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Posts Tagged ‘Crain’s New York

New York’s ‘Insane’ Real Estate Market

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View of Manhattan's skyline from the 7 train. (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro.)

Activity in New York’s real estate market has increased since the first quarter of 2012. (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro.)

NEW YORK — The real estate market in Manhattan, as well as in Brooklyn, is now firing on all cylinders and nearing pre-recession levels, according to a couple of recent reports.

“It’s really remarkable because January and February was just really crazy,” Streeteasy Vice President of Research  Sofia Song told New York Magazine’s S. Jhoanna Robledo. “That’s insane. This is the highest number of contracts in the first quarter and the second highest of any quarter since the meltdown of 2008.”

Properties that went into contract in the first quarter of 2013 jumped by 15 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Streeteasy.

Song called 2013 the “Year of the Frustrated Buyer.”

Anyone who has attended an open house in Manhattan, Brooklyn and parts of Queens would likely agree.

Also gone are the days of the low-ball offer.

One real estate agent told The Real Deal that bidding also had gotten “absolutely insane,” with three buyers making offers within the same open house.

A fellow agent at my firm, Bill Bone of BOND New York, was also quoted saying that his buyer lost out on a Williamsburg condo. “We had to compete with 45 other offers.”

(That’s why it pays, more than ever, for buyers to use an experienced real estate agent.)

Meanwhile, the median price of a Manhattan apartment rose 5.9 percent from the first quarter of 2012 to $820,555. The average price rose to $1.354 million, according to real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

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Spring Optimism for NYC Condo Sales

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Spring Optimism for NYC Condo Sales (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

Spring Optimism for NYC Condo Sales

All signs are pointing to a fairly healthy spring season for the sales of new condominium apartments in the city, according to a new report released Thursday that tracks the new development market. — “February condo sales fuel optimism for spring,” Crain’s New York Business, March 15, 2012.

NEW YORK — Condominium sales activity in Manhattan and Brooklyn has been strong in the typically a slow month of  February, signaling heightened activity for the busy spring season ahead.

What this means for buyers and sellers is likely that more people will be looking for apartments, which will be more plentiful, and that sales listings are going to move more quickly into contract.

With mortgage rates near all-time lows, it’s a great time to buy. The increased activity also bodes well for sellers.

As always, if you or someone you know is thinking about buying, selling or renting property in New York, please let me know.

Warren Buffett: I’d Buy ‘A Couple Hundred Thousand’ Homes

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Warren Buffett – Creative Commons Image By Mark Hirschey

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett calls housing "cheap."

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor known as “The Oracle of Omaha,” made a resounding statement Monday in support of buying a home.

“If I had a way of buying a couple hundred thousand single-family homes and had a way of managing — the management is really the problem because they’re one by one, they’re not like apartment houses — I would load up on them, and I would take out mortgages out at very, very low rates.

“If anybody is thinking of buying buying homes, five years ago they couldn’t buy them fast enough because they thought they were going to go up. But now they don’t buy them because they’re going to go down, and interest rates are far lower. It’s a way, in effect, to short the dollar because you can take a 30-year mortgage. If it turns out your interest rate’s too high, next week you refinance lower, and if it turns out it’s too low, the other guy’s is stuck with it for 30 years.

“It’s a very attractive asset class now,” he said.

Buffett, who leads investment company Berkshire Hathaway, appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Asked what he would advise a young investor trying to choose between buying stocks or purchasing a home, Buffett didn’t miss a beat.

“If I knew where I was going to want to live the next five to 10 years, I would buy a home and I’d finance it with a 30-year mortgage,” he said. “It’s a terrific deal.”

It seems like plenty of folks with a down payment have picked up on what a historic opportunity now exists with 30-year mortgages near all-time lows.

“Economists polled by Reuters had expected signed contracts, which lead existing home sales by a month or two, to rebound 1.0 percent after a previously reported 3.5 percent fall. Contracts signed were up 8.0 percent in the 12 months to January,” a Reuters story said.

While I don’t compare myself to Buffett, for the past several months I have been telling anyone who will listen that it was a great time to buy.

As always, if you are thinking about buying, selling or renting property anywhere in New York, or know someone who is, please let me know.

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New York City Vs. Suburbs: A New Trend Emerges

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New York City Vs. Suburbs: A New Trend

New York City Vs. Suburbs: A New Trend

Many experts believe that these large apartments, whether in new full service high-rises or a rare historic townhouse, are the most coveted at the moment and could soon hit stratospheric prices. —  “Manhattan Families Forsake Suburbs for Sprawling Apartments,” DNAinfo.com, Feb. 2, 2012.

NEW YORK — As real estate professionals, we spend a lot of time tracking trends and patterns.

Inventory goes up in the spring, the rental market is at its height over the summer and luxury properties tend to spend less time on the market than do studios or one-bedrooms. But one pattern that has changed over the years is that families are no longer choosing the suburbs over the city in the same numbers as they used to.

In the past, and for as long as I can remember, singles rented small apartments, moved into larger spaces when they became a couple and then packed up the car and headed to Westchester or Long Island as soon as it was time to start a family.

No longer.

These days, we are seeing more and more families opting to purchase larger apartments in lieu of heading to the ‘burbs. In reaction to this change, we are seeing a larger percentage of new construction being devoted to 3- and 4-bedroom units. This is especially true in new buildings on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side.

Below is an article that discusses this to a greater degree. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

And, as always, if you or someone you know is thinking about buying, selling or renting property anywhere in New York, please let me know.

DNAinfo.com: “Manhattan Families Forsake Suburbs for Sprawling Apartments

Manhattan Vacancy Rate At Five-Year Low

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NYC Apartment Agent: Manhattan Rents Climb, Vacancies Drop

NYC Apartment Agent: Manhattan Rents Climb, Vacancies Drop

NEW YORK — If you think rental apartments are becoming scarce and more expensive, you’re right.

Nationwide, apartment vacancies dropped to a 5-year low last quarter to 5.6 percent, according to research firm Reis.

In Manhattan, it’s less than 1 percent.

Research also showed a corresponding rise in effective rents, or what tenants pay after landlord concessions are included, year over year in 81 out of the 82 metropolitan areas.

Bloomberg reported: “San Jose, California, led with 5.5 percent growth in effective rents from a year earlier, followed by San Francisco at 4.5 percent and New York at 3.7 percent, Reis said. Only Las Vegas experienced a decline in rents.”

Of course, that figure represents all five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx.

In May, Manhattan saw rent increases of 9 percent for studios, 10 percent for one-bedrooms and 11 percent for two-bedroom apartments. July’s year-over-year increases were similar.

Forecasts of record-high rents earlier this year have largely been realized.

“There’s also concern more consumers will take on roommates to cut costs, something last seen following the financial crisis. Should that increase the vacancy rate, landlords could be forced to bring back profit-eroding freebies such as a month or two of free rent,” wrote The Wall Street Journal.

Those “freebies” include no-fee apartments, which means the landlord pays the 15 percent broker’s fee.

Such concessions are becoming increasingly rare since apartment vacancy rates hit a 22-year high — back in July 2009.

Beware of Bait-&-Switch Tactics

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NYC Apartment Agent: View from a three-bedroom condo for sale

NYC Apartment Agent: View from a three-bedroom condo for sale on the Upper East Side.

NEW YORK — Last month, I listed a few ways to protect yourself from apartment rental scams. Here’s one more.

A couple of friends who were looking for a place in Brooklyn found a pre-war, one-bedroom flat they liked and paid a deposit. The application took almost a week to be approved.

When they went back to sign the lease and conduct a walk-through of their new apartment, the landlord showed them a different unit. Naturally, it was smaller and with far fewer renovations than the original.

My friends protested but soon learned the apartment they liked had already been rented. Luckily, there was no problem in getting their deposit back.

Looking at the apartment application, we noticed one was detail missing: The apartment number. (Not a humorous one, like this.)

So, when applying for an apartment, make sure the unit is specified in your paperwork.

Obstacles might never be avoided completely, but it makes sense to reduce the possibility as much as possible.

Then again, your best bet might be to work with a reputable real estate agent at a company with a solid reputation.

Have you encountered any scams when looking for an apartment? Let me know in the comments below.

Written by Bruno

2011.09.30 at 14:22

Manhattan Rents Rise As Vacancy Rate Drops

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NYC Apartment Agent: Manhattan Rents Rise As Vacancy Rate Drops

NYC Apartment Agent: Manhattan Rents Rise As Vacancy Rate Drops

NEW YORK — Manhattan rents, as predicted, have experienced a 10 percent increase from a year ago — with inventory tightening, as well.

One-bedroom apartments averaged $2,672 and two-bedroom units were $3,757 per month, according to The Real Deal. Those dollar figures represent a rise of 9.2 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively compared to the second quarter of last year. The article also finds:

The most expensive area was the West Village where one-bedroom rents reached $3,457, followed by Soho and Tribeca where one-bedrooms netted $3,454 on average. The least expensive areas were Upper Manhattan and the Upper East Side, where rents averaged $2,621 for a one-bedroom apartment.

Meanwhile, the borough’s vacancy rate was 0.72 percent for the quarter, the lowest rate since the firm began tracking the statistic in 2002. Last quarter’s vacancy rate was 1.08 percent, and the rate stood at 0.97 during the same period a year ago.

Earlier forecasts of rising rents in New York and across the United States hinged on increased hiring.

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