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Residential roundup and predictions for '93.

In terms of buyers, our Midtown office is very much tied to the Wall Street community -- bankers, brokers, and lawyers. Wall Street had a boom year, and true to the recently ousted supply-side economics, a boomlet trickled down to our Midtown brokers.

The hot properties were clearly and by a long way five- and six-room apartments in Carnegie Hill, in other words, family apartments in a family neighborhood. Additionally, our inventory of major apartments,. those in the $2 million-plus range in prewar buildings on Fifth and Park, was limited. When such homes came on the market, we were able to move them quickly, and at competitive prices.

Predictably, studios and 1-bedroom apartments, particularly in postwar buildings, continued to show weakness. There remains a large supply of them, with not much demand.

Interestingly, we noted that prices on the Upper West Side were comparable to those on the Upper East Side, with apartments on Central Park West realizing prices in the same range as analogous units on Fifth Avenue.

Predictions for 1993 (Midtown)

At the risk of sounding like a real estate broker, we are very optimistic about 1993. This optimism is grounded by the number of accepted offers we have had between Thanksgiving 1992 and New Year. Traditionally a slow period, these 35 days were considerably more productive than in previous years. The response to advertising in early '93 has also improved substantially.

The five- and six-room apartments, which are perennial best-sellers, will continue to be in demand. We also predict that one- to four-family townhouses, having been a tough sell in '91, and having shown sign of an upturn in the second half of '92, will make a comeback in '93. Space is a premium, and Manhattan townhouses offer space. There is a limited supply, and without the help of Landmarks, they would have been a very endangered species in this borough.

Downtown Manhattan

In our Greenwich Village office, 1992 was a good year for any properties that offered value for that given price range. Gross Downtown sales were up by 16 percent over 1991. There was an increase in demand for lofts, and as with Midtown, the five- and six-room units were best-sellers, while the largest prewar apartments were in rare supply, and when available, moved quickly. Although larger spaces were a premium in 1992, we also saw a resurgence of activity in smaller apartments such as 2bedroom prewar and townhouse units. Late November and the entire month of December were surprisingly busy, especially considering the season.

Predictions for 1993 (Downtown Manhattan)

If January is anything to go by, 1993 should be an active year. While multiple-unit houses held their own in 1992, we expect to see an increased interest in the one- and two-family category. We are looking forward to a robust market for most types of high square-foot property, and therefore our loft division should also be busy. Because Downtown is a hub for singles, students, and younger buyers, we are also anticipating that the smallest units will make something of a comeback.


Houses under $300,000 were the strongest selling category in Westchester in 1992. There was high demand, and these houses fetched a premium. By contrast, buyers did not show much interest in single family homes $450,000 and above.

Co-ops continued to be very slow, while condominiums started to pick up. While New York City will always be a town where cooperatives are a familiar concept, buyers in Westchester prefer the idea of owning real property, rather than shares in a corporation.

Predictions for 1993 (Westchester)

We think that the $300,000-and-under range of single-family houses that did so well in '92 will edge up to the under$350,000 range. We don't see a significant upturn in the $450,000-and-above category. It will take some time before co-ops improve their standing, but condominiums should continue in a slow upward curve.

Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope

1992 saw the absorption of the last of the "fire sale" and over-built properties. Eight-hundred-fifty square feet and smaller apartments were either 'deeply discounted and sold, or rented out. Larger properties with impairments such as poor location, bad condition (physical or financial) were sold deeply discounted in early 1992. New buyers were induced back into the market by these. lower prices. They stayed in the running even as prices began to edge back up.

The latter part of '92 continued strong in the brownstone market, particularly with premium properties. For the first time since 1988, we have seen competitive bidding. Our biggest sellers were smaller co-ops in the $55,000 to $150,000 range, large two-bedroom and two-bedroom-plus units discounted into the $200,000 to $280,000 range, and brownstones between $395,000 and $550,000 that might have previously sold for up to $700,000.
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Title Annotation:Review & Forecast, Section III; review of 1992 and forecast for 1993 New York real estate market including New York, New York and Westchester County locations
Author:Marra, Peter R.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jan 27, 1993
Previous Article:Could supply be decreasing?
Next Article:Will 1993 finally bring recovery.

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