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Real Estate

What to expect in 2014's real estate market

Villa Berulia, located along 34th street in Murray

Villa Berulia, located along 34th street in Murray Hill, features cuisine from northern Italy and Croatia. Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

When it comes to New York City real estate in 2014, our experts say the key to finding a good residential property is to know where to look.

This is especially important in the rental market, as there is expected to be a continuing lack of inventory next year.

Manhattan rents are therefore primed to keep going up, according to Andrew Barrocas, CEO of the real estate group MNS "It will remain a seller's market. There's certainly a lack of inventory [and] strong demand for buyers looking to take advantage of interest rates where they are."

According to, a mortgage pricing site, the national rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage in Dec. 2013 is 4.48%, compared to 3.38% in Jan. 2013. A 15-year mortgage rate in Dec. 2013 is 3.52%, up from 2.66% in Jan. 2013.

Barrocas said the sales market could become more affordable, with properties possibly going for under $2,000 per square foot.

Yair Tavivian, co-founder of the Tavivian Sporn Group at Douglas Elliman, said prices under $1,500-$1,600 per square foot will continue to be rare below 96th Street.

If you want to get a good deal, Tavivian suggested looking a few blocks away from a new development.

"You can find a property that's in the same neighborhood, just maybe not a new, fresh product," he said. "So if somebody's looking for affordability, then definitely look within the neighborhood that they want, close to [a] new development because it will affect their pricing in the long run."

However, if you want brand-new digs, new buildings in Chelsea near the High Line -- such as 551 W. 21st St., 505 W. 19th St. by HFZ, and 508 W. 24th St. by Tamarkin -- are the most unique in the city, Tavivian said. The Financial District, he believes, offers the most affordability for its value.

Tavivian noted that since there is little to no new inventory on the Upper West Side, sellers there are bound to make good money off people who have their hearts set on the neighborhood.

Gary Malin, of Citi Habitats, said Manhattan's rental market won't see much new inventory until 2015. He recommended that renters and buyers check out the outer boroughs -- notably Long Island City and the Queens Plaza area, Astoria and Brooklyn.

Amenities also are an increasing draw. Malin said the biggest trend of 2014 in that area will be the increasing use of outdoor space.

Pools, lounge and barbecue areas are popular.

"It just makes the building more of a long-term place," Malin said.

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