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High Line lifts NYC residential property values

Having a park nearby is not only a good perk for residents but can also be a boon for property values. Case in point: the High Line, a one mile linear park in New York City created on a former elevated railway on the lower west side of Manhattan. The High Line Park currently runs from Gansevoort Street, three blocks below West 14th Street, in the Meatpacking District, up to 30th Street, through the neighborhood of Chelsea to the West Side Yard, near the Javits Convention Center. Around 29 developments have been –or are being– built along the High Line. Between 2003 and 2011, nearby residential property values grew 103%, according to The New York Times. The High Line has inspired around a dozen rail line renovations globally such as in Germany, Israel, Mexico, Atlanta, Singapore, and etc. Its popularity has also sparked the proposed Lowline, an underground park that would be built on a Lower East Side trolley terminal last used in 1948.

Manhattan rents are also revving up after four consecutive months of slower rental growth. According to Douglas Elliman’s report (compiled by Miller Samuel), the average monthly rent for a Manhattan apartment in February was $3,956, a 4.3% increase from January and a 4.9% increase from February 2012. Meanwhile, 8% of rental transactions were completed with some kind of concession, a steep drop from the months during the recession where many landlords offered tenants free rent and other sweeteners, according to Citi Habitats Manhattan rental report for February.

Meanwhile, in sales, the trend of decreasing inventory is still very much a reality. Many brokers report stories of harsh bidding wars for the best apartments. One agent said that his client lost his bid since he was competing against 45 other offers for a condo in Williamsburg. It is easy to believe that in some cases the closing price ends up being higher than the asking price. The main element that can be of advantage to buyers is the ability to buy cash and react quickly.

This is it for today, dear readers. I am available to answer your questions and provide you with more information on New York City real estate.

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Housing Notes by Jonathan Miller

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