While numerous recent articles point to the malaise in New York City real estate market, there are certain pockets which appear to be doing well.
New condos priced under $1 million are doing decent business — and those priced at around $500,000, even better. They tick a lot of boxes: An entry level home for millennials where a mortgage payment is equal to or less than what renting would cost, an affordable pied a terre for out-of-towners or a buy-and-hold for investors.
These mostly one-bedroom condos are not subject to mansion tax and have a monthly carrying cost that fits the price tag. A look at Marketproof’s recent data analysis for Brooklyn confirms this with 509 condos sold in October alone and just over half (275) priced at under $1 million. Of those, 66 were priced under $500,000. At this price point, newly constructed units in Bedf0rd-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Bushwick fit the bill of many buyers.
The sales data for 335-341 Nostrand Ave. in Bed-Stuy, which has moved almost all of its listings would seem to confirm this. The 20 unit boutique building first went to market earlier this year and now has nine out of 12 active listings currently under contract, with three sold.
“We have seen tremendous enthusiasm for 335-341 DeKalb Ave.,” said Ilan Bracha of Keller Williams NY, the broker for the building. “Firstly, it’s a solid product. It’s close to the subway, so obviously the location is crucial. Then the price point makes sense. Why rent when you can own a condo and the mortgage will be less than the rent?”
Bracha is also quick to mention a nearby development, 627 DeKalb, which has also shown robust sales activity.
“We currently have 12 units listed and eight are in contract,” he said.
Marketproof data shows four sales with one rental. “All are priced between $595K and $685K. You always have to adjust to the market to remain relevant,” he says. “As long as you price right, you can be successful.”
Still in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy, 175 & 192 Spencer St., which sit across from one another, will house 82 one- and two-bedroom units. Prices in the former rental will hit the sweet spot from $630,000 to $950,000. Covered parking and a gym are also part of the amenities.
Also appealing to this lower priced zone are 150 East Second St., a boutique five-unit condo building in leafy Windsor Terrace and even the amenity filled Front & York development in Dumbo, which will have 20 out of 408 condos priced under $1 million.
In Downtown Brooklyn, The Symon, located at 76 Schermerhorn St., has units starting at $795,000.
Crown Heights has been booming in recent years as new developments continue to fill in the neighborhood. A five-unit condo at 852 St. Johns Place prides itself on being a “passive house” which, thanks to cutting edge insulation, boasts low heating costs for those biting New York winters. All units in the building are priced under $1 million.
Going to Queens, Astoria’s The Rowan (21-21 31st St.) is about to launch sales starting at $495,000. There will be 46 units in total ranging from studios to 3 bedrooms with the smallest starting at 425 square feet.
Also in Astoria, The Alexandra, located on 31st Avenue will feature 25 apartments starting at around $600,000.
Unlike many Long Island City/Astoria buildings, Astoria Lights (24-75 38th Street, Long Island City) is a retrofit of a former co-op building. If you want to wallow in true New York nostalgia without the clanging pipes and broken elevators, the structure, which dates back to 1929, will feature condos starting at $475,000.
While Long Island City is no longer considered an up and coming neighborhood, developers at the gleaming 5 Court Square, wary of condos gathering dust in a slow market, have priced 18 of 58 homes below $1 million, with prices starting at $825.000.
Uptown, in Harlem, new condos at Eleven Hancock, a 71-unit building has sales prices starting at $585,000 with 34 units priced under $1 million. The sleek cantilevered structure has studios through to four-bedrooms. There are currently nine active sales.
While luxury condos may not be moving in Manhattan, elsewhere in NYC, where prices are more modest, the motto appears to be business as usual.
Disclosure: Marketproof powers the real estate listings for Brownstoner, a publication of Schneps Media, which is the parent company of amNewYork.