Monday, December 30, 2013

Buying Apartment In New York in 2014?

2013 has been a banner year for Manhattan condos.  Price per square foot is at a record $1,400, there has been a shortage of inventory and yes, prices are way above the prior peak.

Price records were shattered, for example, when hedge fund investor Bill Ackman and a group of investors paid more than $90 million for a unit at Extell's One 57.  This shows even the top hedge fund guys know about the incredible performance of Manhattan condos.

Key trends to look out for in 2014, according to The Real Deal magazine, include interest rate increases, the new mayor Bill de Blasio, Midtown East rezoning, the new wave of condominiums coming on the market and redevelopment of the South Street Seaport.

Monday, December 23, 2013

New York - America's Favorite Cities

Photo credit: incamerastock/Alamy

Travel and Leisure ranking of New York City in the 2013 America's Favorite Cities:

The Best...
Luxury stores (#1)
Theaters/performance art (#1)
Historical sites/monuments (#1)
Ethnic foods (#1)
Sandwiches/delis (#1)

The Worst...
Affordability (#35)
Easy-going (#35)
Cleanliness (#35)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Interviewed by CNN: Top 10 U.S. Cities For Chinese Homebuyers

As the Chinese economy continues to boom, Chinese are looking abroad to spend money on real estate.

Where are they buying?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Media Interview: Waterfront property rebounds after Sandy

ROCKAWAYS — Lisa Jackson, owner of Rockaway Properties, moved to Carroll Gardens in late 2012 after Sandy walloped her Queens neighborhood, planning to switch gears and restart her business selling homes in Downtown Brooklyn instead.
But two months after relocating, her phone started ringing with inquiries about sales for oceanfront property in the Rockaways.
She's now back in Queens — and is busier than ever.
"I closed over 30 homes after the storm and have another 20 under contract," Jackson said.
Many homeowners in Sandy-affected areas are still struggling to rebuild, and housing advocates are bracing for a wave of foreclosures. But the real estate market in million-dollar neighborhoods such as Neponsit and Belle Harbor in the Rockaways, and the Financial District in Manhattan, are back in demand, according to brokers.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Media Interview: Demand for 3BR Apartments Changing NYC Real Estate

MANHATTAN — Finding a three-bedroom apartment is no easy feat for many New York City families — which is why many new developments now opening or underway include sprawling floor plans.
Supply in older housing stock is tight, but demand is certainly there: Some 42 percent of Brooklyn's third-quarter sales in new developments were for three-bedroom units, according to a market report released Thursday by MNS.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Largest property project in America

Fortune's Sept 2013 cover story about the largest property project in America ever - Hudson Yards, to be developed by Related.  This $20 billion development, set for completion between 2015 and 2018, will include 18 million square feet of offices, hotels, apartments and shopping malls.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Record price per sqft for 99 John St

Going for closing, set record for price per sqft at 99 John St.  I represented the seller.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The power of photo and flowers in marketing an apartment...

... both of which are within one's control.  The gorgeous view is an extra plus.

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park, another of Manhattan's 3-star Michelin restaurants.  These tasting menus take 3 hours!

Closed Tribeca 1 Bedroom

Just closed one bedroom condo in Tribeca.  My client is taking over the existing lease and the tenant was such a nice person to work with.

Friday, August 9, 2013

New York Michelin 3 Stars

Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare
Eleven Madison Park
Jean Georges (pictured)
Le Bernardin
Per Se

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Terrace Lovers!!!

EXCLUSIVELY FOR TERRACE LOVERS!!!  We are representing the sale of 99 John St, Apt 2203.  Perched on the 22nd floor, this apartment comes with a 530 sqft wrap around terrace with southern, East River, western and northern views all the way to Midtown.  The distinctive terrace has a private garden, dining area, sitting lounge and grill, ready for entertainment.  An oasis in the city.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Four Seasons New York Downtown

The Four Seasons New York Downtown is being developed by Silverstein Properties and set to open in 2016.  The $950 million development will be 82 stories, 926 feet tall and located at 30 Park Place.  The hotel will have 185 hotel rooms and 157 residences.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

432 Park Avenue

Photo:  dbox for CIM and Macklowe Properties
432 Park Avenue, designed by Rafael Vinoly with expected completion in 2015, is set to become the world's tallest residential tower at 1,396 feet and 96 stories.  Units start at $7 million and the penthouse price is $95 million.  The current record holder for world's tallest residential tower is Princess Tower in Dubai.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Whitney Museum in Meatpacking

The new Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking District next to the West Side Highway is one of the most exciting developments in Manhattan at the moment.  Designed by Renzo Piano, the museum will feature 50,000 sqft of indoor galleries and 13,000 sqft of outdoor exhibition space.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

CNN interview on pocket listings


Secret 'pocket listings' return in hot housing markets

@CNNMoneyMay 2, 2013: 11:48 AM ET

With pocket listings, brokers hope to find clients with deep pockets who are willing to pay in cash.


The housing rebound has given new life to an old, but little-known sales practice called "pocket listings," where agents reserve homes for serious buyers only.
 Most homes that are put up for sale are posted on databases called multiple listing services (MLS), on which agents share information with one another in order to find buyers. There are open houses on Sunday afternoons and listings posted on real estate websites.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Greening cities

Singapore's Gardens By The Bay greens the city while bringing residents closer to nature.  Supertrees, made from concrete and steel, house thousands of plants.

Milans' Bosco Verticale consists of twin towers planted with 700 trees and thousands of smaller plants.  The vegetation creates an ecosystem supporting wildlife and absorbs CO2.  

We in New York have Central Park, our 778 acre backyard in the middle of super prime Manhattan.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

56 Leonard in Tribeca

Photo credit:  Courtesy of  
56 Leonard in Tribeca, with it's Jenga shape, will be one of the tallest buildings in Downtown Manhattan.  The 145-condominium skyscraper will feature a bursting bubble sculpture at the base.  The Jenga shape is such because no apartment will have an upstairs neighbor's balcony above it.  This effectively increases amount of light entering each apartment. 

Meatpacking District

Today's AM New York article on the Meatpacking District is well-written and succinct.  Anchored by the High Line and The Standard Hotel (pictured), MePa is beyond a nightlife destination.  It has a beautiful park that is the High Line, top restaurants such as Morimoto, fashion boutiques and cool cobblestone streets.  Chelsea Market and the very cool Google building are in MePa too. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


By Wei Min Tan

Soho (SOuth of HOuston) used to be an industrial area which became popular with artists.  As more artists moved into the neighborhood, Soho transformed into a residential work-live area with many artist studios and galleries.  This attracted chic restaurants and cafes which attracted people who want to live in such a trendy neighborhood.  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Loft living in New York

Loft living is a unique Manhattan experience.  Found primarily in Soho and Tribeca, lofts are a type of apartment that has been converted to residential use from a formerly manufacturing or warehouse space.

As such, lofts have unique characteristics which include large open spaces, high ceilings, large windows and structural beams and pillars.

Given the immense demand for lofts, developers have also built brand new loft buildings.  The key difference being these are brand new and were not former manufacturing facilities.  Many apartments also boast being loft-like which means they have high ceilings, openness, large windows and touches of beams and pillars.

Most traditional loft buildings are 5-6 stories high, have fewer apartment units and do not have a doorman.  Residents like it this way because of the privacy factor.  Further, lofts are usually measured by size (as opposed to number of bedrooms).  Reason is that a loft may be 3000 sqft and have only one bedroom.

Wei Min Tan is a Manhattan condominium broker focused on foreign buyers.  He is Managing Director of Castle Avenue Partners.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Flatiron is one of the most sought after destinations in Manhattan for reasons including an abundance of restaurants and entertainment spots, the Union Square farmers market, Union Square, Madison Square Park and of course, Whole Foods.  Whole Foods may not technically be in Flatiron but it's one block away hence for this purpose, I am including it.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Manhattan Condominium Report Q1 2013

Manhattan condominiums performed well in the first quarter of 2013.  According to data by Miller Samuel, average price per square foot of $1,377 represented an increase of 4.6 percent compared to a year ago.  Median price at $1.195 million was a 13.8 percent increase over last year.   Inventory level decreased by 35.4 percent.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Most Popular Neighborhoods in New York

Q:  What are the most popular neighborhoods in New York?

A:  It depends.

Top property agents in Manhattan, New York

The 2012 ranking, by listing volume, of New York's top residential property agents.  
  1. John Burger   $411 million
  2. Carrie Chiang   $316m
  3. Paula Del Nunzio   $293m
  4. Dolly Lenz   $255m
  5. Serena Boardman   $198m
  6. Elizabeth Sample and Brenda Powers   $163m
  7. Noble Black Team   $135m
  8. Sharon Baum and David Enloe   $127m
  9. Kleier Team   $127m
  10. Leonard Steinberg Group   $127m

New York Historical Society

New York Historical Society is newly renovated, feels like being in a large mansion, not crowded, has a great film on New York and it's the best place to learn about New York.  The photo is from their current exhibition on WW2.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WSJ: Defining luxury across the globe

Wall Street Journal's chart in the article, Defining luxury across the globe.

Average property price by neighborhood in New York

Based on popular demand from clients, here is an updated list of the average property price by neighborhood in Manhattan, New York.  The numbers are based on a snapshot of the average asking price of a 2-bedroom condominium.

There are many ways to slice and dice these types of data.  Being a former finance guy, I understand well how numbers can be cut differently to present a story.  For example, we could look at average price per square foot and the order would change.  Or the average price of a coop, average price of a 1 bedroom (vs 2 bedroom) condo etc.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Places That Changed Me

"I suppose I could live somewhere else, but I never feel at home anywhere but New York City.  Those of us who didn't grow up in New York have such a deep sense of this:  Of growing up somewhere else and then coming here and just absolutely knowing that this is where we belong and where we belonged all along.  It's the way you feel when you fall in love with the love of your life.  You're just so sure... The truth is that if you unpack your bags in New York, you live here." 

Nora Ephron, novelist & film director

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Property price in New York after financial crisis

Property price in Manhattan, New York is currently higher than the peak of 2008 and perhaps about 20 percent higher than during the financial crisis of 2009.

Specifically, I am referring to Manhattan luxury condominiums and generally, I am using numbers I have observed over the years.  Reason is that the "official" numbers published by the data houses tend to be average of condos and coops.  Depending on what metric is used, the numbers tend to be skewed.  For example, by very high end apartments, large weighting of coops etc.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fiscal cliff impact on New York, US Property

The majority of foreign investors of New York and US property have little to be concerned about the new 2013 tax laws resulting from the fiscal cliff deal.

The two components impacting property investors in New York and the US are as follows:

A.  Federal capital gains tax will increase from 15% to 20% for individuals making more than $400,000 per year ($450,000 for married couples).

Saturday, February 2, 2013

New York real estate cheap based on price-to-income

Here is a graph from the IMF, as published in A Place That Makes New York Look Cheap, showing top cities' property price to annual household income.  Price of property in New York is 6.2x annual income, quite low compared to the top cities in Asia.

WSJ: Manhattan property a bargain

Wall Street Journal reports Manhattan remains a bargain after adjusting for inflation.  By international standards, it's even cheap.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Aldyn $16m duplex with private pool

This is Aldyn's 6BR tower duplex that comes with a private pool.  Aldyn is Manhattan's most amenities-loaded condo building.  Presenting the property is Sabrina Radoncic, one of the most professional and classy brokers I've worked with.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The global island: New York, NY

The global island:  New York, NY
By  Jennifer Harrison Jan 15, 2013

Article on Manhattan in Property Life Asia in which I had the opportunity to speak about state of the Manhattan market.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Manhattan, highly efficient real estate market

Manhattan is likely the most efficient real estate market in the world.  By efficient, I am referring to being properly priced and price being in-line with fundamentals.  This includes transacting at the right price, sellers asking at around the right price and buyers offering at around the right price.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Manhattan 4Q 2012 Property Report

This morning, I had the pleasure of speaking to Jennifer Harrison of Property Life whose writing I found to be very real, entertaining and a lot of fun.  

I gladly accepted her invitation to be a contributor for Property Life and as timing would have it, this  first article is on Manhattan's fourth quarter property market report.  Alas, a numbers-driven article but I'll try to remove the dryness a little...