Finding Real Estate Steals In The City

Encore: November 30, 2015

If you’re on the hunt to buy a new place, you’ve likely groaned at recent headlines showing home prices hit record highs this past quarter. In Manhattan, the median cost of a home jumped 12 percent since last year to just under a million dollars. And even in Brooklyn, once considered the more affordable borough, prices shot up 28 percent from the same quarter last year to more than $600,000.

These numbers may deflate your hopes of owning a place in the nation’s most expensive city, but the president of New York’s largest residential real estate firm says there’s still deals to be had.

“When you look at all the deals that were done in Manhattan last year, the majority of them, the vast majority of them are under $1 million,” said Pamela Liebman of Corcoran Group Real Estate.

Liebman says the higher-end deals are fewer, but contribute to the rise in prices.

“So now it’s not just your born-and-bred New Yorkers that want to stay here, it’s people from the suburbs who want to have a pied-à-terre here. It’s foreign buyers, and of course so many Chinese buyers that now want to call new York home or somebody who has multiple homes. So we’ve just seen an influx of all different types of buyers that have helped to drive up these prices in Manhattan and Brooklyn,” she said.

Click to enlarge. (Image from The Corcoran Report: 3Q15 Manhattan)

Click to enlarge.
(Image from The Corcoran Report: 3Q15 Manhattan)

Click to enlarge. (Image from The Corcoran Report: 3Q15 Brooklyn)

Click to enlarge.
(Image from The Corcoran Report: 3Q15 Brooklyn)

Those looking to stretch a dollar should consider East Harlem in Upper Manhattan, she said.

“It’s a great neighborhood, and for those people who haven’t thought of going that far north, it’s a really nice place to explore,” Liebman told MetroFocus Contributor Andrea Vasquez.

Liebman pointed to a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment at 1830 Third Ave. For $620,000, the place is $465 less per square foot than the average price in Manhattan.

And if you’re interested in the booming borough of Brooklyn, Liebman suggests you check out Midwood. There you can get a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at 1769 E. 13th St. for $675,000, which is $247 less per square foot than the average in Brooklyn.

If you have a few more bucks in the bank, Liebman said to consider the trendy neighborhood of Dumbo in northern Brooklyn, where a two-bedroom with views with run you $1.6 million, or just next to the High Line area in Manhattan, where you’ll find a corner two-bedroom apartment for $2.1 million.

Not in the market to buy? Even if you’re a renter, Liebman said you may want to pay attention to these deals.

“I hate to say it for those people out there looking for a rental now, it’s also very high. We’re almost at an all-time high for rental prices, which also has thrown a lot of people into the market for sales. When they see what they have to pay for a rental, they think to themselves ‘wow, maybe I should just buy something. Mortgage rates are so low it’s a way to get in the game, get some appreciation along the way and hopefully make some money and continue to trade up in my apartment life,'” she said.

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