Category Archives: Real estate

Manhattan market reports as of April 19

According to the latest market reports, the average listing price is down about 10% compared to last year, but 25 contracts over $4 million were signed last week. $849 million dollars of contracts have been signed in the $4million and up segment since the last week of March which is the best start of the Spring market since 2015. What do these seemingly differing numbers mean? The luxury/new development market has been in a buyer’s market for about 2 years now. As a result, the buyer and seller expectations are more inline with each other than lower price points. For the last year or so, new developments have been open to negotiations. Additionally, some projects have been paused or never got off the ground. So the existing inventory is being sold.

This is unlike the below $4 million price market where sellers’ expectations needs to adjust to the current reality and that they will not achieve the same prices that were reached a year ago. Manhattan buyer’s market tend not to last very long.

Additional data here

Broker confidence up according to latest study

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.

 

Current Manhattan residential market conditions

As days on the market increases for most residential real estate, the consensus is that the Manhattan residential market is in buyer’s market. New realities are setting in for sellers and not just in the luxury market but in all price ranges including starter homes. In 19 years of selling residential real estate, I have seen this cycle a few times already. The last time through, the market forces were accelerated by the financial crisis. This time around perhaps the winds behind the sails may be the tech bubble as well as the Tax Reforms and Jobs Act and rising interest rates.

But in any case, a buyer’s market tends to not last too long so while some buyers are waiting it out and deciding to rent instead, now maybe the time to make that purchase, knowing that finding the absolute perfect time to buy may be like trying to catch the bottom of the stock market. One thing is for sure is that with a little patience and good negotiation, a purchase now can lead to serious appreciation once the buyer’s market turns again into a seller’s market.

Also I think understanding that the Manhattan property values are not decreasing across all asset classes. Townhouses in Harlem continue to see steady sales and modest appreciation. Also, try finding a 6-12 family property for sale uptown with upside potential. There is very little for sale. In these markets both investors and end users are pouring in and there is a lack of inventory. Recently, I had a 8 family for sale at 313 W 138th street and there was a high level of interest and the property went to contract at over asking price within 1 month of listing.

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 a renovation necessary to sell your Manhattan property?

Many times, prospective sellers ask if a full or partial renovation will help them to sell their Manhattan apartment? It really depends on several factors.

1-What is the competition like at your price point,neighborhood and building?

2-What is the age of your kitchen, bathrooms and flooring.

3-How long will the renovation take?

4- How much will the reno cost?

5- What is your current market value completely as is?

Let’s look at each one by one.

Competition- If there are several properties for sale that are similar to yours and many of them are renovated, you might have no choice but to do some work in your Manhattan pad before selling. However, if there is a shortage as can be the case for 2 bedroom/2 baths under $2 million for example,  the prospective buyer probably will be willing to do the work themselves.

Age of kitchens and bathrooms. If it’s been 30 or more years since the last renovation, you probably will benefit by doing the renovation. If it’s only been about 10 years then the answer is not as clear. Talk to your real estate broker to get an idea of how the apartment will be perceived by a prospective buyer given the age of the renovations.

Length of time for renovation to be completed-If it’s going to be a one year process due to building approval and contractor availability, it might be wise to forego it or scale it down a bit so that it can be completed in less time. Also, timing is an issue here. If the renovation completion date puts you right in the middle of the December holiday season, it might not be the best time to start marketing.

Cost of renovation- If you decide to complete a 6 figure renovation, it might or might not lead to a dollar for dollar return. It most cases it does not. For example if you have a studio apartment of 600 square feet with a value of around $800,000, a renovation of the kitchen, bathroom and flooring of around $50,000 may return dollar for dollar and also lead to a quicker sale. However, a $100,000 reno on the same apartment probably will lead to a quicker sale but not return dollar for dollar.

Sell as is? When you sell as is, you do not complete any renovation and just sell what you have. What you see is what you get and in some cases this might even be the best strategy depending on the above factors and your personal situation. Consult with your real estate broker.  Normally, they can recommend a good contractor to do work if that is needed as well as advise you as to what will yield a return and what will not.

If you examine your current market value as is, then you can see if it makes sense to do a renovation, knowing the cost and time involved. For example if the current market value is $2,500,000 and you want to do a $500,000 renovation that will lead to a $3 million sale, it obviously does not make sense. But also consider the time of the year now, market conditions and the time of the year when the renovation has been completed. The purpose of any renovation, large or small prior to selling your Manhattan property is to widen the buyer pool, and make it easier to sell and this has to lead to at least a dollar for dollar return, otherwise save your money and sell as is.

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 Spring time the best time to sell Manhattan residential property?

Many times, I am asked this very question by potential sellers and the answer is it depends. Right now we are heading into the spring and a shifting market.

In the beginning of the year, sales usually start to slowly build momentum as we climb out of the winter/holiday doldrums. We are seeing that right now as activity has picked up but with the threat of rising rates, who knows?

In the Spring, more sellers tend to enter the market also due to their desire to move during the summer when children are off from school. More competition is not necessarily good for sellers. I usually like to start working on a listing right before the Spring rather than wait. My advice is to look at your needs as a seller, current market activity and not position your listing to be forgotten because there is a major holiday in one week. I would like to also add that assessing the competing properties for yours will help too. For example, a few years ago, there was a glut of 2bd/2ba apartments in 400 Central Park west. This rarely ever happens. As a result, buyers had more choices. My recommendation was that if the seller could wait 1 month or so, some of these other properties might be in contract and as a result we would have less competition.

Two years ago, I sat down with another seller and there was only 1 similar property in the market in Park West Village on Manhattan’s Upper west side. I advised them to go for it. They did and as a result, we got a very high price due to the lack of competition.

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.

 

 

70% of New Yorkers say Tax reform has no or positive impact on home ownership plans

According to an Apartment List survey, 53% of those surveyed say that the new tax law will have no impact on their home ownership plans and 17% said it will impact them positively. Along party lines more Democrats feel that they are negatively impacted by the tax reform than Republicans. Also, 31% of Democrats surveyed in impacted counties said they will wait longer before purchasing.

Full survey results here

Why the NYC market will continue to attract foreign investors

There are many reasons why the US market and specifically gateway cities such as New York will continue to be attractive to foreign investors. The Commercial Observer takes a look at the investment goals of foreign investors and explains which markets should continue to be attractive to them. Basically, they are looking for stability in both political and the economic sense. Some other markets such as South Africa or China might have a higher rate of return but they come with a higher potential of risk. While rate of return of investment may be slightly up or down depending on the point in the cycle, high net worth individuals according to the article are looking at their overseas holdings as a bank account. The Manhattan market continues to be attractive as that bank account and liquid. As such, Manhattan continues to attract foreign investors.

Read the 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.

Manhattan rental and sales market update

According to the Real Deal reports, the rental market stayed flat in February which is not that unusual given the time of the year.Full story here The sales market saw over 800 contracts signed with roughly half being co-ops and half being condos. The $1 to $2 million range continues to do well, accounting for nearly 30% of all deals.

Full coverage from The Real Deal

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.

 

Differences between co-ops and condos part 2

There are many differences between Manhattan co-ops and condos and in this series we take a look at a couple at a time.

1- Condos typically let you rent your apartment out without limit. So if you experience a job change and do not want to sell, you can rent out the apartment without an issue. In a co-op typically, you can rent out 2 of 5 years and then need to move back or sell.

2-Co-ops normally have higher monthly carrying charges than condos but lower prices. For example a 2bd/2ba co-op on the upper west side of about 1100 sqft might cost you  $1.5 million and have monthly charges of about $2900. A similar condo might run you $2.1 million but the monthly charges might only be $2000.

Price differences, and ability to rent out are just two differences of the many between co-ops and condos in Manhattan.

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.