2nd Quarter 2014 Real Estate Market Report

The second quarter of 2014 was defined by a continuing reduction of inventory in the Manhattan and Brooklyn housing markets, with the resulting strong increase in sale prices. Sustained low interest rates contributed to buyers’ ability and willingness to pay whatever was necessary to get the properties they desired. In this quarter, we saw the highest number of listings selling at or above their asking prices compared to any quarter in the past several years.

Here are the major trends I am seeing in the marketplace:

• Price appreciation has averaged about 10% above the end of 2013, with the most desirable listings and those in the best condition seeing increases of 15% and more, meeting and exceeding our predictions. Prices have now surpassed those of the peak years of 2007 and 2008, often by as much as 15-25%.
• The market in the under $2,000,000 range is extremely strong, often leading to multiple bids, particularly for units with two or more bedrooms. Bidding on studios and one-bedrooms was less intense but still active.
• Properties in the $3,000,000 to $7,000,000 range usually receive activity within weeks if they were priced correctly from the beginning.
• Properties above $10,000,000 often remain on the market for months or longer, due to the smaller pool of buyers in this price category.
• The Brooklyn market is still very hot, with just about any property bringing multiple offers, particularly in the areas from the Heights South and East to Bedford-Stuyvesant and beyond. There is not enough supply to meet the demand, and prices are up almost tenfold from 4 years ago.
• New development condominiums continue to have very strong sales, often to foreign buyers, who developers are targeting by offering hotel-type services. For existing units, we are seeing more interest in coops rather than condos due to their greater affordability. We are still seeing sellers with unrealistic expectations that the soaring prices of new development will carry over to existing condos and coops.
• Coop buyers are committed New Yorkers establishing roots and staying for the duration.
• Condition, location and proper pricing remain the major criteria in achieving a speedy sale.

2nd Quarter Statistics:

• The average price of a coop resale was $1,295,000.
• The average price of a condo resale was $1,985,000.
• The average price of a new development condo was $3,600,000.
• The average price of the overall luxury market was $7,260,000.
• The average sale price per square foot for a coop was $1,020.00.
• The average sale price per square foot for a condominium was $1,465.00.
• The average sale price per square foot for a new development (all of Manhattan) was $1,800.00.
• The average sale price per square foot for the luxury market was $2,614.00.
• The average sale price per townhouse overall was $7.255M; East Side $8.760M; West Side $5.835M;
Downtown $9.200M and Uptown $1.890M.
• The average sale price for the loft market was $2.627M or $1,436.00 per square foot.
• The average sale price for the luxury market (top 10%) was $7.255M or $2,735.00 per square foot.

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Szechuan Gourmet 98

Having really enjoyed our first visit to Szechuan Gourmet on 39th St., we were curious to find out how the new one at 98th and Broadway compares, so we tried it on Wednesday.

The space, which formerly housed Hunan Balcony, is huge, and tables are well spaced, much more comfortable than the 39th St. location, and with better service. Of course, since there were only about 6 tables occupied, the staff was not exactly overtaxed. We were surprised to find that they do not have a liquor license yet, but they served free glasses of wine, which was a nice touch.

The food was excellent. We started with ox tongue and tripe, sliced very thin and served cool in a chili soy vinaigrette (spicy and very delicious), and pork dumplings in a spicy chili sauce (far superior to the typical dumpling). For the main course, we had sauteed fish filets with leeks, and kung pao chicken, both nicely spiced and very flavorful.

I hope this place will be a success.