The Northeast residential real estate market is enjoying a resurgence, thanks to low prices and even lower interest rates, but the sectors experiencing the biggest boosts vary by metropolitan area, according to industry experts.
While the entry-level homebuyers market is making a comeback in Boston, high-end luxury properties are once again the object of bidding wars in New York, with demand outpacing supply for the first time in five years.
When it comes to the Big Apple’s housing market, it’s starting to feel like old times, according to Pamela Liebman, president and CEO of The Corcoran Group.
“If buyer demand is a clear indication of market strength, then the Manhattan housing market is definitely in recovery and some could say experiencing a highly robust return,” Liebman says. “Marketwide, Manhattan residential sales transactions have risen 60 percent since the bottom of the market in the first quarter 2009. Prices, which declined approximately 20 percent in first quarter 2009, stabilized quickly and are now increasing incrementally.”
Liebman says she has not seen a market like this since 2007. She attributes the comeback to foreign buyers who find Manhattan’s properties highly attractive as a safe haven for investing assets and diversifying portfolios.
“Foreign buyers are back in force after a period of diminished buying activity in the Manhattan market,” she says. “Buyers from China, Russia, South America and the Middle East are busy shopping for Manhattan real estate."
“The biggest challenge is a lack of inventory, with buyers snapping up quality product. We have returned to an era of bidding wars with properties selling quickly and transactions going into contract in as fast as one week’s time.”
Liebman says the “go-to” building for high net worth international buyers is One57. Located at 157 W. 57th St., the tall, glass residential condominium tower was designed by Christian de Portzamparc and is being built by Extell Property Development.
“Twenty-million is the new $10 million and $40 million is the new $30 million,” Liebman insists. “The Manhattan market is not in recovery, it's ready to run a marathon.”
It’s a different story in Boston, where first-time buyers are taking advantage of affordable prices and falling interest rates to kiss the days of paying steep rents goodbye.