Articles on Manhattan Real Estate Trends

The Remarkable Market for East Harlem Condos

A rooftop view of condos in East Harlem New YorkSome things are too good to be true, and some things merely seem that way. File the real estate market in Manhattan’s East Harlem in the latter category. For buyers in search of affordable New York City condos and co-ops, East Harlem offers new buildings that have incomparable prices when compared to the rest of Manhattan. The real estate market there didn’t recover much from the recession, and prices per square foot remain much cheaper than pre-recession levels. Combine this with continuous construction of new condos in East Harlem despite the changed economy and everything adds up to very good deals for buyers.

Is the Glass Tower Mega-Condo Losing Steam?

Manhattan luxury glass towersThe NYC luxury condominium market is renowned for its high-rises. With over 45 luxury high-rise condos sprinkled throughout the city, blue-boarded scenes of constructions hoping to scrape the sky is nothing unusual. Indeed, what is unusual is when Manhattan mega-condos aren’t rising. Because the NYC condominium market rides in waves of booms and falls, glass towers shoot up somewhat cyclically. In 2011, Manhattan condominium developers have decided to throw their dice in on residential boutiques and conversions.

According to theReal Deal’s published statistics of the New York State General Attorney’s office (whose stamp approves condo constructions and conversions) only 466 new condo units have risen in Manhattan in 2011. In 2006, there were 10,660 new NYC apartments for sale. But what accounts for the fewer luxury apartments going up is the shrinking pipeline of submissions to the AG, and developers’ shift to the smaller, scaled-back amenity boutiques and conversions that have a shorter turnaround time and smaller price tags. As New York City condominium developers are given tricky budgets, less risky downsized Manhattan residential buildings with immediate ribbon-cutting ceremonies are more likely to get financed. Current federal loaning hurdles often require condo buildings to have closed substantial presales before backing a homeowner’s mortgage--smaller boutiques in  Manhattan districts like Tribeca and Chelsea with fewer apartments for sale can jump these hurdles easily.

New Loan Limit May Affect NYC Buyers

Loan limits affecting NYC luxury real estate

The stories were bleak. Families owing more than their homes were worth; foreclosure signs on lawns becoming a common sight. In response to the subprime mortgage crisis that busted the real estate bubble back in 2008, the government passed legislation to get the housing industry moving again--but some of that legislation is set to expire soon.

As always, New York City is positioned to be an exception, and the wrinkle of impending national policy affecting the size of government insured-loans will have a disproportionate impact on buyers looking at apartments for sale in Manhattan and in other high-cost metropolitan areas.

With the government-loan limit to be reduced by around $100,000 as of October 1st, hundreds of real-estate buyers from the suburbs and city will be forced to either come up with a larger down payment, or face the prospect of signing “jumbo” loans at the real estate table. An appraisal reported in New York Times reports that the new limit would affect about 7 percent of transactions in Manhattan.

Which Areas In The Manhattan Housing Market Are Heating Up?

Manhattan Luxury Apartments markets heat up

For nearly a year, the cost of apartments for sale in Manhattan has remained pretty steady and pretty low because of the economic crisis, but not every building is doing poorly; some areas of Manhattan are actually beginning to thrive, seeing inclines in how much a New Yorker will pay for apartments for sale. These micromarkets can be found throughout Manhattan in just one building, on one street, or in a particular area, scattering the city’s prime real estate from north to south, east to west.

Certain types of apartments seem to be sticking out when it comes to this trend. What are people looking for that they’re willing to pay more to get? They want apartments that are ready for a move-in, family-sized apartments with three or more bedrooms and plenty of space, and unique apartments: ones that have something to make them stand out, i.e. a wrap-around terrace or excellent views. Condos that are in their first resale are also extremely popular. Many new construction buildings were built around 2007 and their apartments are once again for sale; buyers are attracted to these apartments because they are still very new and they’ve had residents that would have taken care of any issues that may have come up.

96th Street: The New Development Frontier

New developments on 96th street in Manhattan increasingAs Manhattan’s population continues to grow, so does its supply of new construction. In turn, new and old residents alike seek affordable luxury, and in doing so sometimes catalyze the redevelopment of even the most unlikely of neighborhoods. Nowhere is this more obvious than East 96th Street, traditionally the boundary between the Upper East Side and East Harlem, two almost completely different neighborhoods. Yet what is just an unwritten barrier to many is a significant obstacle to new development, but that is changing rapidly.

While 96th Street may still demarcate neighborhoods, the area north of it is seeing a drastic increase in residential supply. One of the first, and most highly sought-after in the area is, luxury condominiums 1212 Fifth Avenue, a pre-war conversion that used to house medical students. Taking advantage of the neighborhood’s adjacent location to Central Park, 1212 Fifth Avenue is a demonstration of how new construction in Manhattan can overcome strong neighborhood perception by using the simplest of tools: an address, coupled with nearby subway access.

Dancing To A New (Construction) Beat In West Chelsea

Construction in West Chelsea Even in a city that doesn't sleep, West 27th Street in Chelsea has long had a reputation for staying up late. That rep came courtesy of a bunch of clubs that, for a decade, set the pace for late-night revelry in a neighborhood that was, for years, Manhattan's club capital. Of course, no party lasts forever, and with those clubs closed -- and with Manhattan's club scene now doing its things behind the velvet ropes of the Lower East Side -- West Chelsea's former club capital has become something more upscale, a lot less messy and generally much more... residential. In the Wall Street Journal, Laura Kusisto notes that the stretch of West 27th Street between 10th and 11th Avenue, formerly the site of several notably noisy nightspots, has recently been home to a different kind of boom -- this time, as the home to some new luxury condominium development. With promising new Chelsea condominiums as 200 Eleventh Avenue, 245 Tenth and 133 West 22nd leading the way -- and with the newly opened second leg of The High Line giving the neighborhood some high-gloss glamour (and some high-end green space) -- it looks like the party may not be over in West Chelsea just yet.

Toll Brothers Re-Claims NYC as Part of Its Empire

Toll Brothers moving back to New York City

For nearly 45 years, Toll Brothers has prided itself on -- and marketed itself as -- being America’s top “luxury home builder." From golf course mansions to poolside townhouses, Toll Brothers created an ever-increasing empire, if one that -- until a few years ago, at least -- was confined largely to the 'Burbs. That changed in 2008 with the arrival of Toll Brothers City Living, a branch of the company specializing in housing in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Hoboken and Philadelphia. Of course, as anyone who followed Manhattan real estate -- or the economy, or anything else -- could tell you, '08 was an especially inopportune time to be starting a real estate business. Unsurprisingly, Toll Brothers City Living got off to a rough start with Northside Piers, and later that year Robert I. Toll, chief executive of Toll Brothers, claimed that New York City had “joined the rest of the country” and was no longer a place to buy homes. Toll even pleaded with Congress to subsidize the prices of homes because of the number of clients cancelling contracts. But that was 2008, and this is 2011 and, thanks to a batch of new construction condo listings, Toll Brothers is showing all appearances of being back in force.

Street Cred Needed: SoHo Condo Residents Chafe Under Artist Rules

The neighborhood of SoHo, or South of Houston Street, is known as one of the most popular -- and one of the priciest -- neighborhoods in Manhattan, alongside the trendy high-rise condos of Chelsea, the stalwart and pre-war Upper East Side, and raucous Greenwich Village. Back in the day SoHo was a haven of artists looking for low rents in the manufacturing district’s industrial work spaces. But now this NYC neighborhood is known less for its poor artists and more as a growing district of affluent families, lush boutiques and converted condo listings. With the demand for SoHo residences at a peak and many artists fleeing to cheaper pastures, some SoHo dwellers are crying foul about an old law that requires residential lofts to be set aside strictly for certified artists. SoHo residents say the law is -- wait for it -- certifiably nuts.

High Five: High Line Phase Two Will Extend to 30th Street -- Will Real Estate Boom Follow?

NYC condos for sale near High LineIf you follow Manhattan real estate, you are familiar with The High Line. And if you don't follow Manhattan real estate, and are in town for a convention or to see the sights or check out Anything Goes on Broadway or whatever... well, welcome to the New Construction Manhattan blog, and we'll presume you're also familiar with The High Line. After just a few short years on the West Side, the winding, lushly landscaped park that runs on the former freight train tracks above 10th Avenue has become both one of Manhattan's must-visit venues and one of the greatest success stories in Manhattan real estate. While Chelsea condo listings were, truth be told, doing pretty all right before the High Line went from random-old-elevated-train-tracks to hugely popular public park, the arrival of the park gave a huge boost to apartment listings near the High Line, and helped occasion the development of such blockbuster, star-architect-designed high-end condominium listings as HL23, +Art, 456 West 19th Street and Nouvel and Chelsea Modern. And with the opening of the High Line's second stage -- which will run from 20th Street all the way up to 30th Street -- on June 8, the High Line looks likely to work its real estate magic again, this time for North Chelsea and the emerging and highly promising Hudson Yards neighborhood bearing the goofy-ish nickname The Linc.

Are Two Bedrooms Now Number One in the Manhattan Condo Market?

After the 2008 market crash the prices of one-bedrooms and studios recovered fairly quickly, but the two-bedroom has held out until now. According to The Real Deal, overall inventory of apartments has grown by 13.4 percent since March, but the inventory of two-beds has grown much slower. True to the laws of economics, the ever-present high demand of Manhattan real estate coupled with a low supply means that prices of Manhattan two-bedrooms has hit a new peak -- and the competition to secure one is getting fierce. The New York Times interviewed Tracie Hamersley, a senior vice president of Citi Habitats, whose two-bedroom listing in Murray Hill closed at the asking price after only a single week on the market. It was the buyer’s third attempt at securing a two-bedroom.