Archive for August, 2013

Douglas Elliman released the August 2013 report for Manhattan & Brooklyn Residential Rental Markets.  The August 2013 Elliman Report for the Manhattan & Brooklyn Rental Markets reported here and summarized below was prepared by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

“The Manhattan rental market has not seen a decline in rents for 26 consecutive months.”Aug_2013_M&B_Rental

  • The Manhattan median rental price increased by 1.8%, to $3,150 from the same month last year. The last time this metric posted a decline was in June 2011, an unprecedented 26-month run. Concessions from landlords continue to be rare with only 2.5% of all new rentals offering some sort of special rewards, averaging the equivalent of 1 month of free rent.
  • Over the past several months, rents in Manhattan continued to rise, but at a much slower rate than we experienced earlier in the year. The number of rentals jumped this month as tenants sought greater affordability at the time of lease renewal. Negotiability and marketing times were low as the use of concessions by landlords remained rare. The tight mortgage lending and improving economic conditions are both helping to keep rents near record levels.
  • Median rental price in Brooklyn increased 4.6% to $2,850 from the same month last year, reaching a 5-year high. Average rental price and average rental price per square foot increased by 3.6% and 6.9% respectively from the same period last year
  • The number of new rentals in Brooklyn surged from this time last year as tenants sought relief from the rising rental prices. More potential tenants did this by seeking new places to rent in lieu of renewing existing leases. The price of a rental reached the highest level seen in over five years. Properties have been renting at a faster pace as negotiability continued to decline, consistent with the tight market.


Brooklyn Rents on the Rise – Rivaling Manhattan Prices

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Brooklyn, once thought of as the affordable alternative to Manhattan, is seeing a steady climb in rental prices.  Especially in the Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill neighborhoods, the average rent climbed to $3,035 in July, an 8.2% increase according to the Elliman Report for Manhattan and Brooklyn Rentals for July 2013.

Long time Brooklyn residents are concerned about being priced out of the market as more and more people are finding Brooklyn to be their primary option when looking at rentals, causing demand to go up, along with the prices.  Manhattan’s rents have been rising for more than two years, but the growth seems to be slowing.


Excerpted from NY Post column 


In the News August 18, 2013

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8/7/13 TV Star Ortiz lands at Elliman after KWNYC firing:  Luis D. Ortiz, the newest star of “Million Dollar Listing New York,” has officially signed on to work at Douglas Elliman, he told The Real Deal exclusively today.  See the full article at The Real Deal 

8/15/13  Bloomberg’s “affordable” micro-apartments don’t come with micro prices:  New York City’s micro-apartments aren’t really all that affordable, and in reality are geared toward the upper-middle class, the New York Observer reported  See the full article at The Real Deal 


Tax breaks on Second Homes

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Second homes or Pied-a-Terre’s often offer owners tax breaks that are similar, but not identical to, those for primary residences.  You may also be able to earn additional income that could help the bottom line tax.  The second home could be an attractive investment when you consider the potential for long-term appreciation along with the potential income and tax breaks.

You should consult with a qualified tax attorney or CPA when trying to figure out tax implications on transactions involving real estate.  The laws change frequently, and they can keep you apprised of the latest information and help you maximize your tax advantages.

In general, how it works:

  • Mortgage interest up to $1 million of “acquisition indebtedness” incurred when buying the primary and on additional interest can be deductible.  If your combined mortgages exceed $1 million, the interest paid on the first $1M could be deductible.
  • Second homes can be timeshares, yachts, motor homes, as long as it includes sleeping, cooking and bathroom facilities.
  • Gains from selling a second home are generally taxed as a short-term or long-term capital gain.  While the sale of a principal residence can be excludable, gain on the sale of a vacation/second home is not.  Recent rule changes limit the amount of prior gain on a vacation/second residence that can be sheltered if that home is converted to a primary residence.
  • Vacation Home Rentals – many owners rent vacation homes to earn income and help pay for the cost of owning the home.  These rentals are taxed under one of three sets of rules depending on how long the homeowner rents the property.
    • Income from rentals totaling not more than 14 days per year is nontaxable under current guidelines.
    • Income from rentals totaling more than 14 days per year is taxable and is generally reported on Schedule E Supplemental Income and Loss on your 1040.  Homeowners who rent their properties for more than 14 days can deduct a portion of their mortgage interest, property taxes, maintenance, utilities and other expenses to offset that income.  That deduction depends on how many days they use the residence personally versus how many days they rent it.
    • Owners who use their home personally for less than 14 days and less than 10% of the total rental days can treat the property as true rental property if certain rules are followed.


This post is provided as informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, accounting or tax advice by the RealEstateGeezer. You should seek advice from a qualified professional.


Excerpted from Presti & Naegele Accounting Offices newsletter


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How’s the Market – July 2013

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While Quarterly Sales Reports show closed activity for the previous quarter, monthly Contract Signed reports are the ‘crystal ball’ of closed sales to come.  Granted, all contracts signed for any given month may not close in the next month, and some may not close at all but most (over 95%) will become closed sales which will become part of the next Quarterly Sales Report.

In the following charts and graphs you can see how the market stacks up against last month and this month last year.






Douglas Elliman released the July 2013 report for Manhattan & Brooklyn Residential Rental Markets.  The July 2013 Elliman Report for the Manhattan & Brooklyn Rental Markets reported here and summarized below was prepared by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

“Although the rate of Manhattan rental price growth shows signs of easing, vacancy rates are low and rents remain at high levels”M&B_Rental_07-2013

  • Manhattan rents have been pressing upward for two years now without a break, but the rate of growth has been slowing. There were less new rentals than a year ago as landlords and tenants were more likely to agree on a lease renewal. Marketing time and negotiability remained low. Improving economic conditions and tight credit are expected to keep rental prices elevated.
    •  Manhattan median rental price moved 1.1% higher to $3,042 from the same month last year. Average rental price also posted a modest gain, rising 1.7% to $3,822 over the same period. Only 3.1% of rental transactions during the month had some form of landlord concessions. When a concession was provided, it was the equivalent of 1 month free rent, up from 0.8 months free rent in the prior year period.
  • Brooklyn continues to show a faster pace of rising rents than Manhattan. Demand from those priced out of Manhattan and would-be buyers who don’t qualify for purchases with today’s tight lending standards have tipped the balance toward rising prices. Marketing times remain fast and negotiability has fallen sharply. Like Manhattan, we expect more of the same conditions in the coming months.
    •  All rental price indicators continued to show year-over-year gains. Median rental price increased 5.1% to $2,675 from the same period last year. Average rental price expanded by 8.2% to $3,035 and average price per square foot increased 6.4% to $37.66 respectively from the prior year period.


In the News August 4, 2013

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08/01/13  A Beach Comes to Lower Manhattan:  City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, along with Manhattan Borough President and city comptroller candidate Scott Stringer, introduced a plan Thursday to turn an unused parcel of land on the East River in Lower Manhattan into a beach, complete with sand, seating and waterfront views.   See the full article at 

08/01/13  Central Park Conservancy Releases Ladybugs to Fight Off Garden Pests:  The Central Park Conservancy recently released approximately 140,000 Asian Ladybugs into some of its gardens to help fight some unwanted pests. – See more at NY 1

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