At The Core | Post Election Market Predictions

The election has come and gone … and whichever side you voted on, whatever your politics, what is for certain is that the NYC real estate market will benefit. No, this is not because of Donald Trump’s real estate endeavors; it’s merely because the uncertainty of who will lead our nation is gone. The unknown is behind us, and everyone is beginning to process what a President-Elect Trump will mean for our nation, our cities and our industries.   We therefore believe that the relative freezing of the markets that we’ve been experiencing will thaw and that 2017 will experience a pick-up in real estate activity.

Why aren’t we seeing this thaw now? Right away? Many factors come into play. First, the results are very raw on both sides, and it will take a bit of time to truly digest the implications of America’s decision.  Second, the first few weeks and months post-election will provide valuable signals as to how much election rhetoric is likely to translate into presidential policy.   Third, the holidays are-a-knockin’ on our door, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, and then Christmas, Hanukah and the New Year barreling towards shortly thereafter.  Not much activity usually happens during this time, unless there is some looming real estate related tax deadline that punctuates a calendar year end.

We therefore anticipate that it will be in Q1 and Q2 of 2017 that will see our anticipated uptick of transactions, leading to a continued growth of the NYC real estate market. This normalization is set to take place not just in terms of activity, but also in terms of prices, the latter of which have been greatly skewed by the material oversupply of luxury new developments. Their larger than usual market share of overall NYC inventory first put upwards pressure on prices and then had a disproportionate impact on their perceived softening.  Once most of these new developments move through the system and close in 2016, (having been in contract for the last 2-3 years as they came to completion), we believe we’ll have a far more accurate pricing base-line, a correction of sorts, that will allow us better gauge the state of the market.

Re-sales will play a more prominent role, therefore, in setting the overall market dynamic. We believe that their predicted activity will help bridge the growing gap between buyer and seller expectations, a gap that has been greatly exacerbated by luxury new developments, fueling sellers’ unrealistic expectations and leaving bewildered buyers out in the cold.  The more resale properties that close over the course of the next 4-7 months, the faster we can come to a shared buyer and seller narrative as a healthy foundation for future activity.  All in, we believe this will have a positive impact on 2017, especially as it pertains to our 2016 experience.

Date Your City | Your Guide To Thanksgiving Fun

Though we always try to practice gratitude, there’s no more appropriate time to be thankful than at Thanksgiving, itself. And, boy, are we thankful for the bounty of Thanksgiving activities that always mark this holiday in NYC. From the parade, itself, to the Pilgrim Pedal and Feeding NYC … there is something for everyone this month.

Macy’s Day Parade – This is likely not going to be just any other spectacular, balloon-filled parade, but a 90th year anniversary bonanza.  You will see all of your balloon favorites this year as well as some new characters that will float through the sky!  Don’t forget you can watch the balloons come to life the day before the parade! Get all of the details here.

Pilgrim Pedal (with Pancakes!) – This 10-12 mile family bike ride starts and ends in Manhattan but goes through Brooklyn and Queens! Prizes go to best themed bikes and best costumes. One of the best parts of it all: the pancake breakfast for all thereafter! Click here for all of the fun.

Feeding NYC – This is an opportunity to give back as you prepare and deliver food to families in need in NYC. This will be the 15th year of their mission and will surely bring a sense of gratitude amongst the waves of volunteers! It is a great activity for you, a group of friends or you and the kids. Start making a difference here.

Bryant Park Ice Skating – Though not necessarily linked to Thanksgiving, it’s a fantastic opportunity to glide your way into the spirit of the holiday season. Put on your skates, grab some hot chocolate (preferably not at the same time) and enjoy a little ice before it engulfs the city early next year. Ready to lace up, click here for the details!


Ask The Experts | What You Need To Know For 2017

This month, we thought we’d tackle a frequently asked question from both buyers and sellers.

Buyer Question: is now a good time to find a deal or am I better off waiting until the new year?

Answer: This is a more nuanced question than most buyers realize. Options are very different than deals.  If you’re looking to pull the trigger and you haven’t found a property to your liking, then waiting until inventory picks up in the new year is likely a good idea.  You are likely to have more options that might make your heart pitter patter when more sellers decide to finally list.  That said, and here’s the rub: if you’re looking for a real deal, waiting may not be your best option.

Why? First because the new year’s inventory increase is also likely to bring with it competition in the form of new buyers who have chosen to sit out the market until the election and holiday dust settles. This means that those very same properties that might move you to act are likely to be the ones prompting other buyers to act, reducing your likelihood of getting a “deal”. More importantly, however, these new buyers are also likely to consider properties they’ve never before seen and may, themselves, be looking for bargains.  That property that’s been lingering on the market for the last 5 months? That’s the one that you can likely negotiate to its most attractive levels now, when you have less competition and when sellers are really sweating it out.  Trust us: if a seller’s property is 5-6 months old, they are not stress-free. This is not to say that a seller is financially stressed but likely to negotiate in order to sell.

It may be worth your while to revisit properties you’ve seen before but passed on, and burnish your negotiations stamina so you can get the deal moving. Sellers know that this means their properties are unlikely to trade until January or February at this pace, so they may be more willing partners in the transaction.  Remember: finding the property is only a fraction of the battle.  You’re working with a broker partner to help you navigate the entire process and, most importantly, negotiate on your behalf.  Endless research studies have shown that we are our own worst negotiators; don’t let YOU get in your own way! We can sift through the influx of information you are receiving, help you make sense of it all, devise a disciplined purchase strategy and hold your hand when the going gets tough (as it almost always does).

Seller Question: How do I know if I’m holding on to a property that I should consider selling right now? (i.e. What’s selling?)

Answer: If you are thinking of selling, this is what we recommend based on what we’re seeing buyers looking for right now:

Millennials defining demand: studios and 1-bedrooms are moving! If you’re considering listing your studio or 1-bedroom, this may well be the right time as it is the hottest segment and represents the largest buyer base at this time. Most of the demand in this market segment is driven by millennials, most of whom are looking for turnkey apartments. What does this mean for you? If your property is dated or stale, it may be worth investing in a quick renovation and some sprucing up of appliances and finishes to make it move-in ready and effectively woo this demographic. Putting some money into your unit will pay off in terms of fewer days on market and a potentially higher valuation.

Pricing sensitivity for larger footprints: conversely, properties with 2+ bedrooms are currently defined by increased price sensitivity. Unlike the potential bells and whistles that may work for smaller properties, across all larger bedroom counts we’re seeing the themes of price, price and price rule. This is regardless of whether or not your home sits on the market for longer than you’d like. So make sure you do your homework, get a very specific and granular set of comps, price accordingly, and keep track of competitive properties as they emerge.

Apple Bites | Alternatives For Thanksgiving Day Cooking

Just in case you’re not in the cooking mood for that special day, here are some Thanksgiving destinations to enjoy both for the experience and the food:

Rotisserie Georgette – Zagat says: Gracious” owner Georgette Farkas is a “charmer” at her UES namesake, known for “impressive” rotisserie chicken and other “home-inspired” French cooking from an “attentive” staff; the “comfortable” atmosphere is “always a pleasure”, “but you do pay for it.If this sounds delicious to you, get the menu here.

Le Coq Rico – Zagat says: It’s “whole chicken heaven” at acclaimed chef Antoine Westermann’s Flatiron offshoot of a Paris standout where “French country–style” dishes featuring responsibly farmed birds (including hens, duck and squab) are “seriously delicious” (as are the egg starters); tabs run “pricey”, but “lovely” service is another reason this newcomer is “taking off.If you are saying, “yes and yes”, check out their savory menu.

Craft – Zagat says: “Still inventive, still exciting”, this “grown-up” Flatiron American from Top Chef star Tom Colicchio offers “simply yet expertly prepared” food that’s “perfect for group sharing”, served in “warm, modern” digs by a “terrific” team; though the “one-percenter” pricing suggests “special occasions”, it’s a “worthy splurge” at any time. If this is the restaurant for you, click here to begin salivating.

Monthly Gem | 196 Orchard

This month’s gem finds itself in one of the most dynamic and diverse neighborhoods of NYC: the Lower East Side. It is against this bustling backdrop that 196 Orchard sits.  Our monthly gem is everything you’d expect a building in the neighborhood to be:  sophisticated but in a textured, industrial way, overflowing with grounded luxury.

Designed by Incorporated Architecture and Design, the building is crowned by rooftop gardens and features oversized, dramatic metallic bronze industrial-styled casement windows, surrounded by imported gilded bronze glazed Spanish bricks. The aesthetic pays homage to the neighborhood’s past and its vibrant present, punctuated by an equally lively Equinox gym on the ground floor.

Why did we choose 196 Orchard?   First, we believe that the Lower East Side will be the next Chelsea.  The neighborhood has the unique mixture of grit and glamour, home to a diverse population of young and old, along with city newbies and veterans.  Further, it is well served by public transportation, while also sitting at the intersections of some of the most vibrant communities in the city: the East Village, Nolita, and Chinatown, and a stone’s throw away from Soho and the West Village.  Until now, very few new developments have broken ground here, so we believe this to be a great opportunity to gain a foothold in this up and coming hood.  Further, the varied mix of price points and sizes among its 93 residences make it very appealing for residents and investors, alike.