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They Practically Sell Themselves

A statistical analysis of the most desirable apartments in Manhattan.


Map by Bryan Christie  

Real estate, it has been said, is the most local of the speculative arts. What’s coveted in the Village could languish in Yorkville. And what’s hot in Yorkville could stink in the financial district. To get an idea of what kinds of Manhattan apartments are most likely to find buyers right now, we asked StreetEasy.com vice-president of research Sofia Song to analyze closed sales from January 1 to August 15 of this year. Song weighed three factors: price discounts, time on the market, and the ratio of closed sales to available listings in that segment. Below, the results from ten of the borough’s most popular precincts.

1. Upper East Side
Most sellable: Postwar two-bedroom co-ops, followed closely by prewar two-bedroom co-ops.
“They’re the kinds of apartments young couples first buy,” says Fox Residential Group president Barbara Fox, “and many of them are attracted to the proximity to parks and schools.” Condos, on the other hand, are more expensive and less plentiful here.
Median closing price: $995,000

2. Financial District
Most sellable: Postwar condominium studios.
An outlier in our experiment, small condos proved popular here, especially among Wall Street workers and couples, who tend to want starter apartments in amenity-packed buildings, says Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Jeff Silverstein.
Median closing price: $549,855

3. Midtown West
Most sellable: Prewar two-bedroom co-ops.
The relatively low prices partly explain the popularity of prewar two-bedrooms here, says Song; if you can’t afford the Upper West Side and don’t want to lose your proximity to midtown’s services and restaurants, it’s a decent alternative.
Median closing price: $675,000

4. Chelsea
Most sellable: Prewar two-bedroom co-ops.
There are scads of condos here, but there isn’t a glut of two-bedroom prewars in co-ops, and that’s why they’re coveted, says Song. “They’re more within reach compared to all the high-end condos that went up.”
Median closing price: $1,250,000

5. Greenwich Village
Most sellable: Prewar one-bedroom condos.
Inventory largely dictates the findings here. “You have a lot of students, a lot of parents buying for their children,” says Jon Isaacs of Aligned Real Estate, and condos are more amenable to these transactions. The price point’s high, but “it’s very much where people want to be.”
Median closing price: $1,148,500

6. Midtown East
Most sellable: Prewar studio co-ops.
Credit the boom in starter apartments in co-ops with what Bellmarc’s Julie Friedman calls “a trifecta for purchases”: low interest rates combined with low prices in a neighborhood with a strong rental market for smaller apartments. These aren’t high-risk buyers, either—co-ops require at least a 20 percent down payment—so banks are willing to lend.
Median closing price: $280,000

7. Upper Manhattan
(Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood)
Most sellable: Prewar two-bedroom co-ops.
Properties in general have been slow to move here, but the most marketable type got a boost, especially in Washington Heights, from buyers priced out of the Upper West Side, says veteran broker Klara Madlin.
Median closing price: $441,500

8. Upper West Side
Most sellable: Prewar three-bedroom co-ops.
Corcoran’s Deanna Kory confirms she’s had “a very good run” with classic sevens this year, especially on the avenues—West End, Riverside Drive, and Central Park West. And there are always plenty of takers for three-bedrooms.
Median closing price: $1,797,500

9. Tribeca
Most sellable: Prewar two-bedroom co-ops.
“Most of what’s on the market is new development stock, but there’s a real need for [apartments] that are not cookie-cutter,” says Song. Plus co-ops tend to come with a built-in discount compared with condos.
Median closing price: $1,257,500

10. West Village
Most sellable: Prewar one-bedroom co-ops.
The results are surprising, says Isaacs, given the preponderance of large new condos here, but most are super-luxe. The median closing price falls under the jumbo-loan level, a low barrier of entry in a popular neighborhood.
Median closing price: $645,000


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