There are various reasons why condo prices generally go up the higher the elevator climbs -- Manhattan views, distance from Manhattan street noise, Manhattan views, generous helpings of natural light, and Manhattan views. But while it's generally accepted that NYC condos climb in price by floor level, the question of just when the prices go up -- and just where -- is one that's a bit less clear. In The Real Deal, Matthew Strozier does his best to crack the code of NYC condo prices by floor. What he found will... actually probably not surprise you all that much if you've ever paid much attention to Manhattan real estate. But it is interesting to see what Strozier came up with.
On the lower floors, prices are about what you expect: cheaper on the ground floor and rising somewhat thereafter. But prices dip unexpectedly on the sixth floor, before spiking on the seventh. "Why the zigzag?" Strozier writes. "[Analyst Jonathan] Miller, along with brokers and developers, attributed the price fluctuations from the sixth to the ninth floors to several key factors at the core of city life. Those are the floors where, in the right apartment, an owner can clear New York's ubiquitous six-story buildings, gaze over the trees in Central Park, or see far enough to admire the Hudson or East rivers. And people will pay for that 'break,' skewing the price up for those few floors. Without those 'breaks,' it's just another (albeit higher) floor."
One caveat to the usual rule of Manhattan apartments becoming more and more desirable -- and more and more expensive -- the further they are from the Manhattan streets is that some lower-floor apartments offer charms that higher-floor condos might not. Strozier writes: "Don't overlook the hidden charms of lower-floor apartments, brokers and developers say. There are third-floor units that look into a garden courtyard, or maisonettes that feel like 'private homes with a doorman.'"
Which admittedly does sound pretty nice. The lesson here for those looking for NYC condos, as per usual, is that it's worth checking out an apartment in person once you're done browsing the condo listings.