Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...
1) Rich people. What are they spending millions of dollars on? What are they complaining about? This is What's Up With Rich People?
The Times is reporting that—perhaps unsurprisingly—nearly one quarter of the apartments in New York are used as pieds-à-terre or investment properties, according to the NYC Independent Budget Office. In individual neighborhoods (like Midtown), that number skyrockets. For example, CitySpire, at 150 West 56th Street, is "one of the least occupied buildings in Manhattan" with 60 percent of its apartments made up of investment properties and pieds-à-terre. However, since the IBO doesn't count townhouses or newer buildings that receive 421a tax exemptions. Most surprisingly, though, is the revelation that the majority of pied-à-terre owners are middle class: "They are owned by people who have a studio in the city and a home in the suburbs, or maybe it was their first apartment that they chose to keep and rent it out," says Jonathan J. Miller. Nevertheless, the data "reflects the increasing level of income inequality in the city, that you can buy a relatively expensive condo and not have to occupy it all the time," says Andrew A. Beveridge, president of data analysis firm Social Explorer. [Why the Doorman Is Lonely; photo by Strykapose/Curbed Photo Pool]
2) Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality
The Hunter: a young woman looking to buy
Dream: Upper East Side
Reality: Upper West Side
Dream: 1BR/studio, laundry, elevator
Reality: Studio loft, laundry, elevator, closet space
This week's Hunt takes us to the Upper East Side, where a young pediatric pharmacist is looking for a 1BR/studio. She started looking for dog-friendly apartments with elevators and laundry, between 48th and 88th Street, eventually putting in an offer for a studio loft in the East 60s (the first apartment she looked at), asking $465,000. [The Hunt/An Upper East Side Apartment Convenient to Work]