Following two years of rent freezes, the city’s Rent Guidelines Board will take a final vote on Tuesday to determine whether or not rents will be increased by at least one percent. Earlier this year in April, the board voted to increase rents by one to three percent for one-year leases and four percent for two-year leases in a preliminary vote. According to the Wall Street Journal, the board released a study that showed landlord costs rose in the past year, a shift that landlords say warrants an increase in rents on new leases that take effect on or after Oct. 1.
real estate trends
As more and more people move to the Big Apple, the city is running out of room to house all of them. According to Mark Ginsberg of Curtis & Ginsberg Architects, even if the city were developed to the maximum capacity legally allowed, this would still only be enough room to house 9.5 million New Yorkers. Building up every square foot that has been zoned for development is impossible and the city’s population is projected to pass 9 million by 2040. At a real estate conference hosted by Crain’s last week architects from five different firms laid out their plan to serve the city’s swelling population and each focused on a specific borough.
Out of all of the world’s cities, New York City surprisingly does not have the most unaffordable rental market. In a report released by RENTCafe, Mexico City beats Manhattan as the worst urban area for renters, with 60 percent of their income being spent on housing. However, Manhattan continues to be extremely unaffordable, with residents putting 59 percent of their income toward rent. Affordability levels are not much better in the three other U.S. cities that made the list; Chicago, San Francisco and L.A. have rent-to-income ratios of 38, 41, and 47 percent respectively.
As real estate developers and brokers continue rebranding neighborhoods with new nicknames, some community members fear this gentrifies and strips the history away from their nabes. Like NoLo (SoHo + Nolita + Lower East Side) and DoBro (Downtown Brooklyn) before it, SoHa, the new branding moniker for South Harlem, has been met with resistance from residents. According to Crain’s, newly elected state Senator Brian Benjamin, a native of Harlem, talked with so many residents that opposed the term SoHa, he has introduced a bill banning people, specifically brokers, from using the nickname as a marketing tool.
With little surprise, Manhattan comes in first for the highest apartment rents in the country, with Battery Park City leading the way for the most outrageous prices. According to data collected by RentCafe and assembled into an interactive map, the average rent in this downtown ‘hood is about $6,000 per month, followed by the Upper East Side averaging $4,898 per month and the Upper West Side $4,892. Other pricey Manhattan zip codes that made the top ten include the Lower East Side, Soho and Clinton.
In response to the looming 15th-month L train shutdown, which will affect its nearly 225,000 daily riders beginning April 2019, real estate developers have started looking at Williamsburg’s hip and slightly cheaper neighbors, Greenpoint and South Williamsburg. Both areas sit nearby the G, J, M and Z trains, and in the past have offered a variety of housing options at cheaper prices. According to the New York Times, as developers begin their plunge into Greenpoint, sites along these train lines have become pricier and more difficult to lock down.
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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.
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.