Once enticing New Yorkers with their cheaper rents and mortgages, the outer boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens have set record sales prices during the first quarter of the year. As reported by Crain’s, Brooklyn had a record-setting median sale price of $770,000, more than 16 percent higher than last year. This was driven by an increase in sales activity, with nearly 50 percent more transactions taking place this quarter compared with the beginning of 2016. In Queens, the median sale price was $485,000, but one- to three-family homes set a new record with both average ($697,946) and median ($650,000) sales.
real estate trends
Scoring a rent-stabilized apartment is a big win in New York City, as these regulated pads usually offer rent at below-market rates and provide tenants more protections against landlords. While more than 925,000 rent-stabilized apartments still exist in the city, these units turn over at a faster rate in certain neighborhoods than others, and their availability continues to dwindle (h/t WYNC). According to a new report by the city’s Independent Budget Office (IBO), the neighborhoods of Astoria, Morningside Heights and Bay Ridge all have high concentrations of rent-regulated housing built prior to 1974 and therefore, higher rates of turnover compared to other parts of the city.
To make money and stay social after retirement, older New Yorkers are turning to Airbnb. According to a report by the company, the population of senior citizens hosting visitors through the website continues to grow faster than any other demographic in both New York State and City. The Daily News reports that in NYC, the number of elderly Airbnb hosts jumped 60 percent in the last year. Specifically, the Bronx saw a 120 percent leap and Queens a 199 percent increase. While this shows a clear boost, senior citizens still only make up about four percent of the city’s total listings, or about 1,043, up from 649 the year before.
When looking for that perfect city abode, apartment hunters often create a list of must-have amenities that also fit within a budget. Now, thanks to Priceonomics and Renthop, you can determine which apartment features have the greatest impact on the overall rent. While the number of bedrooms and bathrooms drive up rent prices the most, the research found that having a doorman, an elevator, available parking and/or laundry-in-building most likely would increase the total rent. In a closer look at NYC, the data shows having a doorman creates the biggest increase of rent in the city, adding about $260 each month.
Ralph Lauren announced Tuesday that it will close its flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, citing falling revenue and rising rents. As reported by the New York Times, the company, which opened this location in 2014, plans to reorganize by investing more in their online stores. Keeping afloat a business on New York City’s most expensive shopping strip is not a problem unique to Ralph Lauren; Kenneth Cole, Juicy Couture, and H&M have also recently closed their doors. Soaring rents, plus a drop in tourism, has lead to an increase in vacant space along Fifth Avenue.
Alexis Bittar, Clara Sunwoo ink leases at Industry City, bringing total fashion space to 350,000+ square feet, Mon, April 3, 2017
There’s been much talk in the past couple months about the city’s push to drive the fashion industry from its long-time home in the Garment District to new, lower-cost space in Sunset Park. The new, $136 million, 200,000-square-foot “Made in NYC Campus” has become synonymous with the shift, but the adjacent Industry City mega-development has been at the forefront since even beforeBelvedere Capital and Jamestown Properties took over in 2013. With tenants such as the Gap, Bauble Bar, and Rag & Bone, they’ve now announced that internationally known jewelry company Alexis Bittar will lease an additional 10,000 square feet (they already have 17,000), and a source tells us that women’s apparel label Clara Sunwoo is leasing 14,000 square feet of space, moving completely from the Garment District. This brings Industry City’s total space leased to fashion companies to 350,000 square feet, more than 200,000 of which is manufacturing space.
After raising an additional $1 billion in a financing round that began last summer, Airbnb, the short-term stay rental company, is now listed as the second most valuable private company in the United States, following Uber, the ride-hailing business, as the New York Times reported. Airbnb, based in San Francisco, has raised more than $3 billion and secured a $1 billion line of credit since the company was founded in 2008. It is now worth nearly $31 billion dollars.
Extremely low-income renters face a shortage of affordable housing in every single state and major metropolitan area in the United States, a deficiency of 3.9 million units, according to a report (h/t CityLab) by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). Nationwide, only about 35 affordable housing units exist per 100 extremely low-income homes, labeled as ELI households, and in the New York metro area (as defined by New York-Newark-Jersey City) the results are just as grim with only 32 units available per 100 households at or above the ELI threshold.
New York City is known for its cutthroat housing market but less attention is given to the even more brutal world parking in NYC. As development increases, fewer parking spots exist. Not only do developments fill neighborhoods with more people and, therefore, more demand for parking, it often reduces parking by developing surface lots that had previously been used for parking. It’s the classic problem of increasing demand and decreasing supply. But while plenty of apps have been developed to bring relief through on-demand valet or the crowd-sourcing of vacant street parking, other companies see a more substantial solution that not only adds parking but adds value. Enter The Parking Club—and its six-figure parking spaces.
We tend to think of New York as a hub for millennials living paycheck to paycheck, hindered by a higher-than-average cost of living coupled with their average yearly salary of $64,000. But young professionals are struggling throughout the nation. A new report detailed in the Washington Post looked at 25 major cities across the U.S. and found that in nearly half of these locales, “a millennial living alone in a one-bedroom apartment would need to spend more than 30 percent of his or her income on rent — surpassing the threshold for what financial experts say is affordable.” The solution, though, could be to get a roommate. Take New York, where millennials spend about 34 percent of their income on rent. By shacking up with a buddy, they can save $728 a month, or 14 percent of their income.
Roommate app Roomi recently compiled data based on the 20 to 36-year-olds searching for someone with whom to split the rent, and the top neighborhood for this trend is Astoria. DNAinfo shared the analysis, which found that nearly 38 percent of Roomi’s users looked for housing in the up-and-coming Queens ‘hood, and each applicant in this area gets about 20 applicants, almost double all other neighborhoods.
Image: Hudson Woods by Drew Lang
The megawatt real estate of the Hamptons may be suffering from shrinkage as a new generation of glitterati increasingly chooses the rustic charm of upstate New York instead. Business Insider reports a surge in the popularity of second homes and tourist activity in Hudson Valley and Catskills towns—and a corresponding dip in Hamptons home prices—in 2016.
There’s no argument that Tribeca is home to the priciest real estate in all of New York City, but when it comes to wealth as measured by median net worth and household income, its residents don’t even register in the top 10. A new study by ESRI conducted for the NY Business Journal reveals that 11363—or Little Neck, Queens (where Governor Cuomo once owned a mansion, to give you and idea)—is, in fact, New York’s richest ZIP code. Here, the median household income clocks in at an impressive $94,192 with median net worth reaching $326,104.
For many years, New York developers have been working to design family-friendly buildings. As a result, it is now common for new buildings to include playrooms and wading pools. Okay, but what about teens? While buyers often spend considerable time searching for baby- and child-friendly apartments, teenagers’ needs have historically been overlooked. But this doesn’t mean that teens don’t have strong opinions on housing too.
Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and failed Republican nominee, has now been cleared to serve as Secretary of Housing for the next four years. For many, his appointment remains perplexing. Carson has no political experience and no obvious knowledge of housing and development issues. At least some concerns about Carson’s fitness for the job were put to rest during his Senate hearing on January 12. Beyond a contentious exchange with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Carson dodged any major attacks. Still, there is no question that under Carson’s direction, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will roll out a series of changes over the coming four years. While some changes will impact housing and development in New York City, Carson’s influence is expected to be minor.
Photo: Bess Adler
In the 1960s, groups of hippies fled from cities to live on communes in the country. Now there’s a growing movement of communal living right here in New York City. “I feel the biggest challenge in our world today is we’re not speaking to each other,” said Ryan Fix, who started 25 communal living sites in New York City and a lab in France that studies co-living. “If we’re able to curate a group from all walks of life, this will be hugely transformative for the world.”
In the last couple of years in New York City, a system called “co-living” has taken off, with a number of companies converting office buildings and townhomes into communal living hubs where former strangers can live together, share meals, attend movie nights and do yoga side-by-side. Some real estate professionals are skeptical, while others say it’s too soon to know if co-living has a future, but it’s a model that seems to fulfill a human need an apartment listed on Craigslist could never.
In 2017, new high-rise developments will continue to define the city’s skyline. There are currently more than 30 high-rise developments under construction and proposed for the waterfront in Queens. In Manhattan, rezoning initiatives promise to bring more high-rise developments to neighborhoods from East Harlem, Two Bridges and Midtown East. And in Downtown Brooklyn, with the 2016 approval of the borough’s tallest tower and a slew of other skyscrapers wrapping construction, the height trend is also well underway. If high-rise developments are on the rise citywide, it is not a surprise. By building up, the City of New York is able to maximize available space and even diversify certain neighborhoods by creating mixed-income housing communities. At their best, high-rise developments can drive economic and social change, but are these buildings also good for our health?
For New York home buyers, a lot can change in a year. A neighborhood that was considered affordable can all of a sudden become out of reach, whether it be from new developments like a subway or good old fashioned gentrification. For this reason, Fast Forward Labs created an interactive map that predicts the price of real estate in 2018. As Google Maps Mania explains, “The map allows you to input a housing budget and see how likely it is that you will be able to afford to buy a property in different New York neighborhoods during different future time periods.”
In November, 6sqft shared an analysis from RentCafe that showed the number of high-income renters in NYC has tripled over the last decade, with the number of renter households earning more than $150,000 annually increasing by 217 percent between 2005 and 2015, from 551,000 to 1.75 million. Now, DNAinfo has asked the site to break the data down further by neighborhood, and what it tells us is that Eastchester and Baychester in the Bronx and East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights in Queens saw the largest increase in wealthy renters.
CityRealty spoke with New York City real estate experts—everyone from developers to architects to contractors to brokers—on their predictions for the upcoming year in the city’s ever-changing real estate market. From the presidential election of real estate magnate Donald Trump to the likely return of 421A tax incentives, 2017 promises big changes ahead. And yes, renters can look forward to more apartment concessions from landlords coming next year.
In the past year or so, there has been no shortage of talk about inventory glut, flat rental prices and bursting bubbles; Now, Slate blogger Henry Grabar has rustled up some numbers and real-life examples to go with the chatter, and we’re guessing they weren’t too hard to find. According to Grabar, a vacancy rate at its highest since 2009 (with a staggering amount of inventory in the pipeline), and the percentage of rental price chops at a record 42 percent in October point to an impending renter’s market of comparatively epic proportions.
6sqft has previously shared data that it only makes sense to buy a home in New York City after having lived here for 18.2 years, longer than anywhere else in the nation by a long shot. When and if that time comes, Manhattanities are looking to drop an average of $500,000 for a down payment, according to a new report from Property Shark. To put this figure into perspective, the average price nationwide to buy an entire home is $300,000. And in the Manhattan luxury market, the median down payment is a whopping $3.15 million, which might explain why, according to 2014 census data, only 32% of New Yorkers owned their homes.
Despite chatter about the luxury market slowing down, 2016 has seen Manhattan real estate prices continue to climb and set records. The average sales price for an apartment (including both co-ops and condos) was $2.2 million, topping the $1.9 million record set last year, according to CityRealty’s newly released Year-End Manhattan Market Report. This is a whopping 91 percent increase from 2006. And things heat up even more in the new development sector, where 1,800 units sold for a projected total of $8.9 billion, a huge jump from last year’s $5.4 billion for $1,464 units.
432 Park Avenue may be the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere and home to the most expensive apartment closing this year, but throughout 2016, the tower’s ultra-luxury condos were selling at an average discount of 10 percent, according to an analysis by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. for Bloomberg. And a recent transaction saw an even greater price cut; Lewis Sanders, founder and CEO of Sanders Capital and former CEO of AllianceBernstein, bought an 88th floor penthouse for $60.9 million, 20 percent less than its $76.5 asking price.
6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, now that the city is in high renting season, we’ve researched the best resources for finding a no-fee apartment.
More than half of New Yorkers spend 30 percent or more of their income on rent. Tack on a broker’s fee that could be as high as 15 percent of an apartment’s annual rent, and that burden becomes even worse. Thankfully, there are more and more resources popping up to find no-fee rentals. Aside from the go-to listing aggregators, there’s now roommate-share options, lease break sites, artist-centric search engines, and good old fashioned networking. 6sqft has put together our 12 favorite options, along with the basics of each so you can figure out what will work best for you and how to prioritize your search.
In October, city officials unveiled plans to rezone a large swath of East Harlem. The major thrust of the rezoning initiative is to bring more high-rise buildings to a corridor running several blocks along Park, Second, and Third avenues. By building up, city officials hope the neighborhood will increase its housing stock, including its affordable housing stock. In the long term, the proposed rezoning will also radically reshape the East Harlem’s appearance and street life, turning it from a mostly low-rise to high-rise neighborhood. What is about to happen to East Harlem, however, is a familiar story. Since 1916, when New York passed its first zoning resolution, the city has been profoundly shaped by zoning regulations.
Images via Extell and Google Maps
The construction of Extell’s high-rise condo development at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge is now well underway. When complete, 250 South Street (formerly 227 Cherry Street) will rise more than 80 stories above the East River and be home to just under 800 units, but that’s not all. As the Extell building goes up, the surrounding area is also attracting growing attention from other developers. In July, JDS Development announced plans for a rental development just next door at 247 South Street. Given the scope of the Extell development and its neighboring rental development on South Street, thousands of new residents are expected to arrive in the Cherry Street neighborhood between now and 2020. Of course, there are many neighbors who arrived first.
“The building is beautiful, the service is impeccable,” Marjorie Jacobs, a resident of the Upper West Side complex currently known as Trump Place told Bloomberg in October, “But the name is very embarrassing.” An outcry by similarly-minded residents and a petition have culminated in the decision to remove the president-elect’s name from the buildings and instead name them according to their street addresses at 140, 160 and 180 Riverside Boulevard, reports Crains.
October brought a significant spike in home mortgage foreclosure rates, according to The New York Post, with more than 1,100 homes heading into foreclosure. That number represents a 32 percent increase from the previous month and a 37 percent increase from one year ago, with 400 new cases in Queens (nearly twice as many as a year ago). 365 cases were recorded in Brooklyn, a 20 percent increase, with the state overall seeing a 15 percent increase since September and 10 percent year over year, according research by Attom Data Solutions.
Image by __shih_cc via Instagram
Since Donald Trump announced his run for office, Trump Tower, where the President-elect both lives and keeps his political headquarters, has been a hotspot for protestors. While in the past few months, inconveniences haven’t escalated far beyond anti-Trumpers stopping by to give the building the finger, after the 2016 election results were announced, it’s become veritable zoo outside the 5th Avenue tower as thousands have convened to denounce (and to be sure, support) a Trump presidency. The situation has become a major disruption for residents of the luxury skyscraper who are now annoyed with the crowds. As The Post so fittingly writes, “It’s not so easy being a member of the 1 percent if you live at Trump Tower.”