Category Archives: Real estate

What type of Manhattan apartment is the best investment in the current market?

This is the 2nd in a series of articles for buyers who are considering buying a Manhattan apartment as an investment. 

According to the latest data, Manhattan apartments with the least price vulnerability continue to be affordable luxury. Depending on what market segment and neighborhood you look in, the price range is different. On the Upper west side, where I live, that would amount to $3 million and below. In the townhouse market on the Upper West side, it’s roughly $6 million and below where sales still occur. Above $10 million is a different story. In Harlem, affordable luxury is probably closer to $1.5 million and down for apartments and about $2.3 million and below for townhouses.

Mansion Global takes a look at the Manhattan market as a whole and asserts that the affordable luxury market makes up a large portion of Manhattan apartments. Year by year, property at $5mm and below accounts for more than 90% of the sales. The eight figure deals are the outliers but tend to get the headlines. One interesting point that they bring up is that larger apartments change hands less frequently so are more difficult to price, remain on the market longer, and eventually discount their prices more.

More from Mansion Global

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.

 

Upper West Side townhouse report

The Upper West side townhouse market has seen increasing inventory over the last several months and fewer and fewer sales. In the last 3 months, 22 new listings have come on the market.

Last 3 months
# Sales Average/month Low price High price Inventory
8 2.7 3.9 million 9.25 million 24 months

The next table shows all 8 sales in the last 3 months, with sale price and price per square foot.

Address Sale Price PPSFT
308 W 90 ST $3,900,000 $955
112 W 75 ST $4,500,000 $649
113 W 75 ST $5,000,000 $789
47 W 95 ST $5,399,157 $1,342
16 W 88 ST $8,000,000 $1,399
161 W 91 ST $8,072,000 $2,026
316 W 88 ST $8,375,000 $1,560
43 W 76 ST $9,250,000 $1,357

Interestingly enough half of the sale recorded in the last 3 months for Upper West side townhouses were for <$5.5 million and the other half roughly between $8 million to $9.3 million. No sales were recorded above $10 million in the last 3 months and only 2 this year.

Currently at $10 million and up, there are 25 listings available which confirms that this segment of the market is deeply in a buyers market.

Below $10 million, there are 40 listings available on Manhattan’s upper west side. So if you segment the market to below $10 mm then the inventory level looks more like it will last about 15 months which is still a buyer’s market.

Spring 2018 Upper west side townhouse report

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.

Park West Village July market report

Park West Village is a 4 unit condo complex on Central Park West on Manhattan’s Upper west side. 372,382,392 and 400 CPW are all 19 story buildings with approximately 414 +/- units and share similar amenities and low monthly charges.

There were two sales in the 4 building complex in the month of July and both were in 382 Central Park west aka the Olmstead. Apt 3A, a renovated 845 sqft, north facing apartment with a balcony fetched $1,076,500 and took 3 months to go to contract in May before closing in July. While apartment 16G, a south facing, 545 sqft studio was listed back in November of last year, also took 3 months to go to contract and then 4.5 months from contract to closing and closed for $765,000.

Below is the current inventory by building and the availability by unit size.

Current active inventory
372 2
382 4
392 4
400 2
Inventory by apt size
Studio 3
Big studio 3
1 bd w terrace 5
2bd/2ba 1

 

The below tables show currently signed contracts by building and by unit size.

Contracts by building
372 4
382 2
392 2
400 4
Contracts by unit size
Studio 4
Big Studio 1
1 bed without terrace 1
1 bed w terrace 4
2bd/2ba 2

There are 12 total listings for sale and the amount of time it would take to sell all 12 listings is projected as 6 months. However, with 12 properties in contract that will likely close in the next 3 months, the sales per month for the next 3 months will likely be in the range of 4 per month which would suggest the current inventory might only last 3 months.

Park West Village market report 1st half 2018

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.

Thinking of buying on the Upper West side near Riveside Park?

If you are living or thinking of living on Manhattan’s Upper West side,  and can find an apartment close to Riverside Park, you will always be able to do find something to do even if it’s just a stroll on a hot summer day.

There’s a Cherry Walk from 100th to 125th street on the water as well as the red clay tennis courts at West 96th street in case you want to channel the spirit of The French Open. There’s soccer fields, long winding paths, the Boat Basin Cafe and this just takes you into the West 70’s.  Here are some photos to get you motivated to take a walk on the Hudson River and maybe catch a sunset, take a free yoga class or watch an outdoor movie.  Click on the below for a list of events. Calendar of events in Riverside Park

 

One of the best places to live is in one of the many full service buildings on Riverside boulevard. There are a range of apartments from studios to family size apartments. Many of the buildings have roof decks, and swimming pools among the amenities. One of the best buildings is the newest addition- One Riverside Park where a 3 bed/3.5 of around 2000 sqft (185m2) can be had for under $4 million  or rented for under $10k per month.  Around the corner at 1 West end avenue, you can find interesting offerings at around $2000 per sqft and this building comes with a 20 year tax abatement.

Beyond the glitzy new condos in this section of Lincoln Square, you can find the more affordable Lincoln Towers, a postwar co-op on West end avenue. In Lincoln Towers, there is a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment for sale under $1.5 million. This co-op has several buildings and while not as fancy as it’s neighbors to the west, it is more centrally located, a full two avenues closer to Broadway including Zabar’s and the express subway stop.

Riverside boulevard buildings
Riverside boulevard buildings

Whether you decide to purchase, rent near Riverside Park or just pass through, there’s always plenty to do…

 

Thinking of moving- Common moving mistakes to avoid

If you are in the process of moving from or to your Manhattan property,  there are many common mistakes to avoid. One of the most common ones is to take everything and sort it out later. If you are downsizing, take the time to sort through everything prior to packing and throw away what you do not need so as not to move unnecessary items.

I think it’s important also to decide what service level you need. Some clients want to have everything packed and unpacked for them and others want to do a DIY move. Take it from someone who once moved himself with two friends about 15 years ago, it was the most difficult work I have ever completed in my life. Also many fragile items did not survive the move. So think twice about that.

More common moving mistakes

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

Thinking of buying your first Manhattan apartment?

Very often, I am asked by first time buyers what are the guidelines that banks use to determine how the bank determines how much they will lend. In generally, let’s take a look at a scenario where you are interested in buying a Manhattan condo for $1,000,000.

$1,000,000 purchase price
$200,000 down payment
$40,000 closing costs
?                   post closing reserves

In this scenario you need about $250,000 liquid plus post closing reserves which depend on the bank but let’s say 6 months of payments which can be in a 401k or non-liquid account.

In this case, your monthly mortgage is about $4,000 based on a 4.5 interest rate on a 30 year mortgage, add in about $1400 for common charges and taxes and you end up at $5,400. In order for the bank to make a loan you would need to have at least 2.5 to 3 times that in monthly income assuming little or no debt and very good credit. So you would need a minimum of $13,500 in monthly income or $162k annual. In many neighborhoods this will buy you a  1bedroom condo or even a  2 bedroom north of 110th street.

If you purchase a co-op, the co-op will require a minimum of 20% and in some cases more plus they will require 2 years of monthly payments in reserves so the cash outlay will be higher. So you may need close to $400k in assets to make the purchase. However, you will have a much larger choice of apartments with a co-op in this price range- 102 listings with at least 1 bedroom on the Upper west side under $1 million on the listing site streeteasy compared with 17 condos under $1 million. Co-ops are less expensive than condos but have more restrictions and higher monthly charges. More on that another time.

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

When should you adjust the price of your Manhattan property?

So you list your Manhattan property and are imagining bidding wars and cash offers. What happens if you do not receive offers or have a dearth of showings? At what point do you adjust your price and how much do you adjust? Normally, within the first month you like to see showings and perhaps an offer, this is the best time to capture someone off the initial marketing/interest. If however, you have very few showings, an adjustment might be needed. But how much?

Often times, I will see price adjustments of $20,000 on a $3 million property or $100k on and $8 million property. These types of adjustments will not move the needle at all. Generally speaking analyze the data of showings of your property with your real estate broker and compare it with traffic of recently sold and comparable listings that are for sale and you can see how far off you are on your pricing. If you are getting showings but no offers what that means is the market is willing to come see your property but not offer on it. In this case 7-8% might be enough. However a total lack of showings and a declining market are a bad combination. If that is the case an adjustment of 10% or more depending on what the competing properties are offering. Communication is very important here with your real estate broker. I use a project management site to communicate directly with my clients so that if they want to know about showings and feedback from buyers in real time they can receive these updates directly in their email box or on their phones. You need to get that feedback to understand what the buyer market mindset is.

Recently, on a Battery Park City listing that I had,  we had to reduce it twice from $1.5 million to $1.35 to eventually $1.2 million. That was due to an extreme case where the common charges and taxes were unusually high.  In this case, two very strong negatives were dragging the price down but thankful the seller adjusted and was able to get a buyer before the market headed down even more which it did especially in that neighborhood.

So as far as price adjustments, be aggressive with them especially if after the first month you are getting zero or a very low amount of showings. Be less aggressive when you are getting showings but no offers. And adjust your expectations when the market is heading down and there is more inventory coming to market to compete with your property.

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

Solar Power now available for apartments

According to an article this week in the New York Times, now even apartment dwellers can elect to use solar power. No need to install solar panels on the roof of your Manhattan building. You can purchase your power from another location and potentially reduce your energy costs. The claim is between 10-15% and also it’s great for the environment and the grid.

Full coverage

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

200 west 54 street 9C rented

At the Adlon prewar co-op in Midtown, a 1 bedroom was rented. The apartment features a windowed kitchen, plenty of closets, and nice size bedroom. The apartment featured an ornate living room ceiling and high ceilings among the prewar features. The asking rent was $2,750 and no landlord concessions were given. The apartment rented within 1 week of being in the market.

Listing details

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

Park West Village Market report Year to date

Park West Village is a 4 unit condo complex on Central Park West on Manhattan’s Upper west side. 372,382,392 and 400 CPW are all 19 story buildings with approximately 414 +/- units and share similar amenities and low monthly charges.

Total sales 372 382 392 400
21 6 4 5 6

Sales by apartment size

1bd w terrace 11
2bd 4
big studio 2
small studio 3
1bd no terrace 1
Active 372 382 392 400
3 3 5 6

Active by apartment size

Small studio 9
Big Studio 3
1bd w terr 3
2bd 2

There have been 3 small studios(approximately 545 sqft) sold in 6 months and there are 9 in the market. That translates to an inventory of 18 months which is why the prices have been dropping on that apartment size.

With only 2-2 bedrooms available for sale in all 4 buildings that size of apartment is in demand along with the 1 bedroom with terrace which only have 3.

The least expensive sale this year was apartment 5L in 400 CPW which sold for only $740,000 and the most expensive was a combination which sold for $5,445,000.

400 Central park west currently has 2 studios asking $710k and $738k which might end up selling for low $700’s or high $600’s.

 

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.