New York City Real Estate Blog Archives for March 2010

Curbed: Buyer's Market for Condos Illustrated By Discounts at Upper East Side Luxury Condo Building 300 East 79

300 East 79 in the Upper East SideIf you're reading the New Construction Manhattan blog, there's a decent chance you're looking for a condo or apartment in Manhattan. Which means that there's a decent chance that you've probably noticed at least two things while searching for a condo or apartment for sale in New York City. The first is that everyone out there is quick to tell you that the market for NYC condos and apartments is currently tilted in the buyer's favor; the second is that the asking prices for those Manhattan condominiums and apartments don't really seem to have come down all that much. The operative word there is "seem" -- as we discussed in an earlier post to the New Construction Manhattan blog, the asking prices for NYC condos at the moment are notably different than the amounts that people are actually paying for NYC condos. In a post at Curbed, Sara Polsky uses Upper East Side luxury condominium 300 East 79 (no points for guessing that 300 East 79 is indeed located at 300 East 79th Street) as a lesson in the difference between the asking price for a Manhattan apartment and the actual price of said Manhattan apartment.

The Secret's Out: What NYC Condo Buyers Need to Know About Secret Fees

Hidden fees for New York City apartmentsBuying a condominium in Manhattan involves one large fee and seemingly dozens of smaller ones. The many costs of closing on a NYC condo typically do involve a real estate agent's commission -- it has always been thus, and always will be -- but one less-than-welcome recent innovation to hit the New York real estate scene is currently getting some richly deserved scrutiny. As The Real Deal's Ken Harney reports, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is looking into the widespread and frankly dodgy practice of additional, ill-defined "admin" fees tacked on top of the commission on a condominium purchase.

Things That Make Sense: Fewer Interest-Only Mortgages Out There. (Thank Goodness)

Interest Only Mortgages Of all the ridiculous ideas that precipitated what people are apparently calling The Great Recession, junk mortgages -- "subprime" is somehow too kind a word, here -- have to rank among the worst. Real estate in general, and New York apartments and condominiums in particular, have long ranked among the smartest and safest investments out there, but the rise and sad popularity of junk mortgages such as "interest-only" mortgages during the real estate boom did much to unmake that. Sure, the right NYC condo is still a terrific investment, but the market in general was damaged seriously by all the homes and apartments (generally not in New York City, of course) that were sold to people via frankly crappy means such as interest-only mortgages.

Re-Animator: Back-From-The-Brink Upper West Side Condo Sheffield57 Ready to Resume Apartment Sales?

Sheffield57 in the Upper West SideSheffield57 looked like the total package -- or at least like an Upper West Side condo development to watch -- for awhile back there. There was a prime location near Columbus Circle, at 322 West 57th Street and all the attendant goodnesses -- access to shopping, subway hub, Central Park, and so on -- that come with that. There was the condo itself, which delivered everything you'd expect from an Upper West Side luxury condo.

Mid-Week Read: One Madison Park, Manhattan's Most Troubled (And Symbolic) Luxury Condo

One Madison Park in ChelseaIf we were perhaps a little too goofy for the (awesome) new Nouvel in Chelsea in yesterday's New Construction Manhattan blog post, it's worth noting that we are only slightly less over-the-moon for the very cool-looking and impressively lavish One Madison Park, a luxury condominium in the Flatiron District at 23 East 22nd Street. But while the condos for sale at One Madison Park are pretty much beyond reproach, the building itself has suffered through an... interesting period of late, with the developers getting into trouble with creditors and the entire building's brand taking something of a hit in the process.

Nouvel Vogue: Jean Nouvel's Luxury Condo at 100 Eleventh Avenue Gets Raves From New York Times

100 Eleventh Avenue in ChelseaThe architectural renderings alone on Nouvel, Jean Nouvel's luxury condominium at 100 Eleventh Avenue in Chelsea, were enough to get Manhattan architecture buffs excited. But as impressive as Nouvel's design for, um, Nouvel was, the actual condo itself proved far superior. One of the elite luxury condo listings in both Chelsea and all of Manhattan, Nouvel got some much-deserved love from New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff in Sunday's paper. Should this matter to you if you're looking for a new condominium in Manhattan?

Sticker Shtick: NYC Condos Currently Going For Anywhere From 5 to 30 Percent Below Listing Price

%We've devoted many pixels here at the New Construction Manhattan blog to the buyer-friendly trends in the market for NYC condos, and with good reason -- this is a pretty excellent time to be buying a condominium in Manhattan, for a myriad of reasons. That said, a look at the prices for NYC condos at present might make it seem like the buyer's market in NYC real estate is... well, not nearly buyer-friendly enough. And it might indeed seem that way, were you to look at the prices for, say, condos on the Upper West Side or Upper East Side. But the most important thing to note is this: per a recent report at The Real Deal, no one is actually paying those prices. In fact, most condos for sale in Manhattan are currently selling for somewhere between five and 30 percent less than their list prices. Why is this?

State of Happiness: State of New York Mortgage Agency Offering Sweet Deal to First-Time Home Buyers

State of New York Mortgage AgencyFinding an apartment or condominium in Manhattan doesn't necessarily have to be difficult -- if you're already at New Construction Manhattan, you've probably already figured that out. But paying for that NYC condo or apartment... that is another story. But while paying for a new condominium in Manhattan will never be as much fun as finding a new condominium in Manhattan, some encouraging news out of Albany today promises to make buying a NYC condo that much easier, at least for first-time home buyers. Federal funds administered by the State of New York Mortgage Agency have made possible a slew of new, low-interest/low-down-payment mortgages for first-time home buyers in New York, the New York Times reports.

Square Deal? The Inexact Science of Square Footage

Square footage in New York City apartments Buying a condominium in Manhattan is not easy. If there's one thing you'll hear from friends who've gone about purchasing a Manhattan apartment or NYC condo, it's that. But if there's one thing we keep going over here at the New Construction Manhattan blog, it's that buying NYC condos doesn't have to be quite as difficult as it is -- if you ask the right questions and work with the right real estate agent, buying an apartment in Manhattan can be satisfying and maybe even enjoyable. But, as proven in a new report at The Real Deal on the radically imprecise science of calculating the square footage of condominiums for sale, buying a condominium in Manhattan isn't easy. The good news, here, is that square footage numbers aren't necessarily the be-all and end-all when it comes to buying a condo.

Harlem Shuffle: Condo Prices Coming Down Uptown?

Condo Prices in HarlemSince its real estate renaissance began over a decade ago, Upper Manhattan condos have staked a compelling claim as both some of the nicest (and in some instances greenest) new apartments for sale in Manhattan and some of the greatest values in NYC condos. With a bumper crop of new condominiums in Harlem, Washington Heights and Morningside Heights set to open soon, the Upper Manhattan condo market is suddenly glutted. You don't need to be an economics professor to know what happens next -- the sudden boom in supply has led to lower prices, deeper concessions and a burgeoning buyer's market in Upper Manhattan condominiums.