Summer of the Seller Ask a Broker

| 02 Jul 2015 | 04:46

Upper West Side Apartments are selling faster and at higher prices than ever before. If you’re a buyer on a timeline, it is important to be aware of this when on the prowl for a new pad.

Inventory is at a serious low. The market has been dry for several years now, but the current supply is lower than it’s been in at least five. Interest rates are on the rise. And, foreign buying power is stronger than ever.

On the Upper West Side, records are certainly being set, and off-market properties are being sold – this is something that rarely happens unless the market is red hot.

While Demi Moore’s San Remo penthouse is on the market for a cool $75 million, even starter apartments are selling for staggering amounts.

Zara Amor of Love Where You Live Realty just recently got her client, the owner of a 275-square-foot Spencer Arms studio, a signed contract at about $1,220 per foot, while most studios in this building (even now) are selling for closer to $1,000 per foot.

Prices above $1,200 per foot on the Upper West Side are typically found in two-bedroom apartments, so figures like this are quite staggering. It is important to note that, unlike most products that can be bought in “bulk” for a discount, in real estate, the price per square foot increases along with the size of the apartment.

Virtually every apartment is getting at least asking price, and as a buyer, you should be ready to expect a bidding war and to exceed asking price when the competition calls for it.

According to REBNY’s first quarter report, the Upper West Side saw the second highest volume of sales, with 532 (just after the Upper East Side). So, while demand is high throughout the city, it’s especially high on the UWS. Comparing the first quarter of 2015 with that of 2014, the average price per square foot has increased by 4% to a whopping $1,429.

With all these factors in mind, this is not the best time for deal-seekers expecting discounts. But, it might be a good time for those who are equally distraught by high rents, or for those who want to take advantage of interest rates while they are still low.

Mike Mishkin is CEO of Love Where You Live Realty in Manhattan