Next door neighbors are teaming up to sell their luxury apartments, illustrating NYC’s newest real estate trend: the higher demand for three-bedroom apartments and more. The “combination apartment”, in which owners sell their apartments together so the buyer can break down walls and created a “super-sized” unit, also provides for a higher profit for each individual luxury condominium or co-op owner. However, this is not simply a means to make apartments more marketable to buyers; it also falls in line with a general rule of thumb within NYC real estate, which states that unlike most other areas in the U.S., the larger the space, the more a seller can charge per square foot.
While there are a variety of factors influencing this trend, there are two main reasons for this increase in combination apartments within NYC real estate. A one bedroom that can be potentially transformed into a three bedroom often increases the buyer pool, especially if each individual unit is offered as separately as well. This falls in line with the growing desire of those searching for larger luxury apartments, especially as more and more Manhattanites choose to remain in NYC to raise their families. And even though demand has risen for “super-sized” apartments in recent years, new construction has been unable to match this desire with available supply.
Even though demand continues to rise for these combination luxury apartments, there are a number of factors to take into account when merging apartments. The most successful combinations are those that create unique spaces that either do not exist or are simply unavailable in specific buildings. For example, in pre-war buildings, luxury apartments are often combined to re-create the grand spaces originally envisioned by their architects. Perhaps even more interesting, many new construction projects in NYC are specifically being developed to accommodate this desire for super-sized luxury apartments, potentially curbing this sellers’ trend in the future. Isis condos, for example, is an Upper East Side new construction building that was designed to make the combining of adjacent three bedrooms a simpler process.
For those considering a dive into the world of apartment combinations, we at New Construction Manhattan have a few kind words of advice: It’s all about communication. Often times both selling parties have different thought processes on how to proceed with the sale, with one wanting to sell more urgently than his/her partner or with partners unable to decide on how profits should be divided. Make sure any apartment renovations are approved of by the building management or co-op board, who sometimes have additional stipulations for people combining apartments. Because of potential disapproval by the management, mortgage companies may also be hesitant to provide financing for any construction, and will need to see documentation of the project. With a growing desire within NYC real estate for these combination luxury apartments, the benefits of selling an apartment in this way may outweigh the costs. We’ll see what the future holds for the Manhattan combination apartment.