The Million-Dollar Views of Manhattan

People looking for an apartment in Manhattan often have a long list of features they expect to see in their dream homes. These can range from something simple like wanting a lot of space in their rooms to something more fantastical like wanting a celebrity neighbor! But one of the common things that almost all apartment hunters in the city would like to have is, quite simply, a good view. In a city known for having high-rise buildings standing choc-a-bloc with each other, there is a huge demand from New York’s luxury apartment dwellers for homes that have windows looking out into something more pleasing that another concrete structure.

So, what in New York City constitutes a good view? While the city’s residents seem to be happy to work in the grayness of the concrete jungle, they definitely want to see some more color when they are relaxing at their homes. As a result, the views that matter the most in Manhattan are those that look either to the vibrant foliage of Central Park, or to the pristine blue of the Hudson and East rivers. While these natural colors may be on the top of the wish list, many New Yorkers are willing to accept an artificial alternative as well—the city’s fully lit skyline in the nighttime is also a vista that people are willing to pay top dollar for.

While apartments with views of Central Park are a great draw, a report in The New York Times says that there are various classifications to the kind of the view one can expect in such homes. A view that looks over the top of the trees in the parks is the ultimate stamp of luxury living, while the second place is jointly occupied by a “tree-line” view and a “through-the-trees” view. Basically, the rule of thumb seems to be that the taller the view, the higher the price of the apartment. But with these high prices, potential residents want the most bang for their buck as well—they expect to see these stunning views in as many rooms of the apartment as possible.

For instance, the view from the penthouse at One57 is something that most people would consider ideal—by offering four fabulous vistas, this Manhattan condo represents the biggest and the best in New York City, at least for now. The New York Times article spells out many other great examples, including the luxury condominium building at 1214 Fifth Avenue, with views that looks out to Central Park, Midtown and the George Washington Bridge. River views are one of the reasons for the buzz at 515 East 72nd Street, with its location adjacent to the East River making it a very lovely Upper East Side residence.

However, the people that place the most importance on views are not usually long-time New York residents—interestingly enough, it is first-time buyers and non-New York buyers who are willing to spend a lot of money based on what they see outside their windows. Real estate brokers say that “real die-hard New Yorkers” are more practical and therefore place more stress on how large the apartment is, and the kind of amenities offered at the building they are going to be living in. So New Yorkers are willing to compromise on the perfect view—but they certainly are not going to back down on the dimensions they want for their dream home.