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Residential market holding up well since Sept. 11. (Insiders Outlook).

New York has faced many challenges in the aftermath of Sept. 11. The city is starting to make an economic comeback, but residents are still dealing with hardships such as layoffs that occurred before and after the disaster, continued unemployment and a slowed pace of new jobs entering the market.

Real estate depends on employment and job growth. New York is just starting to replace some of the approximately 100,000 jobs lost in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Corporations are beginning to hire employees at reduced compensation, but hiring has opened up in the second quarter. In the past few months the mood has changed as residents rally around Lower Manhattan and the entire city. The residential sales and leasing markets are rebounding, and activity is at an all-time high, with residents investing in real estate.

Co-op sales have continued and even increased in some areas of the city fueled by the lowest mortgage rates New York has seen for 40 years. The low rates have enticed buyers to invest in property. With confidence in the stock market plummeting, due to continued questions of accounting and security practices of major corporations, real estate stands out as a solid, viable investment option.

The apartment rental market continues to endure in all areas of New York. For the first time in several years, vacancies have increased to 4%. This is a bit higher than the 1% vacancy experienced during the boom year of 2000, but it is still well below the national average. With vacancies at a higher level, renters have more choices at somewhat more affordable prices. Even so, when New York heads toward a full recovery, these rental deals will cease to exist.

In Downtown Manhattan, the apartment situation was dire in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11. After the shock of the attacks, people were hesitant to reside in Lower Manhattan. Once the psychological trauma subsided a bit, more and more current and prospective residents began looking at the market. Prices for buildings Downtown and in the Financial District lowered and became more attractive.

Lower Manhattan increased its visibility following the announcement that grants and incentives offering as much as $12,000, would be offered to those taking residence near Ground Zero, and those willing to commit to a two-year lease.

The beginning of this year was one of the most active periods in history for Citi Habitats' Downtown Manhattan office. Business was, up more than 200% as prospective tenants bombarded the area searching for luxury buildings at reduced costs.

Overall, the residential market is faring quite well. New York real estate remains resilient, and it will continue holding steady in the days to come, as the economy rebounds and Wall Street steadies.
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Article Details
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Author:Heiberger, Andrew
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 11, 2002
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