Upper East Side Year Ahead


2012 finished with a bang.   Thanks to talk about the ‘fiscal cliff’, Manhattan had the busiest 4th Quarter sales in 25 years.

Sales inventory has dropped to a 12-year low.

Studio & one bedroom apartment inventory, already low, is falling as available units are snapped up.  According to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman reports, smaller apartments are in short supply and prices will rise.  It’s important, when listing apartments, to make sure the unit is ready, priced right, staged and in perfect condition.

Rental prices remain high with falling inventory. 
Higher rents generally drive sales in our neighborhood, except when credit is tight.  Those who  can’t buy are forced to continue to rent, keeping rental prices high. 

… The exception is the Second Avenue Subway construction corridor where median rents are down by 1.7%.  Unsurprisingly, median rents are on the rise outside the subway corridor east of First Avenue and west of Third.  According to Jonathan Miller of The Matrix  the was a 3.2% increase to the west and 2% increase of median rent prices to the east of the Second Ave Subway zone.  It stands to reason that the rental inventory rose 9% in the Subway zone, and fell by 5.1% to the west and 2% to the east for the same period.

 Some renters are not grousing about the rent around the construction.  In fact they are grateful for the break in rent, and the construction disturbance seems to pale in comparison to higher rents elsewhere in the city according to this New York Times article.

Tight lending restrictions are bringing out Cash Buyers.  Most new developments are being funded by Hedge Funds.  Since banks are more averse than ever to taking risks, they aren’t making as many loans.  According to the Business Insider, even though mortgage interest rates are at historic lows, one mortgage insider predicts that new mortgages funded will hit an all-time low in 2013.  

The price is what the Appraiser says it is.  Appraisers are not always local so I make it a practice to meet with appraisers and present them with comparables, information about the neighborhood and specifics of the building.  It’s also important to make sure everything in the apartment is in working condition, clean, bright and tidy and have information available about changes made that enhance the value of the apartment.  For more great tips, see this article from the Brick Underground on how to Ace your Appraisal.

Second Avenue Subway Update – Muck Houses at 69th St and 72nd St are on target to be removed by Fall 2013 and Spring 2013 respectively.  The construction continues and they’re getting ready to start on the 72nd street Station structure.  The contract has been awarded and according to MTA the contract completion date is December 2013.  The first phase of the project from 96th to 63rd is scheduled to be operational in December 2016.
The MTA is holding a 5th Quarterly public workshop on Jan 30.  To receive an email invitation to this workshop, send an email to outreach@2AveSubway.com.   For more up-to-date information from the Second Avenue Subway project, check out their newsletters.  

A new Cornell campus on Roosevelt Island will give rise to an F-train tech corridor.   Our neighborhood will benefit from the desire of faculty and students to live in areas that are convenient by train in Manhattan.



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