Which way will the Manhattan real estate market go in 2017?

Sorry to disappoint the buyers who are banking on a buyer’s market across all price ranges in 2017 but that is pretty unlikely. I think you will see the market in the super luxury segment continue to see increased days on market and more negotiation of prices. Nearly every real estate blog or national newspaper chronicles the price reductions that have befallen the super luxury market which in Manhattan starts at around $6 million and up. That trend will continue but now what will happen is that less product will come online to compete with what’s already there. Developers are either shelving or delaying the launch of the sales of their apartments or can not go forward due to finance issues. Financing new development rightfully so has become very difficult. So the super luxury market will see increased days on market and more negotiation of prices. This is and has been a buyer’s market.

$3 million and under still continues to sell well and this will not be affected by increased inventory because there were very few new developments or conversions of buildings with apartments in this price point. The few that aimed for this affordable luxury market have been and will continue to sell well.

What about $3 million to $ 6 million? Well that is where it gets interesting. The property needs to be priced right to be able to sell. Here you could see days on market increase but it all depends on the product. A 2000 square apartment in a new development close to Riverside Park will be in demand and if the building has a tax abatement like 1 west end avenue or 50 Riverside boulevard or the buildings coming to Waterline square aka Riverside Center, it will sell. Whereas, a $4 million Harlem townhouse may linger on the market for a while depending on the condition and if it’s in a historic district. The same can be said a $5 million apartment in NoMad. Value will be key to this segment. If the value is not there, buyers will hold off as they can feel the scales tipping in their favor.

So in 2017, I think we are going to see a continued tale of different segments of the market going in different directions. Super luxury more days on the market and price negotiations will be the norm. Affordable luxury will continue to the market’s sweet spot and will sell. The in between market will be up for grabs and have a little element of both market segments. What is your forecast for Manhattan’s residential real estate market for 2017?

Which NYC building was inspired by a trash basket?

Well not just any trash basket but rather a $225┬áJosef Hoffmann designed one was the inspiration for one of the buildings in the Billionaire’s Row area that is setting records for sales. Take a look at the below photos and see if you can spot the correct building.

The $225 Josef Hoffman designed waste paper basket that inspired one of the current record setting condo buildings in Midtown’s Billionaire’s Row.
220 CPS Vornado’s new condo near the Time Warner Center
How about this semi-supertall? Is this the right one?
432 Park avenue, the Rafael Vinoly designed building between 55th and 56th street certainly looks very square and has been selling very well according to reports.

If you guessed 432 Park avenue you are right. The building is about 75% sold and the least expensive apartment in this tower is $6.5 million which gets you a 1 bedroom of 1422 sqft or 132m2. According to the latest coverage on the building, it is selling well and they are negotiating prices and expect that by the end of next year it will be sold out.

Madonnna denied special treatment in lawsuit vs co-op board

Madonna has been in and out of litigation with her co-op board at 41 Central Park west on more than one occasion. The co-op board apparently had changed the rules requiring a shareholder to be present in the apartment while other family members or domestic help are there as well. There goes the idea of using her Harperley Hall upper west side cooperative as a place for her domestic help to stay while she slums it in her Upper East side mansion or tours. The judge hearing her suit will rule in the coming days but denied to give her any special treatment.

This points to the idea of how a co-op works. They change the rules and then as a shareholder,(even if you are Madonna) you have to abide by the rules or they can evict you and terminate your proprietary lease. The relationship that you have with your co-op board is more like a landlord(them) tenant(you) one than in a condo. In a condo, it’s much more difficult to remove an owner who may be ignoring the rules.

Read the full story about Madonna’s lawsuit here

What allows one townhouse to be a single family and another to be 8 units?

Just looking at the photo in this post, you have 5 houses visible and in that group, an 8 family, a single family and a house that was an SRO being converted to a 4 family home. Lots of diversity. What allows such a variety of uses buyers often ask? Well, the zoning allows it and as long the department of buildings allows either the alteration or continued use of the building, it continues. Have you ever wandered down a Manhattan brownstone block and counted bells? Yes, that’s one way to take a guess at the number of units but not always accurate as over time owners may combine units.

The other question that buyers often ask is what is best use of the townhouse? Well that depends on the your strategy. The smaller units are easier to rent out but there is more turnover and more regulation. You will have a much easier time renting out 600 sqft 1 bedroom apartments than 3 floors for $6500 per month but the turnover will be higher. Also, as you have more units, you have potentially higher taxes and different requirements per building codes as you crossover from a residential use to a commercial one. As always, a thorough analysis of the building combined with conversations with your team including general contractor, architect and experienced real estate broker will be the best way to protect your investment.

 

Citi Bike station on Central Park west moved

The Citi Bike station that was on the sidewalk just south of West 100th street on the western side of the street has been moved to the park side of the street. While some people may mourn the loss of parking spaces, pedestrians who walk to the subway between West 100th street and the B,C train at West 96th street will no doubt have a little more space now that the station is gone. Word is it that Park West Village, the condo development adjacent to the station and locals complained about the location and to their credit DOT moved it to the park side of the street.

 

Central Park tennis courts season ends today

So after another extension, it was mixed emotions we say goodbye to the Hartru tennis courts of Central Park until next year. Sunday will be in the low 40’s so probably only the most committed tennis players will be out there saying farewell in person. On the positive side, the teaching courts stay open all year round and you can get out there whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Until next year 6am players lining up, 8am doubles groups, favorite courts and of course Central Park tennis ladder aka Leon’s ladder!

Police begin to enforce traffic laws for bikes and cars on Upper West side

Last week, I was walking across Central Park West at West 100th street and a car turned in front of me. At that time, the police car that is frequently stationed at West 100th street and CPW, did an immediate U-turn and pulled the driver over. I thought could it be that the driver was pulled over for not yielding to a pedestrian in the crosswalk? Nah.. But then, the same exact thing happened this morning at which point, the police immediately pulled over the driver. Then about 30 minutes later, at the very same intersection, I saw a very rare sight. Two bikes that ran through the light at West 100th street were stopped by the same police cruiser written summons. Could there be a shifting in the enforcement of the laws in favor of pedestrian safety?