If reading The Hunt stokes your deepest hopes that someday everything in life could work out, then you, too, are obsessed with the New York Times Sunday Real Estate section. Join us as we venture into the depths of this weekend's installment, figuring out along the way what the subtext of each story tells us about the state of the NYC real estate market using our bona fide Market Point system.
1.) After last week's piece on the rise of short sales in Manhattan, we could use some good news for the market. Of course, the Times delivered with a recession-busting article on condos that maintained their pre-recession prices.
- 180 East 93rd Street bolsters our faith in the return of the market, as the developers did not lower prices and their patience paid off when showings of the model unit began. The Broker in charge of handling sales at the building says “We hid for about a year and a half, but the minute we had this model apartment we tallied two sales". Both were close to the asking prices of $5.4 Million a piece. +3MP
- District NY on Fulton Street didn't lower their asking prices either (although they did cut common charges by 6.5%). Rather, they changed the focus on who they were marketing the units to. A representative of the marketing group for the building says “What I think we did very well is reposition the building for all the families coming to the area, we got away from the glitz and glamour of the Calvin Klein commercials.” +3MP
- 211 East 51st Street hit a bump in the road after only selling 30 of its 70 units. Instead of cutting prices, they decided to combine some units. For example, the developer combined "a two-bedroom unit with a studio to create a smaller three bedroom." He also added, “If I was to drop my price by $100 a square foot I’d be taking a loss of about $5 million". Five units have gone into contract since March. +1MP
- A condo close to the High Line, +aRt (that's "plus art" for the hoi polloi) has had a harder time than the aforementioned developments. The 90 unsold units were taken off the market in November of 2008 and just came back on the market. However marketing has now continued, but "brokers at a grand reopening gala suggested that prices remained too high". The developer says that "several units had since gone into contract" only after some price cuts. -1MP
[What Recession? Condo Prices That Held Up]
2.) The Hunt this week featured Patrick Shindell who was looking to get out of the East Village "party heaven" and begin a more adult life by purchasing a starter apartment with a little help from his parents.
-In a rare moment of New York and Phoenix Real Estate Market marriage, Patrick's mother says "I used my Phoenix way of looking at things, you can buy a really great, really big house with a swimming pool if you are willing to drive an hour into work. I applied that theory, which was that location was the most important thing.” Mother knows best! +1 MP
-Looking mostly in Kips Bay/Murray Hill he had a lot of letdowns mostly due to high monthly charges or depressing views. In regards to his extensive search, the piece says "After more than six months — and 59 apartments — Mr. Shindell was finding that the frustration of the hunt outweighed the fun of it." -1 MP
-As always, the Hunt ends in success with Patrick finding his perfect apartment. "Mr. Green took Mr. Shindell to apartment No. 60, in the Riverview East on East 32nd Street. The 550-square-foot alcove studio, listed at $379,000, had plenty of storage and a sliding door that screened off the sleeping area, yet let light into the living room. The maintenance fee was around $1,000." Congratulations Mom, Dad, and Patrick! +1MP
[A Studio For a Shoestring Budget]
Those stubborn condo prices really helped market confidence! Plus 7 MP, a new record!