Articles on NYC Economy

When HSBC Is Happy, International Buyers Are Happy Too

Banking giant HSBC recentlyHSBC released new standards for foreign investors interested in Manhattan real estate released new standards for foreign investors buying second homes in New York City. The new standards relax the minimum down payment required from 40% to 30% for luxury Manhattan condos in all buildings that meet a specified set of criteria. Said criteria are designed to maximize the overall stability of the building. They require, among other things, that a building already be 90% full. Meanwhile down payment figures for American buyers have not changed. They range from 20% to 40% depending on the size of the loan. Loans below $2 million allow for just 20% down payments, while loans of $5 million require 40% up front.

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.

Down Town: Home Prices On Decline In NYC... And Everywhere Else.

Home prices in New York City are in decline

Many words might pop into a prospective home-buyer's head while browsing New Construction Manhattan's NYC condo listings, but the word "cheap" probably isn't one of them. There's a reason why Manhattan apartments have proven to be such a good investment, after all -- a limited supply (as discussed earlier at the NCM blog, possibly very limited in the near team) and virtually unlimited demand has ensured that Manhattan apartments tend to hold their value very well. Of course, if you are approaching it from a buyer's perspective, it might seem more correct to say that Manhattan apartments tend to stay quite expensive. But while the Manhattan real estate market remains one of the most competitive and expensive real estate markets in the world -- and while New York City occasionally seems to be its own independent country -- the market for NYC condos is not immune from the effects of the broader U.S. economy. Which is all sort of a long way of saying that, while Manhattan apartment prices remain high, they are in fact notably lower than in years past. No, really.

Eternal Power Struggle Corner: New York Times On Extra-Tense Relationship Between Brokers And Apartment Buyers In NYC

Investing in NYC CondosWe say it seemingly every day: the statistics all indicate that the market for NYC condos is better than it has been in a long time, and improving every quarter. And yet, as you surely know if you've even walked past a newspaper over the last year or so, people in this world -- and in New York City -- are pretty hacked off. About... well, name it. Fantastically irresponsible, totally trumped-up real estate scandals that play loathsomely to the smallest-minded among us? Yeah, we've got that. But there are legitimate causes for concern in this world and city of ours, and the broader uncertainties of the national and global economy are among them. So while we can tell the world, several times weekly, that the Manhattan condominium market is going strong and that NYC condos remain a really great investment, it stands to reason that a city that's even more on edge than usual, people are a little more jittery about buying an apartment. Or it could be that people are just kind of difficult. At any rate, according to The New York Times, brokers, sellers and buyers have entered a new era of contentiousness. To which we at the New Construction Manhattan blog would like to say, without qualification or any quantitative evidence: nice try, but no.

Condo Attitude: New Study Finds New Yorkers Prefer Luxury Condos To Manhattan Co-Ops

It's a real estate rule of thumb: during economic recessions, co-op apartments are generally more popular than luxury condominium listings. The ostensible reasoning is that co-ops -- which demand more money down and involve what is often a painfully rigorous screening process -- are less volatile than condos. That is the rule of thumb, anyway. But a new report in The Wall Street Journal thumbs its nose at that particular rule of thumb by pointing out that, during the recent/ongoing recession, the market for NYC condos has been notably stronger than that for Manhattan co-ops. While this was especially true for luxury condo listings at the higher end of the condo price spectrum, it's more or less true for all Manhattan condominium listings. The big question, of course, is why.

They're Coming To (Luxury Condos In) America: International Buyers Still Buying NYC Condos

International Buyers Invest in New York City CondominiumsEurope: it's a great place to visit, the food is almost uniformly delicious and their way of living frankly makes a lot more sense than ours. What Europe is not, or at least hasn't been lately, is especially economically healthy. You might've read about this in literally every newspaper printed, but if you haven't: here you go and here you go (and yikes). Long story short: a bunch of Eurozone countries are in pretty serious economic trouble, the Euro's value has declined precipitously, and economists are -- ominous music goes here -- concerned. Given that the rest of the world economy isn't in appreciably better shape, all of this would suggest that perhaps international buyers wouldn't still be snapping up Manhattan condos. You'd think that, but it isn't so. As Reuters reports, international buyers are still keen on high-end Manhattan condominiums.

Things New Construction Manhattan Blog Loves: Actual New Construction in Manhattan

New construction update in Manhattan It's tough to cover Manhattan real estate without a little bit of hyperbole making its way in -- Manhattan condos are something like a hype-driven economy, after all, and while there are certain basic real estate truths, NYC real estate is essentially always in flux. When the economy is good, things in Manhattan real estate are good; when the economy is bad, things are less good. "Good for whom" is the question that probably matters most to you, and right now the answer is still, "Good for condo buyers."

A Pinch and A Squeeze: Will Fewer New Luxury Condo Buildings in Manhattan Lead to a Rise in Condo Prices?

Rising prices in New York's luxury condo marketAnyone who has spent any time wandering around Manhattan's former real estate hot spots over the past year has probably noticed the relative dearth of new construction residential projects, but people notice a lot of things wandering around Manhattan. But while there's no hard data proving that everyone on the Upper East Side owns a tiny dog, say, the where-have-all-the-new-construction-condos observation turns out to be right on.

Watch This Space: New Apartment Listings Hitting the Market As Economy Improves

New apartment listings in Manhattan You do not need the New Construction Manhattan blog to tell you what people do during tough economic times. You are (presumably) a person, and you have been alive over the last couple of years, and so you know full well what people do during tough economic times. They hunker down, they batten down hatches, and a bunch of other obscure/arcane phrases that basically translate to "wait it out." This is natural, and it makes a certain basic sense, but it is also, theoretically, not good news for the real estate market. And while prices have been held in place somewhat by the "apartment shortage," it hasn't been quite as simple as Econ 101 would have it.

Home Sales Still on the Rise... the Worst Is Likely Over


RaiseSales of Existing U.S. Homes Probably Climbed in July:

Purchases rose 2.1 percent to a 5 million annual rate, according to the median forecast of 64 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. It would be the fourth consecutive gain, capping the longest stretch of increases since 2004.