Issue 14. March 2008

  Frances Katzen, SVP
Pertinent Articles:
Condos Make Cameos
By Christine Harper
Many New York City developers have mastered the art of conjuring up fashionable and stylish images through their advertising campaigns.But it seems it's not just buyers who are taking the bait. A number of high-profile projects are also catching the eye of magazine editors and directors, who are using the new spaces as the backdrop for photo and television shoot
[The Real Deal]
Power shifts to buyers
By Lauren Elkies
It has been a while, but Manhattan home buyers seem to be getting the upper hand, with prices starting to soften and qualified buyers taking their time to shop around.The room to negotiate coupled with lower interest rates are making for "favorable conditions" for buyers, he said. "The negative," he noted, "is that getting financing is more difficult."
[The Real Deal]

Will high-end be next to fall?
By Adam Piore
The luxury real estate market in New York City has been credited by some for bolstering the rest of the market in the five boroughs, but economists and real estate experts disagree about how long the phenomenon can last.
[The Real Deal]
Condo conversion planned for four Upper West Side walk-ups
By James Kelly
A foreign buyer has purchased four walk-up apartment buildings at 176-182 West 82nd Street for $19 million and plans to convert the apartments to family-sized condos, which the developer says are in short supply on the Upper West Side.
[The Real Deal]
Condo conversion planned for four Upper West Side walk-ups
By LILY HINDY | Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK - For foreign companies in New York, it's a huge cost of doing business: Employees move to the city or come here on assignment, and the company has to put them up in temporary corporate housing that routinely exceeds $4,000 a month.
[Am New York]
Condo conversion planned for four Upper West Side walk-ups
WILL the cool winds of recession settle over the luxury Manhattan market, as some market analysts are expecting? So far, the available evidence does not support that hypothesis.
[The New York Times]


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Quarterly Reports:
Frances Katzen
485 Madison Avenue 16th Floor
New York, NY 10022

(212) 350-8575

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What Creates Value?

In the current vortex of Manhattan real estate, a key buzzword is value. With so much of the country facing housing problems and questions arising about the length of New York’s hot market, buyers want more than fluff.

This renewed emphasis on value is sailing a new course today as buyers, in addition to embracing location, apartment size and views, look at amenities. New buildings are filled with a king’s ransom of extras that include concierge services, basketball courts, bowling alleys, private dining rooms and spas for animals. Which of these really has value and will have an impact on the resale price of a property? Some are almost a necessity today as they are ever present, such as a fitness room or health club, which are now de rigor in most new and converted buildings. In fact, it is an expected amenity so in terms of real value, little is added.

Older post-war properties, which are competing with the newer and more lux amenity type buildings, may dwindle in value against these amenity-filled structures. Value is also based on a person’s lifestyle. Some 24/7 couples want top-flight concierge services to make restaurant and theater reservations and handle numerous other chores. They will seek buildings with this and for these people a concierge creates value. Another amenity that is coming onto the market is a refrigerator for deliveries of food. With the decrease in supermarkets in Manhattan and the increase in online food purchasing, these are becoming more important to some.

But, what really creates a lasting value that gives the property an edge when a person goes to sell an apartment? Location remains important. People should also look at the finishings in the apartment and the furnishings in the lobby. Do they incorporate a sense of the people/lifestyle envisioned at the purchase? The lobby indicates how a property presents itself and how it is perceived by visitors. Does it have a sophistication that adds to the luster of the building? The building is a reflection of the residents and the appearance should not insult them or their visitors. The finishings show the developers attention to detail and to the quality of the construction. Other amenities which add value, and I gain this knowledge from talking to the numerous buyers I work with, include a garage in the building and a playroom for young children, particularly for use in winter. Gardens, either ground-floor or rooftop, if properly kept, are an added advantage. The jury is still out on libraries, private reception and dining rooms and such, though buyers seem intrigued by them. With prices slightly off over the past few months, it behooves buyers to look at the purchase with a long-term view. They should evaluate whether many of the hot amenities today will be passé in a few years and should concentrate instead on those items that create lasting value.



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