New York City Real Estate Blog Archives for August 2011

You Passed The Co-Op Interview -- Now It's Your Dog's Turn

Luxury co-op boards not so fast to "woof-woof" - New Construction ManhattanYou have done everything you need to do: looked at a hundred different apartments, chosen the one you loved, organized and filled out all of the necessary paperwork, and now your dream apartment is in your grasp; you can picture yourself moving in and how you’re going to decorate it, but there’s one thing left to do and this task isn’t under your control, but the control of your canine. Yep, that’s right; it is now your dog’s turn to pass a test and if he does not, then you cannot move in to your new apartment.

All you can think about is finding an apartment that is pet-friendly. All your potential neighbor can think about is the fact that the last person who lived in that apartment had a dog that never seemed to be quiet. There has to be a happy medium somewhere, right? Now, co-op boards are bringing your little pooches in for an interview, but that’s not all; they want letters of recommendation from others who know your dog best (dog walkers, groomers, neighbors) as well explains the New York Times. You read correctly; co-op boards are now looking to put your dog through what they say are necessary tests to decide whether or not they are willing to allow you to bring your pet with you on your move.

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.

Wealthy Chinese Investing More In NYC Real Estate

Sleek glass buildings most popular choice amongst Chinese investors Mainland China is an ever-expanding economy of 1.3 billion people; and now, as explained in a NY Times article, a rapidly increasing amount of its wealthiest citizens are choosing to invest in Manhattan luxury real estate. What began roughly two years ago as a minimal increase in inquiries regarding these properties has ballooned into a large number of high-net worth Chinese businessmen searching for luxury condominiums in the $500,000 to $10 Million and more range. This is exciting news within the NYC real estate market, with these Chinese investors helping to strengthen property values, which could in turn lead to an increase in investments by both foreign and domestic parties. As sales to these foreign investors continue to rise, could we perhaps be witnessing a transformation of the Manhattan real estate market before our very eyes?

How To Make Your Open House Experience A Successful One

Open houses can be crucial to your successOpen houses are a great way for potential buyers to get the lay-of-the-land when it comes to their apartment search, providing them with the perfect opportunity to get into a few different apartments and decide what exactly they are looking for. A broker is a big help when it comes to setting up appointments and many times will join buyers on days when they are touring open houses. Here are some tips that the New York Times agrees are good for buyers to know about taking advantage of open houses in Manhattan.

  • When it comes to apartments for sale in Manhattan, Sundays are the days to go to open houses. A good start for buyers who are just beginning to look at apartments is to see four to six places in a day. This will help the buyer to figure out exactly what type of apartment they are looking for, what neighborhoods they like, and what kind of building they want to live in.

Finally: Amenities For Teens In New Construction Buildings

Luxury teen lounge in Manahttan condo buildingBasketball courts, bowling alleys, decked out lounges, lounged out rooftop decks, pools, state-of-the-art fitness centers, libraries, screening rooms, indoor baseball fields, children’s playrooms, catering kitchens, full-time concierges and doormen. What are ‘amenities in luxury new construction condominiums’, Alex?

Amenities make already luxurious new construction buildings ultra-luxurious, giving them ways of differentiating themselves from their neighbors. “We have a bowling alley, what do you have?” shouts one new construction building to its not-as-cool neighbor. “W-w-we…” stammers the neighbor and unable to finish the sentence, shakes its head, turning back to its duties of rising into the Manhattan skyline. What a skill, thinks new construction building number one. I rise just as tall, but I have some pretty awesome amenities to offer and you don’t. So, ha.

Outdoor Pools: The Summer's Coveted Condo Amenity

Outdoor pools - New Construction ManhattanAs the scorching summer rages on, New Yorkers find themselves searching for the sweet, serene relief that goes hand in hand with swimming. Recently, however, it has become increasingly difficult to find Manhattan apartment listings offering on-site pool facilities. Even more rare are the highly coveted rooftop, outdoor pools. It is more likely, if a building has a pool at all, that it is an indoor unit, a trend that has become increasingly more prevalent.

According to the New York Times, outdoor pools have become a rarity in NYC. In fact, while there are nearly 150 condominiums with pools as an amenity, only about 15 of them are outdoors and several are privately owned townhouses. Those offering outdoor swimming facilities see it as a source of pride -- and therefore use it as a selling point. But as the number of outdoor pools dwindle, the demand for them is rising, and Manhattan new construction buildings are innovating their pool amenities.

The Paris of Manhattan Keeps Growing

Carnegie Hill MansionA small enclave in the northern reaches of the Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill is in many ways unlike any other neighborhood in New York City. Next to Central Park, quiet streets full of limestone rowhouses and pre-war co-ops are home to some of Manhattan’s most powerful residents, all of whom desire to claim this historic section of the Upper East Side as theirs. Yet Carnegie Hill wasn’t always like this; until Andrew Carnegie built his now-landmarked mansion on Fifth Avenue and 91st Street in 1901, much of the area was farmland. In turn, wealthy New Yorkers built their estates in the surrounding blocks, in doing so creating one of Manhattan’s most architecturally-significant neighborhoods. With the arrival of the subway a decade later, Carnegie Hill’s expansion continued at an even more rapid pace.

New Developments, Now By Cost Per Square Foot

Manahttan neighborhood zoning shows cost by square footRecently, MNS released its second quarter report on new development sales, and to our delight, it contains a new metric: cost per square foot. In doing so, MNS is allowing us to compare neighborhoods and their new construction more accurately, as paying more for less square footage indicates that the location or building is partially or entirely the main selling point. What is interesting, however, is that while the same neighborhoods are consistently more expensive, they differ when considering price per square foot, and the winners are in some ways unlikely.

When we look at new development by neighborhood in terms of price per square foot, MNS’ combined Gramercy/Flatiron District neighborhood is the clear winner as well as the only part of Manhattan to average more than $2,000 per square foot. In contrast, the favorites that vie for the title of Manhattan’s most expensive neighborhood -- Tribeca, SoHo, and Greenwich Village (including the West Village) -- are surprisingly low. Of interest is Tribeca, which barely outdoes the Lower East Side in terms of new development pricing; this could be attributed to Tribeca’s almost completely built-out nature, with little new development to drive prices up. SoHo and the Village are still growing, with the former’s addition of the rather large 40 Mercer and Trump SoHo edging the neighborhood into second place.

125th Street's Development Boom

New Manhattan developments on 125th StreetOne street in Manhattan is about to gain 350,000 square feet of new development, and it’s not what you may think. 125th Street, often considered Upper Manhattan’s Main Street of sorts, will grow yet again thanks to three initiatives spearheaded by the New York City Department of City Planning and Economic Development Corporation. The former’s 2008 rezoning and the latter’s two pet projects, CREATE @ Harlem Green and the Corn Exchange Building restoration, will serve as anchors to make the 125th Street corridor one of Manhattan’s most important. In doing so, it will serve as a hub for new residential and commercial development as well as a catalyst for the continued growth of Upper Manhattan.