction -- a sort of parallel universe in which new luxury condos compete for potential buyers by jockeying to see which new condo boasts the most impressive golf simulators, best-landscaped rooftop terraces and highest ceilings. We love it, of course, but it does make even us here at New Construction Manhattan -- whose job, as you've probably noticed -- is to observe and cover this particular scene wonder just how much luxury even this wealthiest of boroughs can afford.

Well, wonder no more. The astronomical figures are in, and a winner has been named. In a recent blog post, Property Shark announced that residents of 15 Central Park West has the highest gross income in Manhattan. Grossing approximately $1,883,936,235 since January 2005, 15 Central Park West beat out The Plaza, the iconically extravagant Fifth Avenue hotel that offers a handful of luxury condo-style residences, by nearly $608 million. And not only does 15 Central Park West have the highest gross income in Manhattan, but in all of America. The average sale price for condos in 15 Central Park West is a little over $8 million. The highest sale in the building was a whopping $45 million for a 39th floor duplex. So, what makes 15 Central Park West so irresistible to the super-rich, you ask?