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Showing posts from August, 2012

2012: The Hottest Year For Manhattan Real Estate Since '07

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A: Ok the year is not over yet, but at this point I can confidently say that this market is quickly shaping up to be the hottest market I have experienced in Manhattan real estate since the peak back in 2007. This is a combination of sustained new contract activity, declining inventory trends, and "price action". Out of these 3 micro market forces, only "price action" is measured at a lag as we wait for price discovery on deals that were signed months ago. Therefore, all the activity from April through July should start to reveal itself in the upcoming quarterly reports. Expect these reports to show positive price trends..

Lets get right into the data and put the pieces together on where Manhattan is right now and where we came from. I am a big fan of keeping it simple, so lets look at what Manhattan is producing on a monthly basis over the last 3 years; both new contracts signed and new supply coming to market. 

MANHATTAN MONTHLY NEW DEAL VOLUME SINCE 2009(contract …

How to buy pre-construction smart

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Buying pre-construction has its perks. You can be part of a unique and special project, like a brand new condo in the West Village, or have first dibs on the penthouse in the latest hot building.  More practically speaking, you can also, in many cases, take advantage of some discounted early phase pricing (more on that below). But how do you buy an apartment without touching, seeing, or walking through it? How will you know what the views from the 31st floor will really be like? How do you buy pre-construction smart? Here's some advice from the experts: 1. Let the offering plan guide you That document needs to be considered the Bible for the purchasers. The offering plan includes everything from the appliances that have been chosen to the opinion of a tax lawyer on what taxes will be after the city asseses the finished building. It will also have a "special risks" section, which will include things like whether or not the developer has the right to rent any unsold units.…

Finally, It Is Time to Buy a House

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Warren Buffettfamously once said: "Be fearful when others are greedy, be greedy when others are fearful." And if you're not instinctively scared of the housing market, then global warming, saturated fat, running with scissors and the bogeyman probably aren't keeping you awake at night, either. The fact that everyone is scared to dabble in—much less commit to—housing makes it a close-to-perfect investment based on Mr. Buffett's principle. But buying real estate is a good long-term investment for many more reasons, some of which have only become apparent in recent weeks. The most striking: Housing prices rose sharply from April to May. The S&P/Case-Shiller Index rose 2.2% in 20 of the nation's big cities. Prices shot up more than 3% in Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and Minneapolis. Even Detroit's housing market scored a gain, inching up by 0.4%. Nationally, the increase was the first in seven months. More importantly, the increase matched other data …

Manhattan vacancy rate climbs, but so do rents

Manhattan apartment seekers had more rental units to choose from in July, a new report says. The vacancy rate for rentals in the borough reached 1.20 percent in July, an increase compared to the previous July, when the rate was 0.86 percent, according to a monthly report released today. This is the second consecutive month we have seen an increase in rental inventory, and represents the highest level of available apartments since this past March, when the vacancy rate was 1.25 percent. In June, it was 1.01 percent, the report says. This increase may be the result of New Yorkers entering the sales market or price-sensitive newcomers postponing their moves to the city. It seems like many college students, who in the past may have opted to move to Manhattan early to spend summer in the city, are now finding that prospect cost-prohibitive. While still relatively low, this uptick in vacancy during the peak summer season may be a sign that rents have approached their tipping point. July re…

Rental Market in NYC: Rents climb in Second Quarter

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Average Manhattan studio surpasses $2,500 a month July  2012 

The cost of a Manhattan rental apartment climbed to a median price of $3,125 per month in the second quarter of 2012, a new report shows. At the same time, more units came on the market, but the increased inventory isn’t necessarily good news for renters. In the second quarter of 2012, rental listings rose 27.9 percent, to 5,660 units from 4,427 units, compared to the same period in 2011. “The rise in inventory is a phenomenon created by people vacating their units when presented with a significant rent increase,” said Jonathan Miller, president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel. “Technically it’s happening, but the property becomes available for a short period of time and is snapped up.” In June, the vacancy rate increased to 1.01 percent, according to a similar report from another Real Estate firm in NYC, released today. That’s still tiny, but significantly higher than it was last June, when vacant units made up just 0.…

Another day, another $95M listing

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August 2012  50 Central Park South and the duplex penthouse For the second time this week a condominium bordering Central Park, a duplex penthouse on the 34th and 35th floors of 50 Central Park South, has been put on the market with a $95 million price tag.  The 5,078-square-foot unit has three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and is highlighted by a 42-foot-long ballroom that looks on to the park. The unit also has a 689-square-foot terrace. It is owned by an Argentinian ballroom dancer who paid $19.95 million for the the apartment on the top floors of the Ritz-Carlton in 2006 and spent an additional $7 million on renovations. Weston would not disclose his exact identity. The unit is one of three on the market for at least $95 million. On Wednesday, steel magnate Leroy Schecter listed his 15 Central Park West condo for the same price, and two weeks ago developer Steven Klar listed his CitySpire penthouse for $100 million. Today’s listing is the smallest of the three, but the building is no st…

Alchemy closes on upper portion of Woolworth

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August  2012  From left: Alchemy Properties president Kenneth Horn, the Woolworth Building, the building's lobby and the building's namesake Frank Woolworth A $68 million deal to transforming the top 30 floors of the iconic Woolworth Building into 40 luxury condominiums has been finalized and the units are expected to be ready for occupancy by 2015, according to the New York Times. An investment group led by Alchemy Properties closed July 31 on the upper portion of the building from a partnership of the Witkoff Group and Cammeby’s International, which will continue to lease the bottom 28 floors as offices. Witkoff and Cammeby’s, led by Steve Witkoff and Ruby Schron, respectively, purchased the entire building for $137.5 million in 1998. The 57-story building’s new apartments will be some of the highest in the city at approximately 700 feet above the ground, with one five-level, 8,000-square-foot penthouse, occupying the copper cupola reaching 792 feet . The top-floor penthouse…