According to the Real Estate Board of New York’s recent Q2 report, residential sales prices are down 13% year-over-year. Sales volume, meanwhile, has fallen off a cliff to the tune of a 43% year-over-year drop, an all-time record since REBNY started tracking that figure in 2006.
Simply put, it’s a terrible time to sell an apartment. It’s a great time, though, to buy one.
And what are would-be buyers looking for in a world turned inside out by the coronavirus pandemic? In a word, space. A bit of green space, some extra indoor space, maybe a parking space — everyone is looking for a little elbow room.
People are “stretching from a one-bedroom to two-bedroom or a two-bedroom to a three-bedroom,” says Stephen Kliegerman, president of Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing. Barring that, he notes, they’re finding new uses for alcoves or foyers or other spots that might once have gone wasted.
And outdoor space, ever an alluring amenity for Gotham home hunters, has become even more desirable, says Warburg Realty agent Allison Chiaramonte.
Sales slump or no, a raft of new developments is hitting the market this fall. Perhaps some of them are just the sorts of spaces that the times demand.
Coronavirus wish list item #1: Outdoor space
Green space has always been a hot commodity for New York buyers, and that trend has only intensified. “We’re seeing a much bigger focus on outdoor space” says Chiaramonte. Private outdoor space like terraces and balconies is great, but shared space for activities like outdoor entertaining are also in high demand, she notes.
One Prospect Park West
1 Prospect Park in Park Slope; pricing from $2.39 million
So far as outdoor spaces go, this 64-unit building’s rooftop meadow is a fairly dramatic one. Designed by ODA New York, it’s not just pretty to look at, it’s tasty, too—according to developer Sugar Hill Capital Partners the plantings include edible herbs and fruits. And, of course, if you really have to stretch your legs, Prospect Park and its 600-acres of open space is right across the street.
45 E. 7th St. in the East Village; pricing from $1.35 million to $8.3 million
This 21-unit Morris Adjmi-designed condo building from Nexus Development & Immobiliare Capital boasts bountiful outdoor space, with private balconies overlooking a garden terrace and another landscaped terrace atop the roof. (It was built on the site of the tragic East Village gas explosion in 2015.) Plus, Tompkins Square Park is just two blocks away.
Bloom on Forty-Fifth
500 W. 45th St. in Hell’s Kitchen; pricing from $750,000
Hell’s Kitchen isn’t the most bucolic of spots, but this 92-unit building from Xin Development Group is greening up the neighborhood with an 8,000-square-foot landscaped courtyard. The building also features a pair of common terraces and private terraces are included with some apartments.
Coronavirus wish list item #2: More room
New York has never been a shut-in’s kind of town, but over the last several months we’ve had to get accustomed to spending a lot of time in our apartments. Living, working, schooling—a lot of it is going on at home. And that, as Kliegerman notes, is fueling a demand for more square footage. Chiaramonte says she’s seeing the same, as extra bedrooms find new uses as home offices or spots for virtual learning.
300 W. 122nd St. in Harlem; pricing from $499,000
This 170-apartment project from developer Bespoke Living and designer Paris Forino features 1,500-square-foot three-bedrooms and a nearly 1,900-square-foot four-bedroom unit, giving buyers the ability to socially distance from their own families should they so desire. Touches like custom oak floors and Carrara marble countertops also make staying in seem not so bad.
500 W. 25th St. in Chelsea; pricing from $4.99 million
Comprising seven full-floor apartments plus a two-floor penthouse, this boutique condo building from developer Michael Kirchmann offers plenty of room to stretch out in. Ten-plus-foot ceilings and 140 linear feet of windows per floor should also help keep things light and airy.
Coronavirus wish list item #3: Parking
Onsite parking hasn’t typically been an in-demand amenity for New York buyers, but it’s becoming one, says Kliegerman. “Definitely we see more people with cars now than we did in the past, and more people are asking about parking.” Even those who don’t currently own a vehicle are expressing interest, he adds. “They might not have a car yet, but they are projecting to have one in the future.”
710 Metropolitan Ave. in Williamsburg; pricing from $675,000 to $3 million
Onsite parking makes this 69-unit building from developer Local Capital Group in the former home of the Embee Sunshade Company a good fit for car owners. An onsite dog run and dog washing station making it great for canine aficionados. And you know who loves a nice car ride? Dogs! It’s all coming together people!
14-11 31st Ave. in Astoria; pricing from $438,000 to $784,000
This 10-unit condo project from Magnum 1 Realty comes with private parking spots available for purchase, just the thing for those looking to make a quick getaway. And if you decide to stick around, you can enjoy amenities like private balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Coronavirus wish list item #4: Bang for your buck in the ‘burbs
Of course, if it’s space that you’re after, you usually find more of it outside the city. And with a number of new developments coming online in the suburbs and in towns along the Hudson waterfront, those who’ve decided to give Gotham a break have plenty of options. One note—most are rentals, but that could be just thing for those looking to test the waters before they buy.
800 Harbor Blvd in Weehawken, New Jersey; studios from $2,600 per month, one-bedrooms from $2,980, two-bedrooms from $4,350 and three-bedrooms from $5,750
Teddy Pace and his fiancé left the East Village in March to help their parents who live in New Jersey. They enjoyed their return to the Garden State enough that they’ve decided to stay. “I think we just started to realize that [instead of] living on top of each other in a 500-square-foot apartment … it would be better to find a little bit more space,” says Pace, 29. The couple took a one-bedroom with an alcove at Hamilton Cove, a three-building 573-unit rental development from Hartz Mountain that is launching its second tower this fall.
Clarus Glen Ridge
273-289 Baldwin St. in Glen Ridge, New Jersey; from around $1,800 per month
This 110-unit rental project in Glen Ridge, a New Jersey borough of around 7,000 residents tucked next to Montclair, was built with COVID working conditions in mind. Developer JMF Properties made mid-construction adjustments to the building’s units to add dens to many residences and include private office spaces within the shared business center. For those who still have to commute into the city, New Jersey Transit is just a short walk away.