Monthly Gem | 42 Crosby

This month we feature 42 Crosby, a beauty of a condo project located in cobble-stoned Soho and designed by Anabelle Selldorf’s Selldorf Architects. Noteworthy is that the project received Landmarks Approval by the Landmarks Preservation Commission after several attempts back in 2013. The project will house 10 units total across its 7 stories, and will boast parking spots for a whopping $1 million.  That’s right: you read that correctly.  $1 million for each of its 10 underground parking spaces, as the news was broken by the NYT. Units range from $8.7 million to $25 million asking for the penthouse.  We know you are all ready to investigate, so here are some additional links.

Apple Bites | Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery

One of the things we love about this city is the never ending entrants to the foodie scene. Never have we been more excited surrounding the opening of Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery in the West Village.  We were privileged to help the owner locate her first brick and mortar store on Greenwich Avenue.  You should taste her delicious treats, but if you need some more encouragement, see below!

Straight from the NYT:

Umber Ahmad was an investment banker whose specialty was the global expansion of food brands. Tom Colicchio was a client, and they talked food. After Ms. Ahmad treated him to samples of her cakes and cookies she grew up baking with members of her Pakistani family in northern Michigan, he encouraged her to go into the business. Since founding Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery in 2013, she has been baking in a commercial kitchen with Shelly Barbera, her executive pastry chef and partner, and selling her finely wrought pastries online to consumers as well as to wholesale clients like Jet Blue. And finally … she has a spacious West Village shop, opening Thursday, that’s done in pearl gray with a tufted banquette and marble displays for her lush tarts, cookies, cream puffs, bars, cakes, brioche doughnuts and other sweet and savory items. There’s a back room with a communal table that she plans to use for classes, and a big kitchen downstairs. The name of the company is based on the Urdu word mazedar, meaning “the essence”: Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, 28 Greenwich Avenue (10th Street), 212-498-9810, mahzedahrbakery.com.

Eater.com covered her here, Grubstreet covered her here, the NYT raved about her doughnuts here, while Food & Wine named her cheesecake one of the best in America here. I mean, come ON!  Aside from adoring her food, we have a special connection to Umber and her bakery.  Run, don’t walk, to Mah-Ze-Dahr!

Date Your City | New York Film Festival

The New York Film Festival is one of the most popular activities in the fall in NYC, and it’s little wonder as to why.   Some of the most critically acclaimed films from around the world are showcased and often premiered at this event that began back in 1963.

For the first time ever in its 54 year history, a documentary will open the festival: The 13th (as in the 13th amendment) is a race-related documentary directed by Selma director Ava DuVernay and is bound to be a showstopper. The festival runs from September 30th to October 16th out if its main venue at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center (1941 Broadway), along with the Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th) and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (144 W. 65th).

For additional information, check out its official website (http://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2016/) along with the top ten films to see according to Time Out NY.

At The Core | Market Snapshot

The fall is well upon us and we’re finally able to smell crispness in the air, while hearing the pitter patter of buyers’ feet beginning the post-Labor-Day open house journey yet again. It’s time to check in on the market and get a sense of what’s happening.  Noteworthy: September numbers are not in just yet so we’ll be taking a look at August numbers for the most part, coupled with anecdotal observations we’ve seen in September so far.

Inventory:  The inventory story has been front and center for some time now, and the present day is not that different.  As of the writing of this newsletter, inventory is up roughly 17% from last month, and about 15% from this time last year.  That’s the good news. Since 2008 until now, considering all the highs and lows of inventory, we’re right in the middle:  not too much, not too little.  The way in which this is translating on the ground is that there is a healthy flow of transactions unfolding in NYC, with both buyers and sellers calibrating to the new norm.

Sales volume: Activity is definitely picking up, after a gentle downturn that began right before the summer months. That said, properties are taking longer to sell, with the median Days on Market inching up to 72 days, up about 10% on a monthly and annual basis.  Because the sales cycle is stretching out a bit, don’t be surprised if quarter-end sales end up trending lower as the market catches up to a more relaxed market environment.

Coops vs. Condos: One of the more interesting stories emerging right now is the comeback of the co-op. For several years now, condo transactions have overwhelmed co-op transactions due to their inherent flexibility and relative newness.  However, as prices have continued their ascent for over 7 years now, condos have become farther out of reach for many.  It’s no surprise, therefore, that so many co-ops have become a value play, especially for first time home buyers.  In fact, a whopping 65% of co-op transactions occurred under the $1mm mark, versus a mere 25% for condos.  Further, although we often think of co-ops requiring far more cash to buy, just over 38% of co-op transactions were all cash in August vs. 60% for condos.  The world is-a-changin’.

Pricing dynamics:  Of note, in this normalizing market, is the importance of pricing a property correctly.  Whereas only a year ago, more than half of buyers paid over the asking price for their new possession, nowadays, that number has been cut in half.   30% of co-op buyers paid over asking in August, versus 13% of condo buyers.  Why the difference?  It’s because of the concentration of buyers in the sub-million market of co-ops, spurring competition and supporting prices for that small segment of quality jewels.  If you consider the relative efficiency of the condo market as compared to the co-op market, it shouldn’t be too surprising that 37% of condo buyers paid the asking price for their units, versus only 13% for co-ops.  This leaves just over ½ of transactions coming in at below asking prices.

It has never been more important to be diligent about positioning your own property well by having an intelligent and well-researched pricing strategy.