Category Archives: BuyingtipsforManhattanproperty

Soho residential listings selling at 15% discount according to report

According to a recent report, the residential listings in Soho are experiencing price cuts of approximately 10% and usually are chopped another 5% after that. The market like many neighborhoods in Manhattan is a buyer’s market. Seller’s expectations are coming down but as this is happening in Soho, the sellers do not have to sell so the market is at an impasse.

The below table shows the number of active listings by bedroom count in Soho.

# Bedrooms Active Low Price High Price
1 36 $580,000 $11,000,000
2 58 $630,000 $12,250,000
3 + 80 $1,995,000 $40,500,000

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Top Manhattan buildings outperformed stock market over the last decade according to report

According to a recent report by City Realty, buildings such as 15 Central Park west out performed the stock market over the last decade. Buildings with tons of amenities, famous architects(starchitects) and celebrity residents certainly do get lots of attention but are they truly worth the investment? According to the report, the compound annual growth rate at 15 CPW was 6.84% compared to stock market which was -2% and gold which was 3.2%.

Recently, I had a client that sold their Manhattan townhouse for $15 million to an investor. Is this a good investment for the buyer? According to most experienced Manhattan real estate brokers, 2016 was more or less the peak of the ultra luxury market and since then we are in a buyer’s market. There are certainly a fair amount of coverage in the press of buyers who are liquidating investments in ultra luxury, new development buildings that are being sold for less than they paid.

One strategy to increase liquidity,  would be to split that investment up to smaller investments. The 2 bedroom/2 bathroom market continues to be a sweet spot as it’s the family sized apartment that is within reach of many buyers. Also, performing really well now is the multi-family market. Would it have made more sense to buy a 1-2 buildings with anywhere from 6-40 units? With professional management, these properties have been performing well and continue to perform well right now as there is a shortage of inventory.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Manhattan townhouse owners-understanding your property tax bill

NYC puts out a guide of how to understand your real estate tax bill of your property. It’s amazing how many NYC property owners do not understand their real estate property tax bill. In fairness, the system is very complicated and you might see two identical Manhattan townhouses with the same number of units yet radically different tax bills.

It is always advisable to consult with a real estate tax attorney before making any changes to your tax classification, and doing renovations especially alterations.

Generally speaking, your real estate tax bills will go up when you do an alteration to your building like changing the number of units or adding gross square footage. If you do not make a change to your building, there are caps on your assessed value which is the amount that your real estate tax bill is derived. For class 1 properties which are 1-3 family homes, it is 6% per year or 20% for 5 years. For tax class 2A (4-6 units), class 2B (7-10 units) the cap is 8% per year or 30% over 5 years. For properties that are class 2 (11 units or more) no cap exists which is one of the reasons a SRO building as classified by Department of Finance with 11 rooms(units) could see taxes climb steadily per year without cap.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Why are the taxes so high in some Manhattan buildings but not so in others?

Understanding NYC’s archaic and often inequitable system of real estate taxes might be a life long pursuit but for the purposes of this blog, let’s take a look at a couple of the items that influence your real estate taxes of a Manhattan townhouse.

One of the influencing factors is how recently the property transferred. You have some long time owners in Manhattan whose properties are now worth several million dollars yet their assessed values are artificially low due to the lack of a recent sale. However, once the property changes hands, the Department of Finance might be right there adjusting the value and raising your taxes.

Continue reading Why are the taxes so high in some Manhattan buildings but not so in others?

Upper West side townhouse report

In the month of April, 9 new listings for townhouses on the Manhattan’s Upper West side came on the market.

331 W 78th street 5.3 million
52 W 85th street 9.95 million
248 CPW $29 million
42 W 70th street $14.2 milllion
49 W 94th street $6.288 million
22 W 90th street $8.150 million
129 Manhattan ave $5.25 million
164 W 81 street $5.35 million
305 W 78th street $7.95 million

Overall, there are 55 townhouses in the market on Manhattan’s Upper west side ranging from $4.35 million to $29 million for a high end renovation at 248 Central Park west.

Two contracts were signed in April for townhouses on the Upper West side. At this rate, it would take more than 2 years to sell all of the supply that currently exists in the market.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Harlem Townhouse market update

Since April 1st, 22 townhouses have been in the market. The lowest price offering was for an SRO priced at just under $2 million to a historic home asking $5.25 million on Lenox avenue. This is a pretty significant amount of townhouses put in the market. Streeteasy is currently showing 19 townhouses in contract. Most of the townhouses have gone into contract in the first 4 months of the year.  4 contracts for Harlem townhouses were signed since April 1st. At that pace it would take about 6 months to sell off just the supply of houses that came on the market in April.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Should you make a bid for a Manhattan property at or before an open house?

If you are looking at a Manhattan property which just listed and the first open house is set up for Sunday, I would say that it makes little sense to make an offer prior to the open house. At the open house, the agent can potential shop this offer to all other interested parties. I would recommend instead to have your offer submitted Monday morning. Recently, an interested client asked what would have to be done to have an open house cancelled. The answer the seller agent gave, was that it would be nearly impossible to have that happen.

The exception being if that the property is listed on Monday or maybe Tuesday and the open house is 5-6 days away, you might be able to submit an offer and have the contract fully executed prior to the open house but that will be unlikely due to the amount of time needed for due diligence.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Is it better to purchase and renovate a townhouse or spend more for a renovated one?

Many townhouse buyers like the idea of buying a Manhattan fixer upper but underestimate both the cost, time and effort involved with a renovation. If you purchase a fixer upper, the positives are that you can make the home exactly as you want from unit number, to finishes to outdoor space like a roof terrace or penthouse. But you will pay for that convenience in renovation costs which could be as low as $150 per square foot to as much as $700 or more per square for a high end renovation.

Additionally, a renovation will require approvals from Department of Buildings, as well as Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) if the building is one of the coveted Manhattan historic districts. Also there is no guarantee that if you purchase a $7 million Upper West side townhouse and add $4 million that your space is worth more than $11mm total.

I think the questions you should ask are:

1- Can you find something in a higher price range that is already finished close to what I am looking for in a townhouse?
2- Do you have all of the necessary capital to pay for the renovation including architecture fees, permits and expediters? Also, do you have the time to dedicate to supervising the work and making sure your expectations are met?
3- Do you have the patience to wait between 1-3 years or more for the townhouse to be finished while undergoing renovation?
4- Do you have enough capital to cover the cost overruns or increased costs associated with the unanticipated items?
5- Are you okay with the potential increase in real estate taxes due to the renovation and potential alteration? Speak to your real estate tax attorney for more details on that.

A townhouse renovation is not for the faint of heart and should be entered into with care and tons of research. Perhaps it might be wise instead, to purchase a Manhattan townhouse that is already renovated and ready for occupancy.

The dining area at 189 Edgecombe, a gut renovated townhouse in Hamilton Heights that is for sale for $2.525 million.
The marble clad kitchen with island, dishwasher, garbage disposal, wine refrigerator and sliding doors to the deck. 189 Edgecombe avenue

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.