Category Archive: NYC

Navigating Real Estate During COVID-19: Weekly Updates

If you are wondering how real estate is faring in and surrounding Manhattan, our team will be providing up-to-date trends and information. This will be updated routinely as we navigate through these trying times. Check out our latest installment below and if you have any questions that could possibly be featured next week, please contact us

Week of 6/15:


Week of 6/1:

Russell Putterman, Matt Lenner and Expert Advisor, Jon Wanberg, sat down to discuss what the real estate market in Orlando, FL as well as variances to the home inspection processes along the East Coast.

Week of 5/18:

In this video, Russell Putterman and Jesse Gordon (Attorney at Law) with Gordon & Petkos LLP, sat down to discuss what new deals look like in NYC and types of concessions that have been seen during the spring of 2020.

Week of 5/11:

In this video, Matt Lenner (Our Long Island Team Leader) and Russ Putterman (Focus’ Team Leader) sat down to discuss the current real estate trends on the island, current showing restrictions amid the pandemic and tips for seller and buyers. Some of major topics that were discussed included:

    • What is being seen on Long Island during the pandemic?
    • Why is inventory an issue on the island?
    • New York restrictions for showing homes.
    • How Monmouth County of New Jersey is comparing to LI?
    • What is expected to happen in LI during the summer and fall?
    • Tips for buyers and sellers


Week of 5/4:

For this week’s video, Russ Putterman sat down with Todd Zipkin from Americana Mortgage to discuss the lending market. Some of major topics that were discussed included:

  • How guidelines have recently changed.
  • Availability/rates for jumbo, conforming and high balance loans.
  • Rate differences between refinances and purchases.
  • How banks are adjusting to the situation.
  • Tips for refinancing.

Week of 4/27:

In this latest installment, we discuss some of the common questions that we’ve received as we head into May. This includes:

  • Market updates for the end of April as well as the pace of units and supply.
  • Can buyers negotiate prices at the moment?
  • What are the new standards for selling your home in the current market?
  • Can homes still close during the pandemic?


Week of 4/20: 

In this first video, Russ Putterman (Focus’ Team Leader) sat down to answer some of the common questions surrounding the real estate market in late April. Russ reviews: 

  • The variances in how NYC, Long Island and New Jersey are responding to COVID-19’s impact on real estate. 
  • The effect on mortgages, liquidity in the market and where jumbo loans stand. 
  • What to possibly expect when the market goes back to some level of normalcy. 
  • How consumer behavior is changing for both the commercial and residential markets.

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.

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.