New York Luxury Property Overview
Our foreign buyers are divided into two groups - clients who want to get a piece of Manhattan, New York and clients who want to get the best of Manhattan, New York. This article is about the latter and what luxury property means in Manhattan. Luxury in this context refers to the most expensive apartments.
A luxury property in Manhattan usually have one or more of the features below. The most luxurious apartments will have all the below.
(1) Central Park views: Property with a Central Park view commands a large premium. Besides being close to the Park, the apartment has to be quite high up to be able to see the Park. While the average price for a Manhattan condo is about $1100 per sqft, a Central Park view apartment starts at $2500 per sqft and goes to $6000 per sqft.
(2) Prime Location: Location drives property value. There is only so much quality material that a developer can put into an apt after which the incremental luxury feel starts decreasing and eventually stops. The best locations, eg Columbus Circle, Fifth Ave in the 50s, Fifth Avenue along Central Park, Central Park West also have the most expensive apartments.
(3) High Floor with views: Being on a high floor with good views command a premium. Ideally, a southern view, as this brings in the most light or combination of morning/evening sunlight. Many of our Chinese buyers, especially from Hong Kong, ask for water views. But water views is not as important in Manhattan as it is in Hong Kong. Reason is that Hong Kong, eg Midlevels and The Peak, is on a hill and surrounded by harbor. This makes waterviews in Hong Kong easily achievable.
In Manhattan, waterviews are only achievable closer to the edge of the island, which is usually far away from the subway lines. Subway lines concentrate towards the middle of the island. Hence good views in Manhattan usually means being able to look far away (and not being able to look at water).
(4) Building Quality: This refers to quality material, eg bathroom, kitchen, lobby etc. The most luxurious (expensive) buildings don't always have the best amenities because of the location premium. It's usually buildings that are furthest away that have the best amenities. But a luxury building will have very good quality materials.
The most luxurious condo buildings include Time Warner Center, 15 Central Park West, One Beacon Court, Trump International Hotel and Tower. While the buyer may have a piece of ultra luxury Manhattan, note that these top luxury buildings don't provide a good rental yield if rented out. Reason is that few would pay the commensurate luxury rents commanded at these buildings. As such, expect the vacancy period to be much longer than average.
Buyers who acquire at these buildings usually buy to park cash rather than to get rental income.
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