Manhattan Blog

Manhattan Luxury Apartments – a Flight to Safety

“Historically gold was a great instrument for storing of wealth,” the chairman of BlackRock Inc. said at a conference in Singapore on Tuesday. “Gold has lost its luster and there’s other mechanisms in which you can store wealth that are inflation-adjusted.”
Over the centuries, bullion traditionally lured demand as a protection of wealth during crises, including conflicts and periods of inflation. Prices posted the first back-to-back annual drop last year since 2000 as investor holdings in exchange-traded products contracted, global equities rallied and the dollar climbed on prospects for higher U.S. interest rates. Since peaking in 2011, it’s dropped about 38 percent.
“The two greatest stores of wealth internationally today is contemporary art….. and I don’t mean that as a joke, I mean that as a serious asset class,” said Fink. “And two, the other store of wealth today is apartments in Manhattan, apartments in Vancouver, in London.”

Source: www.bloomberg.com

No longer is gold in vogue as a common store of wealth as it has been in the past. Both property and art have grown in terms of importance for the sophisticated investor.

Of course, if there is turmoil in the world, the price of gold will go up and then when the world is perceived as safe again, gold will go down, but often plummeting. Even for many sophisticated investors, the gyrations of gold prices are just too great.

Prices of Manhattan Luxury apartments and those of other global cities like London, Paris, Hong Kong, and, most recently Miami, however, generally tend to rise with inflation and have done exceedingly well over the long term. While there are periodic corrections, such corrections are nothing like what happens with the price of gold, especially when we are talking about the high end of the residential real estate market.

The same thing can be said for art. Recently, Paul Provost, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s, stated: “Although the art and real estate markets are different, high-value art and property purchases are both about passion and investment. Fine art is increasingly considered an investment asset because values have risen so dramatically in recent years. The two markets are converging to a degree, as people increasingly seek to diversify and acquire assets of lasting intrinsic value.”

While gold is a very liquid investment, investments in Manhattan luxury apartments can be leveraged with mortgages allowing owners to build wealth using other people’s money (the bank’s). In addition, property investments allow for tax deferments as well as revenue production. Even art investment doesn’t have these types of financial benefits.

Posted by ricardo on 5/4/2015 | |

Buying Property In Manhattan in the Face of Low Inventory

Despite growing prices and tight inventory, demand for Manhattan real estate has proven resilient. Sales volume in the first quarter increased 2.6 percent from last year in a sign that some buyers are not to be discouraged by shrinking inventory or price growth. Sales of condos and co-ops grew by 1.5 percent and 2.7 percent from last year, respectively. The median time on market for all Manhattan homes sold in the first quarter rose slightly from 58 days to 60 days during the same quarter last year. Heavy competition for limited sales listings will favor sellers this spring. Expect the supply-demand imbalance to drive price growth into the spring months and keep time on market relatively short.

The good news for buyers: the second quarter almost invariably brings a surge in new listings as homeowners wait for March and April to sell their properties. Buyers’ patience may be rewarded by more options in the near future, but they will likely not come at a lower price.

Source: streeteasy.com

As current condo and coop buyers know too well, buying property in Manhattan isn’t as easy as one would think. Among the vast array of buildings in the city, there were only 10,243 properties for sale in the quarter, a record low. The inventory was split into coops and condos 51% and 45%, respectively.

Inventory of properties available for sale continues to plummet, hitting a record low this past quarter. Usually, the first quarter sees a pop in inventory as sellers put their properties on the market in March for the Spring selling season that begins in April. However, this year, inventory shrunk even further. What this means is continued price increases and less options for buyers this year. While there are a lot of construction cranes back in NYC, it takes quite a while to build a residential tower, so many of these buildings with towering cranes won’t be ready for occupancy for 2 to 3 years.

Buyers should be ready for stiff competition if they are looking to buy a property this year. Demand has persisted in the face of higher prices and lower inventory, proving the Manhattan residential real estate market is quite resilient. The good news is that new inventory is slated to come on the market in the next couple of quarters, however, with demand continuing to be so strong we agree with Streeteasy.com, that prices of Manhattan properties won’t trend lower. Demand is just too high.

If you are look to buying a property in Manhattan this spring or summer, here are some tips to get your offer accepted:

Posted by ricardo on 4/21/2015 | |

Full floor condo in New York at Baccarat sells for $19.75 million

Another full-floor unit is in contract and will close soon, Mr. Gordon said.

So far 42 of the building’s 59 condos have sold, Mr. Gordon said. The hotel opened its doors in March; that, in combination with the end of “a brutal winter,” has led to “a dramatic increase in buyer interest” over the past few weeks, Mr. Gordon said. That includes the building’s duplex penthouse, which is listed for $60 million.

Source: www.wsj.com

With the flagship hotel and residences’ recent opening, Baccarat has brought French flair to the heart of Midtown Manhattan, located just off Fifth Avenue on West 53rd St, across from the Museum of Modern Art. Two full floor units have sold, this one and another one that should be closing soon. For $19.75 million the buyer purchased the 43rd floor, which has over 4,500 square feet. Now, the building is 71% sold and there are only 17 units left raging in sizes and prices from $3,800 to $8,128 per square foot according to Streeteasy.com.

More new developments in Midtown are featuring full floor residences too. A full floor condo in New York at One57 just closed for $47 million to a Chinese investor, which makes the Baccarat deal look like a bargain of sorts. However, the One57 full floor apartment was on the 88th floor, was 38% larger (at 6,231 sq. ft.), and had direct Central Park views.

A full floor condo in New York at neighboring 432 Park is a much larger apartment, and therefore much more expensive too. Here penthouses clock in at over 8,000 square feet with a price tag of over $76 million. One new interesting tower that is will be launching imminently is the super-skinny 111 West 57th Street. The tower component is comprised of only full floor and duplex apartments, all with amazing views of Central Park. According to the Real Deal, pricing of the full floor tower units start at $14 million and go up to $100 million.

We expect to see more and more luxury buildings to feature full floor condos, especially with advanced technology that allow developers to build ever higher on postage size stamp lots. Buyers spending this level of cash on a property want it to feel exclusive, and having a full floor to yourself is as exclusive as it gets.

Posted by ricardo on 4/14/2015 | |

Positive Results for Manhattan Condo Market

Cityspire 150 West 56 Street New York

The Manhattan condo market results for Q1 2015 are in and the results were quite positive, setting the tone for a good 2015. During the quarter, Manhattan had the highest number of sales for any first quarter in over 6 years and closed sales increased 12% vs. the same period in 2014. Inventory tightened further, as

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Posted by ricardo on 4/8/2015 | |

111 West 57 Street NY Condos Revealed

“A new look is available at what will be the city’s tallest residential tower, JDS Development’s and Property Markets Group’s 111 West 57th Street. The building — which will stand 1,428 feet tall — will house 60 condominiums, 46 in the tower and 14 in the Steinway building,”

Source: therealdeal.com

111 West 57 Street NY condos, the world’s skinniest tower, aka the Steinway tower, will officially start sales by the end of May. As we get closer to the launch, more info is now available about the project. For one, the height is going to be 1,428 feet tall, which is considerably higher than its neighbor One57, which is 1,005 feet tall. This will make it one of the tallest in NYC, however, it will be a bit shorter than 217 West 57 Street, which is anticipated to come in at 1,500 feet tall.

The views from this building are going to be stunning. Like One57, the building almost bisects Central Park, creating a symmetrical view of the park that is very hard to come by. The terra cotta and bronze façade should be very interesting when completed. And, we like the full floor and duplex concept for the tower, making the building very exclusive, with a maximum of only one unit per floor.

The building will have 60 luxury condos with prices in the tower starting at $14 million, in line with many of it’s ultra-luxury competitors, such as 520 Park Avenue, 432 Park Avenue, 53 W 53 Street, 220 Central Park South and 217 West 57 Street.

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Posted by ricardo on 3/31/2015 | |

New York Ultra Luxury Homes Come to Midtown Manhattan

When 432 Park Avenue opens in New York later this year it will be the tallest condominium building in the US. At 1,396ft and with 96 storeys, the slender tower in Midtown Manhattan will be 146ft higher than the Empire State Building and the tallest

Source: www.ft.com

We see the Financial Times is catching up to what has been happening in Manhattan’s ultra-luxury segment. And, while they are correct in that there will be a lot of New York ultra luxury homes coming to the Midtown / 57th Street corridor, long-term demand for this sliver of the market should remain quite high if the projected increase in global Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) has anything to do with it.

According to the Knight Frank Wealth Report, currently, New York has 3,008 UHNWIs, which is defined as those people with $30 million or more in net worth. By 2024, that number is expected to grow by 34% to 4,028, or a 1,020 increase. In addition, as the FT article indicated, foreign buyers make up of at least 30% of the upmarket condos sales. With the increase in NYC UHNWIs, out of state UHNWIs and foreign UHNWIs, we expect the corridor to do just fine in sales.

While there could be a few bumps in the road if all of these projects are released at the same time, in the long term, these towers will be the most sought after in the world. If there are 10 more towers announced, however, then all bets are off. To learn more about these New York ultra luxury homes, visit our article that talks about new development condos on 57 Street, which discusses the following developments: 520 Park Avenue, 432 Park Avenue, MoMa Tower, 111 W 57th St., One57, 225 West 57th St., and 220 Central Park South.

Posted by ricardo on 3/28/2015 | |

Manhattan Condo Market Inventory Hits a Record Low

According to StreetEasy’s latest report, the Manhattan condo market hit record low inventory in February as pending sales surged 27.5 percent since January.

Source: streeteasy.com

While there has been a lot of talk about Manhattan new developments that are coming on the market this year, the fact of the matter is that Manhattan condo inventory is at a record low and demand is very strong. We expect most of the new condo inventory to be absorbed quickly, except, perhaps, for those in the ultra-luxury price segment, which will take longer to find buyers.

This low inventory trend has been happening for a number of years, as new development was scarce after Lehman’s collapse. While condos in the pipeline have increased, so has demand. As you prepare for the Spring selling season, make sure to read our article that discusses tips of when buying a property in New York. While we reported on this 18 months ago, those tips to buying in a tight inventory market still ring true.

Savvy NYC buyers usually know how the buying process works in Manhattan. However, foreign buyers need a bit more assistance, so we have written a International buyers guide to US Real Estate to help our foreign nationals navigate the NYC buying process. In addition, click on the image below to access our foreign buyer Infographic that summarizes the buying process when buying a property in Manhattan  or Miami.

Posted by ricardo on 3/27/2015 | |

New York City Population Rises to Nearly 8.5 Million

New York City added 75,000 new residents each of the past four years, massively outpacing the growth of its housing stock.

Source: newyorkyimby.com

Demand continues to outstrip supply of properties for sale or rent. What this means is that condo prices and rental rates will continue their upward rise. 

Posted by ricardo on 3/27/2015 | |

1110 Park Avenue Luxury Condos Hit The Market

1110-park-avenue-luxury-condos

1110 Park Avenue is a boutique condominium that features only nine residences in New York. Each unit boasts great views of Park Avenue with all of its greenery, through oversized windows. The design of the buildings is very classic and in keeping in line with those trophy buildings in the immediate neighborhood. The building’s façade

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Posted by ricardo on 3/24/2015 | |
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