Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Real Estate Prices Rising

The April release of quarterly real estate data shows the New York City real estate market is getting less affordable. From a New York Times article focused on Manhattan and Brooklyn (via Gothamist):
the average price of an apartment in Manhattan rose to $1.22 million in the first quarter of this year, up from $1.14 million in the last quarter of 2006
. . .
Buyers also seemed more willing to pay higher prices for new condominiums in Brooklyn. Corcoran said the average overall prices in Brooklyn rose 22 percent, to $628,000 in the first quarter of this year from $514,000 in the first quarter of 2006.
And prices are only going up:
"In the second quarter, I think we're going to see more appreciation because of the high level of activity" early this year, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, an appraisal firm.
. . .
"People were holding back a little bit more a year ago,” said Hall Wilkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens, though he added, "Anybody who was holding back, isn't."
But there's also an increasing willingness to take on and solve this problem. Witness yesterday's conference by the Drum Major Institute asking, "Is New York City still a middle-class town?" Alongside discussion by a number of mayoral candidates (here and here), DMI released a survey entitled Saving Our Middle Class. From their report:
"Affordable rent" tops the list of the middle class's biggest challenges. Two out of three respondents describe affordable rent as one of the top three middle-class concerns in the city and it is the only one to get a majority response.
. . .
New York City leaders agree: building more government-funded affordable housing and increasing funding for k-12 education would be very effective at strengthening and expanding the city’s middle class.
And there's this blog post on Room 8 by State Senator Serrano on reforming the 421a tax exemption:
The 421a tax exemption looms somewhere on the Albany horizon, and it's not yet getting the attention it deserves.

Created in the 1970s to fuel development in a depressed city, the exemption program has been periodically reformed to help protect affordable housing in a now booming market.
. . .
I believe there is room for improvement in the city proposal
You can get involved. Find the Affordable Housing Borough Meeting nearest you.

And read more about what New York Is Our Home! would like to see happen.

(crossposted at New York Is Our Home!)

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