Category Archive: NYC

The Major Unknowns in the NYC Real Estate Market During COVID-19

Team Leader. Russ Putterman, video chatted with Noah Rosenblatt of Urban Digs at the end of March to discuss the state of the NYC marketplace as well as the unknowns through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Urban Digs is a real estate service provider that helps brokers to find comps, past sales and recent market analytics in NYC neighborhoods. We’ve compiled some of the findings from this discussion that are important to know as we face the current stay-at-home order in NYC. 

What is currently happening with the market and is anyone buying?

  • Prior to the current situation, NYC seemed to be on trend to come out of a buyer’s market – This is certainly not what was expected for the spring market. As it relates to the Manhattan real estate market, there is a lot less activity happening right now. The extent of activity includes digital activities such as signing online listing agreements, holding virtual open houses and video conferencing with clients but albeit, much slower. There are certainly people that are very serious in selling and buying for various reasons and those are the connections who are primarily engaged with this slow market at the moment. 

Is there a noticable dislocation?

  • We have many deals going into contract that were already in negotiation before it got to this level. Just like any market there is supply and demand – depending on location, there will be people willing to continue with transactions – especially when there is a big buyer’s market going on. 

What should buyers and sellers expect over the next couple of months?

  • We will likely see more people pause on moving if it is not essential. For buyers who have immediate interest, we recommend taking a look in a couple of weeks as we continue to digest the constantly shifting updates throughout the nation. Assuming things settle out over time, we will have inventory to look at then and there will be more liquidity in the market. 

How is the Focus Team running in a paused environment?

  • Our team is in constant communication and continuously does team activities through video chat. No matter the market factors, it’s still important to set goals and block time throughout the day to organize priorities. We are being very mindful about the transactions that are coming in during this time and planning remote closings and calls with our clients. 


To view the full podcast with additional market trends, click here. Our team is available to answer any questions as we continue to navigate these trying times. 


Stay ahead of the curve as we emerge from this together.

Top Reasons to Consider Living in Downtown NYC

Transportation, history and cafes are just the tip of the iceberg.

Are you thinking of moving to Downtown NYC? The views are breathtaking, the area is calm during the evening, and is in proximity to almost everything you could ask for, what’s not to like? Downtown has a lot to offer for anyone looking to move there. However, there are four reasons in particular for why you should consider investing in this area of NYC.

This neighborhood offers ultimate convenience to residents

  • Compared to some other neighborhoods in New York, downtown has a vast variety of transportation modes. The Oculus is a major subway hub (E, R, A/C, 2/3, 4/5, J/Z) that can get you to almost anywhere in Manhattan, throughout the other boroughs and even has the PATH station to enter New Jersey. Downtown also offers ferry rides to a variety of locations (a full route list can be found here). Also, the bus is another easy (and comfy) mode of transportation to and from this area.
  • Downtown NYC also has nearby medical facilities that can provide reassurance to those who live in the area. There are many facilities in the area, but the closest hospital is New York Presbyterian on William Street. 
  • Transportation and local medical facilities are of course priorities for considering a new home location. However, one of the other major conveniences is having plentiful cafes. Downtown tends to slow down on the weekends, which can also make the cafe environment a relaxing place to connect with friends and work on projects. 

A great place to explore

With so many activities happening as well as a robust history, downtown NYC is a great place to adventure. 

  • There are plenty of shopping facilities within this area. In addition to being a transportation hub, Oculus has 365,000 square feet of stores and eateries. Within the Seaport District (adjacent to the Financial District), also being within walking distance, you can find many common-name stores. 
  • This specific neighborhood has a lot of history (even going far back to the revolutionary war). Some of the biggest attractions that are worth visiting or taking friends and family include:
    • Fraunces Tavern on Pearl Street 
    • Wall Street 
    • Schermerhorn Row
    • One World Trade Center

Top Restaurants

You won’t have to travel too far to get a top notch bite to eat. Within the downtown area, some of the top rated restaurants within NYC can be found here. A couple of our favorites include: 

  • Nobu 
  • L’Appart 
  • Temple Court

Continued market growth 

  • Recently provided data by Urban Digs indicates healthy buying signals for early 2020. Contract activity is up 20% YoY (last February compared to this year) and sales volume is also trending positive when compared to the prior year (Dec 2018 compared to Dec 2019).
  • Our NYC team heavily deals with transactions at Southbridge Towers (located between the Civic Center and Financial District of Lower Manhattan) and one of the biggest benefits that our clients have noted within this complex are the opportunities to renovate. With luxury property sales trending, renovations paired with a healthy sales market can create additional value to a home. 

Having completed 58 transactions in Southbridge Towers and many others within this neighborhood, our team can provide additional details to the strong benefits of living in this area. If you are interested in learning more about buying downtown, contact us today. 


Living in the Upper East Side: What You Should Know

Are you looking to buy your next dream home in Manhattan? Our UES team experts have provided the important factors to consider when making a move in Manhattan. In our latest blog, we share a few real estate trends to consider as a buyer  as well as our top five reasons to buy in this neighborhood. 

January 2020 Home Sale Data:

According to recent data from Urban Digs, there are some indicators that show the healthy signals of buying in this neighborhood: 

  • Time on market averages around three months (a 5% improvement from the prior year) and shows the demand for homes compared to other neighborhoods
  • The median sale price is $1,031,000
  • Supply has also increased by 6.6% from the prior year – indicating a buyer’s market

    Upper East Side Data

Top Reasons to Live in the Upper East Side: 

Easy Access to Central Park 

Within a matter of 10-15 minutes, you can find yourself easily in Central Park, a relaxing destination away from the bustle of midtown. There are hundreds of special attractions in the park like the zoo, carriage rides, yoga, picnics and concerts. Options are limitless when you are walking distance away!

Plentiful Museums and Exhibits 

In addition to having easy access to the park, Upper East Siders can also enjoy the close proximity of many museums. Some of the more well-known ones include: 

  • The Metropolitan Museum
  • Spyscape 
  • The Frick Collection 
  • Guggenheim 
  • The Met Bruer 

A Shopper’s Haven 

When living in the Upper East Side, it’s safe to say that you don’t have to travel too far to shop. This specific area of Manhattan is especially known for the high-end stores along Madison Avenue. In this list from NYC Go, you can find some of the top shops with designs fresh off the runway. 

Peace and Quiet 

Although this list showcases the wide variety of activities for all in the Upper East, this is a relatively quiet location compared to the rest of Manhattan. For example, the villages tend to have the liveliest nightlifes, downtown is jam-packed during the work week and midtown tends to be busy with tourism and commuters 24/7. UES offers a relaxing escape from the other areas of the city that can feel overwhelming to some. 

As a result of the calming nature, there are also many casual eateries in the area. Unlike some of the other neighborhoods, you are likely to find a quaint coffee shop – without the hassle of scouring for open seats. Some of our team’s favorites include: DTUT, Orens Coffee and Handcraft Coffee.

Strong Price Value 

The Upper East Side is well-known for luxury homes. However, when comparing the price of square footage and amenities of homes in other neighborhoods, it’s very evident that the value exists in this hidden gem. For example, in a high demand location like the East Village, the average price per square foot is $1,343 versus UES’ current average of $1,152 (Source: Urban Digs). This variance alone shows the ever-present opportunity to buy value in this market. Also, UES homes  tend to also have abundant amenities like in-unit laundry as well vs. other neighborhoods. Once a home is purchased, this area also offers a healthy rental opportunity – According to Street Easy, the two and three bedroom rental prices also tend to be higher in UES compared to the other neighborhoods. 

With many buyer/seller transactions in this particular area, our team can attest to the many benefits of living in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. If you are interested in learning more about homes for sale in the Upper East, contact our team today.