High Demand for Residential Real Estate in Manhattan

New York City may be stunningly diverse, fast-paced and busy, but there’s at least one thing about it that is surprisingly stable: Manhattan has an incredibly strong and steady real estate market, unlike anywhere else in the country.

Though the housing market is in flux throughout the United States, residential real estate in Manhattan remains a great investment.

For instance, Manhattan has seen a 1.2 percent increase in median sales price over the past year. This increase, combined with a decrease in discounts from the listing price, bodes extremely well for the overarching stability in the Manhattan market.

It’s a modest sales price increase, but nonetheless, when compared to the rest of the country’s depressed market, New York City’s slow and steady rise is a bona fide bright spot.

So what makes Manhattan a stable investment? There are a few reasons behind the health of the City’s housing market. For one, sellers can count on the reliable influx of foreign buyers who are interested in purchasing Manhattan real estate. A weak dollar and the enduring cache of owning property in one of the world’s most desirable cities is attracting house hunters around the world.

Another explanation goes back to basic economics: good old-fashioned supply and demand. The dearth of new development and construction in New York City has left buyers clamoring for any and all desirable property.

Here are some interesting statistics:

Back in 2008, when the economic outlook seemed far rosier, there were 9,700 filings put in to build new housing versus in 2009 when there were only 1,363 filings, following the economic crash, and in 2010, it was even more dismal, with only 704 filings. It is not a surprise, then, that buyers are chomping at the bit.

This can be seen on an anecdotal level as well. Several months ago, two new Manhattan developments were selling out fast and furious: the property has 44 luxury units and there were 33 contracts out in just one month’s time — and approximately 5 price increases.

The second is the Toll Brothers’ 15-story luxury condominium building at 132 East 65th Street: The Touraine.

Upon opening its sale office in October 2011, more than half of its 22-units had gone into contract and more than 3,000 people were on a waiting list, and, at that point, only the foundation was done, according to Toll Brother’s City Living, the urban development division of the high end, Pennsylvania-based home builder. An executive at the firm states that as soon as a unit is released, it sells within a week.

Now, here it is in June and even though the building still isn’t completely finished, there is only one unit left for sale. Designed by Luciene Lagrange, The Touraine should have all of its finishing touches completed in the early part of 2013.

So although the forecast for the housing market looks gloomy elsewhere, Manhattan’s outlook remains temperate, calm and downright attractive. The demand is definitely there and prices are on the rise. New York may be one of the most exciting cities on the planet, but for buyers it remains a pretty safe investment.

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