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Thread: What Can a Million Buy in Manhattan? Something Average

  1. #31


    An interesting show can be seen at 10:30pm Tuesday nights on Fine Living (Channel 144 on Time Warner). It's also reaired on weekday mornings.

    It's called What You Get For the Money.
    Each episode has a different pricepoint and they pick a handful of cities and compare what you can get for the same price across the country. It's really interesting (and sad for future NYC apt owner).

    They say:
    "From a 500-square-foot urban dwelling to a five-bedroom rural house, find out what your money really can buy. Each episode tells personal stories, investigates varied lifestyles and explores communities while boldly answering the invasive question: "How much did that cost?" "

  2. #32


    Quote Originally Posted by chinman
    Recently, this agent told me there were 6 condos in GV...700 pp showed, 55 bids offered. They pulled it off the market, raised prices 15%, and there were still bidding wars

    1. How long will this market sustain a buying frenzy?
    2. Anyone experience sellers willing to negotiate or is that a thing of the past?
    3. Where can i get price per sq ft by area - with updated stats?
    The below link was working but crapped out on me recently..
    4. I don't see any new developments in 2005 being offered at under $1k/sqft..scary...Does this mean getting in on a sponsor unit under that price is a great buy and considered 'below cost' even though they make you pay for their closing costs + attorney + processing fees, etc since it's new dev?
    Quote Originally Posted by ASchwarz
    There are dozens of developments for sale for well under $1k/sqft. The problem is you are only looking in SoHo and Greenwich Village, two of the most expensive areas.

    There are brand new two bedrrom lofts in Williamsburg for about $500K. There are even cheaper new condos in Washington Heights and Harlem. Brownstone Brooklyn has new two bedroom condos for about $500k and up. If you prefer living downtown, the Lower East Side and the Financial District might still have some deals, but I'd guess the window is rapidly closing.

    If you have to live in SoHo or Greenwich Village, there are no deals whatsoever. These neighborhoods are now only for the rich.

  3. #33


    I beg to differ.
    There ARE deals to be had..albeit few and far have to be on top of your listings and be ready to move on something you like.

    I recently had an offer accepted for a sponsor unit in SoHo for well UNDER $800/sqft for new construction...and I'm not rich by any means..just snowballing the money from a recent sale.

  4. #34



    Real estate-crazed Americans have started behaving in ways that eerily recall the stock market obsession of the late 1990's.

    In Naples, Fla., some houses have been bought twice in a single day, an early-21st-century version of day trading. Buying stocks on margin has morphed into buying homes with no money down. The over-the-top parties of Internet start-ups have been replaced by flashy gatherings where developers pitch condos to eager buyers.

    Five years ago, the cable channel CNBC sometimes seemed like a backdrop to daily American life. Its cheery analysis of the stock market played in offices, in barbershops, even in some bars. Today, "Dude Room," "Toolbelt Diva" and other home-improvement shows are the addictive fare that CNBC's exuberant stock shows once were.

    "It just seems like everyone is doing it," Laurie Romano, a 26-year-old self-described real estate investor, said with a giggle as she explained why she was attending an open house this month for the Nexus, a 56-unit building going up in Brooklyn's chic Dumbo neighborhood. She and her fiancé, a dentist, had already put down a deposit on a Manhattan condo earlier in the week and had come to look at another at the Nexus.

    Nobody can know whether the housing boom of the last decade will end as the dot-com frenzy did. But the parallels are raising alarms among many economists, even those who acknowledge that there are important differences between homes and stocks that significantly reduce the chances of another meltdown. For one thing, houses are not just paper wealth: you can live in them.

    Still, perhaps the most troubling similarity, some analysts say, is the claim that the rules have somehow changed. In an echo of the blasé attitude that "new economy" investors took toward unprofitable companies, the growing ranks of real estate investors are buying houses they never expect to be able to rent at a profit. Instead, they think the prices of houses will just keep rising.

    Indeed, the government reported yesterday that sales of new homes jumped sharply in February, in the biggest monthly increase in four years. A strong economy and an improving job market contributed to the gain. But many buyers were also trying to beat rising mortgage rates, which could eventually cool the market.

    Adding to the parallels between stocks and housing, some of the doomsayers from the 1990's have returned with new warnings.

    "We're going through something very similar in real estate that we did with stocks," said Robert J. Shiller - a professor of economics at Yale, whose prescient book on stocks, "Irrational Exuberance" (Princeton University Press, 2000), appeared just a few months before technology stocks began their slide. "It's driven by the same forces: that investments can't go bad; that it has the potential to make you rich; that you'll regret it if you don't do it; that it looks expensive but is really not."

    A new edition of Mr. Shiller's book will be published next month. The cover promises an "analysis of the worldwide real estate bubble and its aftermath."

    Premonitions of a bubble on the verge of popping do not ruffle those who are bullish on real estate. In Miami, Ron Shuffield, president of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors, predicted that a limited supply of land coupled with demand from baby boomers and foreigners would prolong the boom indefinitely.

    "South Florida," he said, "is working off of a totally new economic model than any of us have ever experienced in the past."

    The can't-miss aura of real estate has also helped nudge many families to invest more of their personal wealth in real estate by buying more expensive homes and taking on riskier mortgages - much as ordinary workers used their 401(k) plans to bet on company stocks.

    There are certainly serious reasons to believe that house prices will not suffer the fate of technology stocks. Not only are houses more tangible, but people do not sell their homes as quickly as stocks, making a panic much less likely. Because of tax advantages, few owners are likely to sell and rent something else simply because local house prices start to decline.

    As high as they might seem now on the coasts, home prices nationally have not quite doubled over the last decade; during the 1990's, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index more than quadrupled.

    "I just don't think we have what it takes to prick the bubble," said Diane C. Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago, who was an optimist during the 90's. "I don't think prices are going to fall, and I don't think they're even going to be flat."

    Such confidence about real estate has created a 1990's-like stampede of new investors. The night before the Nexus party, Patrick Cullert, 31, and Jennifer Mathews, 29, who are engaged, camped out to ensure they would be near the head of the line for one of 16 condos to be sold at the party. It was today's version of pestering a broker for shares in a hot public offering.

    And many former stock market enthusiasts are now turning to housing. Douglas Paul, a 46-year-old former analyst, left AT&T in 2002 to buy and sell stocks on his own. But he soon decided that real estate could be another way to make quick profits. Mr. Paul owns two condominium units around Fort Lauderdale and one in Miami Beach, all bought during the last year, in addition to the one where he lives. He plans to sell one of the Fort Lauderdale condos in June for what he believes will be double his investment.

    "It really is a very hot real estate market, and I don't know how long it's going to continue," he said. "But in the short term, why not profit from it?"

    Mr. Paul's path is an increasingly common one. The National Association of Realtors estimates that nearly one-quarter of home purchases last year were made by people who thought of the house as an investment rather than a place to live. Seminars promising to teach amateurs the tricks of real estate speculation have proliferated.

    Even at Harvard Business School, where students have traditionally gravitated to careers in investment banking and corporate marketing, real estate is suddenly hot. About 25 graduates have taken real estate jobs in each of the last two years, up from only six in 2001.

    It is not quite the gold rush of 2000, when about 200 Harvard M.B.A. graduates flocked to technology companies. But even if they are not working in real estate, some of those graduates are now investing in it.

    Andrew Farquharson, a member of the class of 1999, said he recently teamed up with a high school friend to buy a home in the Central Valley of California "out of pure speculation." He knows of other classmates who have made similar investments.

    "I look at this as a short-term investment," said Mr. Farquharson, 36, who works for a venture capital firm, "and plan to unload it as soon as things look dangerous."

    In addition to the flood of investors, the parallels between real estate and stocks extend into mainstream culture.

    Real estate bulletin boards and blogs like and Real Estate Pimp have taken the place of financial chat rooms like Tokyo Joe's. ABC has a breakout hit in "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," and Home and Garden Television, a once-obscure cable channel, now draws an average of 827,000 viewers in prime time.

    The seemingly inevitable how-to guide inspired by Donald Trump - "Trump Strategies for Real Estate" (John Wiley & Sons) by George Ross, one of Mr. Trump's assistants on his hit show "The Apprentice" - is a strong seller, already hitting No. 177 on's list in March, less than a month after its release.

    At the Nexus party in Brooklyn, Steve Nguyen, Ms. Romano's fiancé, said he was heeding Mr. Trump's advice. "He says buy, buy, buy," Dr. Nguyen said.

    The same message is being trumpeted by David A. Lereah, chief economist of the Realtors association, who argues in his new book, "Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?" (Currency), that real estate investors will "experience substantial and satisfying wealth gains" into the next decade.

    The question that looms over these books is whether they will suffer the fate of another optimistic talisman, "Dow 36,000" (Times Books), which was a best seller in late 1999. Its authors, James K. Glassman and Kevin A. Hassett, argued that stock prices, despite five years of roaring gains, "could double, triple or even quadruple tomorrow and still not be too high."

    The Dow Jones industrial average hovered around 11,000 when "Dow 36,000" was published. It dropped below 8,000 in 2002 and closed at 10,442.87 yesterday.

    Another lingering echo of the stock market boom is the role of the Federal Reserve, the nation's central bank. In the 1990's, the Fed kept interest rates relatively low because it saw little risk of rising inflation despite a booming economy, helping feed a fever for stocks. Alan Greenspan, the Fed chairman, famously asked aloud in 1996 whether "irrational exuberance" was driving the stock market, but then backed off from second-guessing investors.

    After the market plunged and the economy weakened, the Fed pushed interest rates down to 50-year lows, helping to fuel the housing boom. This month, Mr. Greenspan made some comments about housing that offered a faint echo of his 1996 musings.

    "Analysts have conjectured that the extended period of low interest rates is spawning a bubble in housing prices in the United States that will, at some point, implode," Mr. Greenspan said in a speech in New York, adding that real estate speculation had shown a "marked increase." Nevertheless, he said he did not expect a "destabilizing" drop in prices, in part because home prices across the country have never fallen significantly.

    But by one measure, houses in at least a few metropolitan areas are as expensive as telecommunications stocks were in 1999, relative to their underlying value.

    The average house in San Jose, Calif., costs 35 times what it would cost to rent for a year, according to, a research company. In New York and West Palm Beach, this ratio - a rough equivalent of the price-earnings ratio for stocks - is almost 25.

    In March 2000, the price-earnings ratio of the Standard & Poor's 500 - the combined price of the stocks, divided by their profits per share - peaked around 32, and it was briefly even higher for telecommunications stocks. The S.& P.'s P.E. ratio has since fallen to around 20.

    Still, no matter how expensive real estate might be, it continues to provide many owners a return worth boasting about.

    Holly Peterson, who is writing a novel about the idiosyncrasies of New York's rich, said that at dinner parties in Manhattan, she frequently hears complaints about high home prices, followed by claims of quick profits. "They always hit you with their last jab: 'Of course my money's doubled three times over since I got married,' " she said.

    Five years ago, she said, friends at parties were crowing about "making millions of dollars on paper with $25,000 and $50,000 investments." But "most of those people," she added, "got wiped out."

  5. #35
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    The weakness of the dollar has suddenly made the cachet of owning a second home in the U.S. possible for many Europeans -- and they are snapping up houses and condos across Florida, as well as New York and other locations like Chicago and Colorado's ski resorts. Foreigners have always bought U.S. real estate, particularly when the dollar is weak. But the current buying spree has more steam, thanks to the impact of a single European currency and cheaper airfares. Foreigners made up about one-third of the buyers of apartments in Manhattan in 2004, up from one-fourth in 2003. For Manhattan's entire apartment market, the average price per square foot climbed to $910 -- topping $900 a square foot for the first time. That's up 16.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2004. It's a gain of 28 percent from a year earlier.

  6. #36


    Average Price of A Manhattan Apartment: $1.2M

    NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - The average sale price for a Manhattan apartment topped $1.2 million in the first quarter, a new record, as the supply of properties for sale shrunk, according to the Prudential Douglas Elliman Manhattan Market Overview.

    The average sale price rose to $1.21 million -- up 23 percent from the final quarter of 2004 and up 26 percent from a year ago.

    In the condominium sector, the average sale price jumped to $1.55 million -- exceeding $1.5 million for the first time -- and surging 34 percent from 2004's fourth quarter, the report said. The average condo sale price went up 22 percent from the year-ago first quarter.

    For Manhattan's entire apartment market, the average price per square foot climbed to $910 -- topping $900 a square foot for the first time. That's up 16.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2004. It's a gain of 28 percent from a year earlier.

    "Improving economic conditions, a tight housing supply, rising incomes and the widely held expectation of rising mortgage rates in the near future, caused housing prices to surge this quarter," the report said.

    It was the first time the quarterly report included Manhattan markets above 116th Street on the West Side and above 96th Street on the East Side.

    The median sale price -- the point where half the sales are higher and half are lower -- climbed to $705,000. That's up 16.5 percent from the previous quarter and up 18.5 percent from a year ago.

    The volume of apartment sales fell to 2,028 units -- down 6.2 percent from the previous quarter and down 5.8 percent from a year ago, according to the report.

    Limited supply kept sales volume in check.

    The average sale price of a cooperative apartment, where an owner holds shares in the building and does not own the individual unit, rose to $988,746. That's up 15.5 percent from the previous quarter.

    The average co-op sale price went up average sale price of a cooperative apartment, where an owner holds shares in the building and does not own the individual unit, rose to $988,746. That's up 15.5 percent from the previous quarter.

    The average co-op sale price went up 25 percent from the first quarter of 2004.

    04/01/05 02:22 ET

    Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.

  7. #37

    Default Avg. Manhattan Apt. Now $1.32M

    From the July 1, 2005 NY Post:



    "Manhattan luxury co-ops & condos soar past $5M average for first time."

    July 1, 2005 -- Despite speculation of a pending explosion in the so-called real-estate bubble, Manhattan's residential prices continue to hit record highs.
    According to several surveys released yesterday by the city's top real-estate companies, the average sales price of co-op and condominium apartments overall in Manhattan have risen by as much as 38 percent over the last 12 months.

    Topping the chart was a 47 percent price hike for the Lower East Side and a 77 percent surge in Park Avenue apartments, to an average $3.77 million.

    The overall luxury market — the upper 10 percent of all condo and co-op sales Manhattan-wide — showed a 36.4 percent increase, to a record $5.16 million, according to data compiled by the Miller Samuel appraisal company and released in a report by Prudential Douglas Elliman.

    That's the first time that figure has crossed the $5 million threshold.

    Elliman's survey also noted that the average price of all Manhattan apartments now stands at $1.32 million — up 30.4 percent from a year ago.

    The report's median price — which denotes the exact middle price between the borough's high and low sales — rose 24 percent from $625,000 to $775,000. The average price per square foot posted a gain of 27.3 percent, to $970, according to Elliman.

    "The average price can tell you a lot," said Gregory Heym, the chief economist for Brown Harris Stevens and its sister company, Halstead Property. "It's a broad indicator of what people are buying.

    "The median numbers will show you what the whole market in its entirety is doing, because it won't be skewed by the $50 million sale or $5,000 sale. Since the average and median sales are both up over 20 percent in our reports, it shows you that the whole market is moving higher."

    The Corcoran Group's survey, meanwhile, showed their average sales price for condos and co-ops up 38 percent, to $1,255,000 — compared with $912,000 a year ago.

    "We don't see any signs of a slowdown," said Corcoran CEO Pamela Liebman. "The only time we see a slowdown of any kind is when the sellers start overpricing."

    While there are few signs of a slowdown, some do see a little less exuberance in a market that continues to defy financial gravity.

    "I don't see the type of bidding wars that went on last year," said Prudential Douglas Elliman CEO Dottie Herman. "People are a little more cautious these days."

    But most industry experts scoff at talk of a bubble that is on the verge of bursting.

    "What's driven the market's upswing, including low interest rates, a low supply of inventory, and the tax advantages of home ownership, continues to be in place," said Heym. "There's been a rejuvenation of bubble talk lately. But my question is 'Why would it go down?' Something has to trigger it, and none of the fundamentals have changed."
    Last edited by londonlawyer; July 1st, 2005 at 11:11 AM.

  8. #38


    From the July 1, 2005 edition of the NY Daily News:

    Average Manhattan
    apt. price tops 1.3M


    New Yorkers can worry all they want about the bursting of the real estate bubble - but it hasn't happened yet.
    Manhattan apartment prices rose to record highs in April through June - with the average sale topping $1.3 million, according to a study by appraiser Miller Samuel.

    "Despite all the negative discussion about the housing boom, buyers are very aggressive," said the firm's CEO, Jonathan Miller, who prepared the study for residential brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman.

    The average rose 8.5% from the prior $1.2 million record set at the end of March - which is even more impressive considering that prices surged 23% between March and December 2004.

    The earlier price rise was a one-time spike brought on by fears that mortgage rates would rise, Miller said.

    The size of the recent price hike is more typical of increases during a real-estate boom.

    Significantly, the number of Manhattan apartments available for sale fell in the past year despite a spate of new development, Miller said - which helped drive up prices.

    It now costs nearly $1,000 on average to buy a single square foot of living space in Manhattan - one of several records set in the second quarter. For instance, the average price of a co-op topped $1 million for the first time, an increase of 11.5% since March.

    The average price of a luxury apartment - the top 10% segment of the market - topped $5 million for the first time, a rise of 14% over first-quarter rates.

    Prudential Douglas Elliman CEO Dottie Herman sees no indications the Manhattan market is headed for a downturn any time soon, barring a catastrophe.

    "It's a very safe bet, New York," she said.

  9. #39
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    Manhattan Apartment Prices Reach New High


    Published: July 3, 2005

    A rush of market reports using different numbers and methodologies all concluded last week that prices in the Manhattan real estate market hit a new high during a frothy spring selling season. Average prices rose for everything from cramped studios to four-bedroom apartments, lofts and town houses.

    The reports confirm that despite worries about a bubble in real estate prices here and around the country, buyer interest remained strong, with frequent bidding wars, both in older apartment buildings and new condominiums just coming to market.

    It was only a year or so ago that average cooperative and condominium prices reached the $1 million mark in Manhattan. Yesterday, the very day the quarter ended, major Manhattan brokers sent out competing claims for new highs in average sales.

    Prudential Douglas Elliman put the average sale price at $1.32 million, 8.5 percent above the last quarter, and 30 percent above a year earlier, when they reached $1,009,998.

    Brown Harris Stevens calculated it at $1.28 million, 9 percent above the figures it reported the previous quarter and 21 percent more than a year ago. A third firm, Corcoran Group, reported that the average price for a co-op reached $1.08 million, while an average condominium fetched $1.54 million.

    Brokers and analysts attributed the surge to continuing low interest rates, which dipped even lower during the quarter, a tight supply of apartments on the market, rising incomes and confidence in the economy.

    There were also the lingering effects of year-end bonuses for Wall Street executives - some of whom signed contracts in the winter, but closed on sales in the spring.

    "If you've been waiting for prices to come down, you have been waiting a long time," said Gregory J. Heym, chief economist for Brown Harris Stevens. "The fundamentals have only gotten better and they were strong to begin with."

    Price increases were particularly strong downtown, where new buildings were coming on the market and the average price of a three-bedroom apartment increased 46 percent to $2.4 million in the last year, according to Brown Harris Stevens.

    But there were also strong price increases in smaller apartments. The Prudential Douglas Elliman report found that average prices on studios increased by 12 percent in the last quarter, to $380,000 from $337,000, more than any other size apartment.

    And while the average price is affected by multimillion-dollar sales, another measure, the median price, also rose to record levels, showing the breadth of the increases. Half of the apartments sold for less than the median price, and half sold for more.

    Median prices reported by Douglas Elliman increased to $775,000, or by 9.9 percent from the price recorded three months earlier, and a 24 percent increase from the previous year.

    Jonathan J. Miller, an appraiser and president of Miller Samuel Inc., who prepared the Prudential Douglas Elliman report, said that 800 Manhattan cooperative and condominium sales this quarter, or 37 percent of the sales he tallied, were for more than $1 million. In the last quarter of 2001, after the World Trade Center attack, only 13 percent of sales were above $1 million.

    There were many reports of sellers with multiple offers during the peak of the spring season, with sellers walking away with multiple backup offers and brokers talking about "frenzy", but that cooled somewhat in the last few weeks among more expensive apartments, as more apartments, including newly completed units, came on the market.

    "We had overpricing by sellers and that dampened enthusiasm by buyers," said Pamela Liebman, president and chief executive of the Corcoran Group.

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  10. #40



    Trapped in the Bubble
    IT may seem absurd that David and Christine Boals, a Manhattan couple with two young children, wound up in a $4,400-a-month rental in Chelsea.

    With more than $100,000 in profit from the sale of a one-bedroom apartment last year, and Ms. Boals's income as the owner of a photo agency, it never occurred to them that they wouldn't be able to trade up to a bigger place for their family. But like a growing number of equity-rich homeowners, they discovered that their money did not go nearly as far as they had hoped.

    In the hottest markets, owners whose homes have skyrocketed in value find themselves in a frustrating paradox. They were supposed to be the lucky ones: they bought in frenzied real estate markets like New York and Los Angeles three or more years ago and have amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars on paper.

    But as they try to roll that considerable equity into a bigger home, many are unpleasantly surprised to find that the cost of real estate at the higher end has outpaced their ability to buy. For homeowners who have watched the torrid housing market create wealth as if by magic, scanning the classified ads or visiting a few open houses serves as a harsh reality check.

    For the Boalses, who had owned their previous apartment for just three years, the best option was a $950,000 unit that had gone unrenovated for 30 years. But since it was only slightly larger than the apartment they had just sold - and would require a mortgage nearly twice as large as their previous one - the couple decided to rent.

    Trading up "is becoming harder and harder, even for people who are technically wealthy," Mr. Boals said last week as he took a break from his duties as a stay-at-home father for his daughter, 3, and son, 16 months.

    Families have always dreamed of the extra bedroom or the larger yard. But now that their current homes have shot up in value, their expectations for a lifestyle upgrade are even higher. The problem now is that in cities like Boston, New York and San Francisco the number of people vying to move up exceeds the number of larger places for sale.

    "You often think, 'Geez, I have this huge windfall,' but your neighbors and the people in the building next door have the same windfall," said Christopher J. Mayer, a professor of real estate at the Columbia Business School in New York. "There are a lot of people who want to trade up, so that's really the problem they are facing."

    In some places prices of bigger homes are hitting records, putting them out of the reach of even those who, on paper at least, have accumulated considerable wealth. In Manhattan the average price of a two-bedroom apartment is now $1.5 million, according to Miller Samuel, a New York real estate appraiser, while three-bedrooms average $3.6 million. In Cupertino, Calif., the average price of a four-bedroom house is nearly $1.1 million, according to the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors.

    Incomes have not kept pace. The average earnings for private-sector workers in Manhattan went up 10 percent between 2000 and 2004, according to Jason Bram, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Average prices for co-ops and condos in Manhattan increased by 41 percent in the same period.

    The gap is widening nationwide, too., a research firm, says that five years ago, a household bringing in the median national income could afford to trade up to a home that cost 61 percent more than the median house price. Today such a household can afford a place only 44 percent more expensive; that figure is the lowest in 15 years.

    One result is that homeowners who might have followed the traditional path from starter home to dream house in a few years are now deferring the dream. Kim Orchen Cooper, a freelance casting director, and her husband, Roger Cooper, a film editor, bought a two-and-a-half-bedroom town house in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2001 for $415,000. After their daughter, Rylee, was born last year, the couple yearned for a bigger house with a full backyard.

    Considering recent sales in their neighborhood, they say they might get about $800,000 for the town house. But Ms. Cooper said that a simple stand-alone house nearby would start at about $1.1 million. Even with the equity from their current home, "that would still be a $700,000 loan," she said, adding, "We can't afford it."

    Some buyers might be able to finance a move up but can't stomach the bidding wars and the stratospheric prices that confront them. Pier Charter, a real estate agent at Brown Bear Realty in San Francisco, said he has worked with at least a dozen people in the last year who decided to renovate after losing out to bidders who offered as much as 30 percent over the asking price.

    "Even if your ideal house came up," Mr. Charter said, "there's absolutely no guarantee that one will get it unless one throws obscene amounts of money at it."

    Many families are shocked at how little their newfound wealth will buy. In over a year of looking, Shauna Swerland Youssefnia and her husband, David Youssefnia, have not found anything they believe justifies cashing out of their current Manhattan apartment. Ms. Youssefnia, a recruiting firm executive, bought the one-bedroom five years ago, before she married Mr. Youssefnia, who owns his own consulting business, and she said the value of the apartment has almost doubled since then.

    "It's so unbelievable what you get for your money," she said. "Even if you stretch yourself all you get is an extra room. It doesn't mean more closet space or outdoor space or storage space."

    When their son, Max, was born eight months ago, they installed a temporary wall in the dining room to create a room for him. Now, Ms. Youssefnia said, "David and I keep joking that Max is going to grow up in the dining room."

    Some buyers forge ahead, but end up taking out riskier mortgages simply to afford the monthly payments. Marie Kuranishi and her husband, Tony Guinta, sold a condo earlier this year in Playa del Rey, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles, for $450,000, nearly twice what they had paid for it, and bought a $632,000 house in a more remote suburb. To finance the jump, they took out two interest-only loans, paying no principal for a fixed period. Even so, their mortgage payments have gone up by more than $1,000 a month.

    The wealth the market created in their condo is already a distant memory. Now, Ms. Kuranishi said, the couple worry about how to cover their bills.

    Some owners are taking their profits and escaping the frothiest markets. Earlier this year, David Wolf, a commercial real estate broker, and his wife, Marie-Josée Henri, a lawyer, sold their two-bedroom co-op on the Upper West Side for close to $900,000, three and a half years after they paid just under $550,000 for it.

    After concluding that they would not find a three-bedroom they liked for less than $1.7 million, they took their equity and moved with their 22-month-old daughter, Alexie-Emmanuelle, to Montreal, Ms. Henri's hometown. They bought a five-bedroom house for the equivalent of $960,000. Buying in Manhattan, Mr. Wolf said, "would have stretched us to a place we didn't want to go."

    Most New Yorkers whose equity has soared seem resigned to staying where they are. Several mothers at the 96th Street playground in Central Park last week said that despite rapid appreciation in the value of their homes, they were planning to let two children share a bedroom indefinitely.

    As her 4-year-old son, Leander, and 2-year-old daughter, Celeste, piled onto her lap, Jennifer Sheridan said her impotent paper wealth had provoked a recurring reverie. "I had this dream about finding this room in my apartment that I did not know about," she said.

  11. #41
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    What you'll get for 1M

    Nothing much in city's hot neighborhoods, but there are places where the price is right



    It's been two years since the average price of a Manhattan apartment zoomed past the $1 million mark, and we haven't looked back since.
    Recently, already maxed-out New Yorkers saw apartments hit a new high with the average sales price reaching $1.386 million, according to a Prudential Douglas Elliman report compiled by real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

    So, what can you really get for about a million bucks? The Daily News recently posed that question to a number of real estate brokers in the city.

    "A million dollars will buy you a decent, not spectacular one-bedroom apartment on the upper East Side," said Prudential Douglas Elliman managing director Daniela Kunen.

    At that price, you won't find much in hot neighborhoods like Tribeca, SoHo, and the West Village, the brokers said.

    Nonetheless there's still a diversity of choices available for those willing to broaden their search and sacrifice certain amenities. And with signs of a cooling real estate market, decent homes priced at $1 million are becoming less scarce than they have been in a while.

    "There's definitely more to show every time I take out a client," said Corcoran broker Tami Shaoul.

    On the upper West Side, a million dollars won't get you a luxurious or even sizable home.

    It will buy you two bedrooms, one bathroom, a small balcony, renovated kitchen and central air conditioning on a park block - like the apartment at 23 W. 83rd St. just sold by Halstead broker Brian Lewis for $1.05 million. The building does not have a doorman.

    For a six-room apartment better suited for a family, you would have to pay almost double that in the neighborhood.

    "The new $1 million is $2 million," Lewis said.

    The upper East Side is where $1 million will stretch the furthest, the brokers said.

    In rare cases, there are even some three-bedrooms to be had in that price range. Kunen is offering one at 420 E. 72nd St. for $1.35 million. It has a living room, dining room and balcony.

    A would-be buyer was recently turned down by the building's co-op board.

    "This is an aberration," Kunen said. "It's a great value."

    Want something in a new condo development for about $1 million? You probably won't find it in SoHo, but it's available in less-established areas like midtown on the West Side. At the Orion at 350 W. 42nd St., two-bedroom, two-bath condos go for about $1 million.

    In the Financial District, Corcoran's Wilbur Gonzalez is selling his own two-bedroom, one-bath apartment in a new condo project at 15 Broad St. designed by Philippe Starck.

    Gonzalez is asking $1 million for the 1,169-square-foot home. He paid $665,000 for it in 2004. "It has Philippe Starck finishes, a swimming pool, bowling alley and squash court," he said.

    For families seeking more space for $1 million, brokers recommend Harlem. A new condo development called The Ellison is expected to begin marketing apartments after Labor Day.

    Two-bedroom, two-bathroom units - at around 1,600 square feet - will be priced just under $900,000, said Halstead's Lewis.

    Family homes for $1 million are also far more abundant in Brooklyn. That sum will buy you two to three bedrooms, sometimes as large as 1,700 square feet, said Corcoran broker Leslie Marshall.

    "We have everything from brand new projects with outdoor space for $1 million to classic pre-wars in Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill," she said.

    Originally published on July 16, 2006

    All contents © 2006 Daily News, L.P.

  12. #42


    Where o where do people get all this money from???? There was an article in the sunday times about a couple of computer programers that had a housing budget of 1.6 mil for a townhouse in Brooklyn? Are they all foreign? Hedge fund managers? I was too young to cash in on the dot-bomb, so i don't know - does everyone have a cool mil stashed around?

  13. #43



    Yes. A lot of people have that kind of money. Most of it in "paper profits" for those who have not cashed in. These, when combined with exotic mortgages, can pack a powerful punch in the snowballing equity game. Their money is being mark to market every day while they live off their space. There is nothing like owning your own home.

    Key here is to be sensitive to market conditions. Some important notes:

    1. Do not hesitate to buy when you see a good deal.
    2. Do not become attached to the property. "Be portable".
    3. Sell when the fruit is "ripe".

    Bubble bursting soon? Yeah... right. They've been saying that for the last eight years.

    When it bursts... you can always say....

    "It is better to have lived in style and luxury deep in the golden streets of Manhattan, than not to have experienced it at all." "It's been a glorious ride."

    For those who are still renting and waiting for a catastrophe so they can buy, all I can say is.... "Where did all the sellers go? Looks like they are all weathering the storm. I have tons of cash with nothing to buy."

  14. #44


    Thanks for the advice. But...what is an exotic mortgage?

    I really should not complain about the money, my parents think I am insane to pay what I do in rent. It is just that everybody in Brooklyn now a days is a millionare (seams to be ).

    Since when did it become hip to live in a warehouse in Brooklyn??? Soho ok, but Brooklyn?

    disclosure : I am just mad cause I had planned to live in that warehouse on the cheep.

  15. #45


    exotic mortgage = interest only, 10/1 Arm, 80-10-10, balloon mortgage, reverse mortgage etc. etc. etc.

    It is possible to buy a home without a downpayment. Some mortgages cover that too.

    For more info, go to

    With regards to warehouse lofts in the "gold coast" of Brooklyn, it is too late to get in that market. For folks who are starting out, I would recommend starting small and being patient. If you are young, you can take the risk. It is important to always pay the mortgage on time. Rome was not built in a day.

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