Q4 2017 Manhattan Market Report Shows Slowed Sales, Prices Remaining Strong

The fourth quarter is typically the slowest of the year in real estate, so it’s no big surprise the market slowed over the holiday season. But even though sales activity marked the lowest Q4 in 6 years, median sales prices still topped last year’s.

  • Sales were down 12.3% from last year and 25% from last quarter
  • Properties spent slightly more time on the market than last year, with an average of 97 days–yet improved 4% over last quarter’s average
  • Listing inventory was up 1% last year–but down nearly 11% from last quarter
  • The average sales price fell below $2 million for the first time in 2 years, yet the median sales price was up a percentage point
  • The listing discount is still hovering in the mid-5% range
  • Studios took 17.2% of the market share for bidding wars
  • All-cash sales represented 51.2% of the market
  • Luxury sales above $10 million dropped by 51.3% from last year

Source: Douglas Elliman


Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

If you haven’t made your New Year’s resolution yet, you may want to consider adopting #3 on this list: stop procrastinating. Sure, you can make changes at any time of year, but ringing in a new one gets the clock started, plus what else do you really have to do in January and February anyway? Get some ideas and inspirations from this Top 10 list, and read our hints on how you can achieve them.

  1. Get in shape (create a habit, like do 20 push-ups every time you go to the bathroom)
  2. Eat healthily (consider Blue Apron with weekly delivery of portion-controlled healthy recipes)
  3. Stop procrastinating (make your resolution today!)
  4. Improve your mental skills (we like Luminosity)
  5. Meet new people (there are Meetups for virtually everything)
  6. Become more active (download an app like Stand Up that reminds you to get up and move)
  7. Be more confident (adopt #1–get in shape)
  8. Earn more money (be confident enough to ask for that raise-here are 63 ways how)
  9. Be polite (there’s a 100% chance you’ll have an opportunity on the subway today)
  10. Reduce stress (make a list of what’s upping your anxiety and say adios)

Not inspired yet? Lifehacker published a Top 50 list, along with links to resources of how you can achieve them, like learning how to dress with style!


Greta Garbo’s Campanile Coop Fetches 43% Above Asking Price

Greta Garbo’s 2,855 square foot coop at the exclusive Midtown Campanile fetched 43% above asking price after less than a month on the market. The pink-and-green three bedroom, three bathroom pad was asking $5.95 million and, after multiple offers, ended up bringing in $8.5 million. Garbo’s name and the fact that she was heavily involved in the design of the East 52nd Street apartment reportedly played a major role in this sale. The East River views couldn’t have hurt!

Source: Curbed

Photos compliments of Halstead


Court Case Could Re-Rent-Stabilize Up To 150,000 NYC Apartments

A West Village landlord-tenant case has shed light on deregulated apartments that by law maybe should have stayed regulated. Since the mid ’90s, when pro-owner laws took effect, the City has lost more than a quarter million rent stabilized apartments–and more than half of those were deregulated because of a clause in the law that allows owners to increase the rent by 20% once the property becomes vacant, charge back a portion of renovation costs, and then turn the apartment market rate once the price tag hits the stated cap.

Here’s the thing: a 2015 court decision, Altman v. 285 West Fourth LLC, to be exact, concluded that the rent must exceed the cap while the tenant is still living there. That means that if the owner raises the rent by 20% and then puts in improvements to raise it above the cap, the rent stabilization remains in place until the NEXT tenant moves out.

As things stand now, the onus is on the tenant to request rent history and determine whether rent should be stabilized–and they only have 4 years to contest it.

Some submit that the lower court misinterpreted the law when it upheld Altman. If the higher court upholds it, tenants may get a dream-come-true, but all kinds of other issues will arise–like will landlords have to pay tenants 3x the inflated rent, as is the law if the owner willfully overcharges?

A lot of landlords are sitting in the hot seat right now, and tenants in the hopeful seat. We’ll see what the pending judgment brings.

Source: Brick Underground


Price Cut on Former Brooklyn Nets’ 7,200 SF Tribeca Penthouse!

Deron Williams was instrumental in bringing the Nets’ following from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The proven NBA star essentially had the team built around him, and although the transition was stalled by the 2011 lockout, Williams went on to play for the team until 2015, living at this palatial 6 bedroom, 6 bath penthouse during his tenure. The 7,200 square foot penthouse, perched at the top of 35 North Moore Street (aka the Merchant’s House) also has a whopping 3,000 square feet of outdoor space.

Williams purchased the penthouse for $15.8 million in 2013, and after initially asking $33.5 million, the unit is now asking $26 million. If you’re an entertainer, you may want to have a look. Two dining tables, two living rooms, and a terrace larger than most hotels’.

Source: Curbed

Listed by Elliman


Will Your Taxes Go Up or Down? Find Out With This Tax Bill Calculator

The New York Times put out a calculator that goes into detail about how the Republican tax bill will effect Americans in various situations. They report 75% of households will experience a tax cut under the bill, yet various factors can vastly skew taxes for households that otherwise look similar income-wise. Answer four simple questions on the New York Times website and see how you will fare. And, you can mouse over the interactive chart to see how others in different situations from yours are going to benefit–or not.


NYC Historic Landmarks You May Have Never Heard Of

When you think of National Historic Landmarks in New York City, a few obvious buildings come to mind. The Empire State Building. The Flatiron Building. The Brooklyn Bridge. Even the New York Stock Exchange. You have to admit a lot that has effected NYC’s history took place there–and that’s pretty much the point of the designation. Landmarks “possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.”

But there are a lot of other National Historic Landmarks in our City that you may not be aware of–116 of them to be exact. Landmarks like the Ambrose Lightship, now anchored at South Street Seaport, that used to mark where Ambrose Channel flowed into New York Harbor, and its neighbor the Lettie G. Howard Schooner. Or the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan where over 400 African Americans were buried in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Queens home where Louis Armstrong lived for more than 28 years is on the list, as are the homes of other New Yorkers who made an impact on our country and its culture, including President Chester A. Arthur, photographer Alice Austen, Number 42 Jackie Robinson, and Will Marion Cook.

Some landmarks are bigger than others, like Brooklyn Heights Historic District, the City’s first historic district which houses beautiful 19th century architecture. Or Governors Island, used by the US military from 1783 to the late 1990s. Or the 10.5 million square feet of New York Botanical Garden. Even the Holland Tunnel is on the list!

Many places of worship also make the list. Of course, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but did you know about the Old Quaker Meeting House in Flushing, Queens? Plymouth Church in Brooklyn? Eldridge Street Synagogue–one of the oldest in the US?

Other buildings landmark where history was made–sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Like the Bell Labs building which brought us inventions like phonographs, TVs, and talking movies. Stonewall, which began the gay rights movement in 1969. And, on the darker side, the Tenement Building at 97 Orchard Street that housed hundreds of immigrants and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, home to one of the nation’s worst industrial fires.

Find a listing of all 116 of our City’s National Historic Landmarks on Wikipedia, and make it a point to stop by and reflect.


Bill Seeks to Fine Banks that Don’t Maintain Foreclosure Properties

Are your neighbors bringing you down? A recent New York Post report discovered that unmaintained foreclosures in New York City depress the property value of their roughly 8,000 neighbors to the tune of $53 million. Living within 300 feet of a foreclosed property, regardless of the condition, is said to translate to 1.3% drop in value. If the properties are dilapidated, even more.

The report also found that one third of the City’s foreclosed properties represent more than 2,000 violations, ranging from squatters to various levels of disrepair. Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) seeks to hold the banks who own these foreclosed properties accountable by levying a $500 per day fee.

This is ongoing fallout from a decade ago when big financial institutions were writing questionable mortgages on properties that they have now repossessed.

Source: The Real Deal


$80 Million UES Townhouse Sports a Pool, Pizza Oven and Panic Room. Oh, and 20,000 SF.

If it sells for its asking price of $80 million, 12 E. 69th Street will set the record for the most expensive townhouse ever sold in Manhattan. Billionaire Vincent Viola and his wife bought the mansion back in 2005 for $20 million, then gut renovated the cut-up apartments into a 20,000 square foot mansion, complete with a 23-foot long swimming pool, a two-story library and two-story movie theater, and a panic room, which these days would come in pretty handy. The property, which sits just a half block away from Central Park, was asking $114 million, but the Wall Street Journal recently reported it is under contract for somewhere in the $80 million range. Have a look at the ornate inside:

Source: Guest of a Guest


Gerard Butler Asking $6M for Rustic-Meets-Baroque Loft in Chelsea

The interior design of actor Gerard Butler’s 3,150 square foot loft is what he describes as “bohemian old-world rustic chateau with a taste of baroque.” We describe it as brilliant. That’s what you get when you hire a film designer (Elvis Restaino) to team up with your architect (Alexander Gorlin). The apartment’s decor was so unique that it made the cover or Architectural Digest in 2010.

The Scottish actor bought the space in a converted warehouse at 139 West 19th St. back in 2004 for $2.575 million and is now asking $6 million 13 years and a wholesale remodel later. From the photos, you will not be surprised to know that the apartment appointments include 11-foot mahogany doors, beamed ceilings and, of course, a Great Room. For more practical features, one can find an open kitchen, laundry room, office and bedroom on the main floor, and a luxurious master bedroom occupying the top floor that has four closets and a balcony with city views. Check out the film screening room. Doesn’t it make you want to light a cigar?

Source: Curbed

Photos compliments of Private Client Realty