Manhattan’s newest luxury rental building, Summit New York, just unveiled The Summit, its own sky lounge overlooking all of Midtown East.
Walk into the luxury residential building and find yourself in a three-story high lobby, greeted by the concierge, doorman and staff.
Take the elevator to the 42nd floor to enjoy the brand new sky lounge, exclusive to Summit residents. The luxury, exclusivity, and sheer height of the sky lounge itself creates a “Live Above It All” atmosphere for residents to enjoy.
At the unveiling held on June 5, attendees enjoyed a private viewing with food and wine specially prepared by the luxury appliance company Gaggenau. Including a marble fireplace and a wine cellar, The Summit was a collaboration between Handel Architects and Escobar Design by Lemay, while being developed by the BLDG Management. Real estate agents and residents alike joined in on the celebration overlooking the city.
Photos courtesy of QuallsBenson
Usually, it’s possible to sum up the outlook with a pithy phrase, but this year the luxury landscape is nuanced. Some markets sizzle; others simmer. Dynamic outside forces are at play and will potentially exert even more influence in 2019. In the background, the words recession and bubble are whispered, but most experts don’t see either in the cards, particularly for residential real estate in 2019.
“In most markets, I think it’s a case of ‘from great to good,’” says Stephanie Anton, president of Luxury Portfolio International.
“We’ve left a crazy market, and we’re moving into a more normal market,” shares John Brian Losh, chairman of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate. “We are beginning to see a more normalized market where supply is more equal to demand. Even in the luxury market, there are fewer bidding situations.”
According to Redfin, the number of competitive offers fell from 45 percent to 32 percent in 2018. Still, some ZIP codes in busy markets such as Boston, Washington, D.C., and the Bay Area remain hotbeds of competition, with the number of multi-bid scenarios increasing in the third quarter.
Concerns about potential bubbles continue to percolate, but economists and other experts caution that fundamentals are strong and for real estate the next downturn will be different. “The recent tax reform and increased government spending have been a shot in the arm of the U.S. economy,” Tim Wang, head of investment research at Clarion Partners, explained to journalists at the Urban Land Institute’s fall conference. Wang and other experts expect the current expansion of the economy to continue through 2019, tapering to 2.5 percent next year.
“The housing market is following the trend in the overall economy, which needs to be noted because housing led the last downturn,” comments Marci Rossell, chief economist for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, citing politics and global uncertainty as factors affecting real estate. This time, she says, “the casualties will be a little bit different, and because of that I don’t anticipate a meltdown.”
A cooling period is how Craig Hogan, vice president of luxury at Coldwell Banker Real Estate, characterizes the luxury climate, particularly in the second half of 2018. It’s a change Coldwell Banker has anticipated. “For any of us to think it was always going to be incredible is a little naive. The market is always going to fluctuate.” Hogan says it’s important not to interpret cooling as a market decline. “Cooling is a normal fluctuation, while a decline happens when the value of homes begins dipping.”
“There hasn’t been any great price suppression. Houses are staying on the market a little longer, but demand is still healthy,” says Losh.
“I think we’re still going to have a very strong year overall. I do believe we’re seeing price adjustments, and that’s okay. I think the key is watching how long properties are staying on the market and watching the size of the price adjustments,” observes Lesli Akers, president of Keller Williams Luxury International.
The average sales price for Sotheby’s transactions is up year over year. “From a luxury point of view, many of our companies are having a record year,” says Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty. “Revenues are up, and in some cases pretty significantly,” he shares, noting that this number also reflects significant recruiting and/or acquisitions by some companies.
Recent stats show prices for upscale properties still increasing, but at a slower pace than past years. The number of sales in many places has dipped, but that differs by location, and in more than a few instances sales still exceed 2017.
Data from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) shows median prices for single family luxury homes climbing 8.5 percent in November over October, while the number of sales fell 11.7 percent. For attached luxury properties, sales rose 2.6 percent with a 2.3 percent hike in prices.
Putting the current market for real estate overall into perspective, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “2017 was the best year for home sales in 10 years, and 2018 is only down 1.5 percent year to date. Statistically, it is a mild twinge in the data and a very mild adjustment compared to the long-term growth we’ve been experiencing over the past few years.” Yun and other housing economists are quick to point out that new construction still hasn’t caught up with demand and foreclosure levels are at historic lows, factors which make the current climate different than the run up to the recession. NAR’s forecast calls for an overall price increase of about 3 percent in 2019 while the number of sales flattens or edges up very slightly.
Tale of Two Markets
Luxury’s story is a little different. “This year the luxury market has been a tale of two markets, for sure. Some areas are struggling, but most have been stronger than many realize, particularly in the first half of the year. As median prices have been slowing (and getting lots of media attention), the top 5 percent of many major metro markets nationally have been growing, with sales over $1 million up over 5 percent year over year and prices breaking records, in some cases by double digits. In the majority of markets, inventory has been selling faster. This is happening simply because of the health of the affluent,” observes Anton.
What sets this year’s outlook apart is that some places are having a strong, dynamic market, while others are seeing a softening, often only in specific price brackets. “The slowdown that started on the East Coast is having some effect on the West Coast. But it’s not a typical slowdown,” says Mike Leipart, managing partner of new development at The Agency. “Good product that has relative value is continuing to transact.”
The top three sales nationally in the third quarter, each over $30 million, occurred in Laguna, and seven out of the top 10 were in Southern California.
Rather than a general market malaise, Leipart characterizes the slowdown as more of a spec home problem. “It’s just too much has been built too fast, and not all of it is very good. The people who thought they could build a house for $15 million and sell it for $30 million are struggling.”
The higher price points in L.A. may see an even stronger downturn in the near future, suggests Bob Hurtwitz, owner of Hurwitz James Company, who typically works in the very high end. “There is a lot of inventory on the higher end, and luxury home buyers are usually in a position to wait and see. The drops in price are a lot more dramatic on property at $15 million and above, and buyers are aware of the benefit in waiting to see how it plays out. At the ultra-high end of $100 million or more, you are going to see and already are seeing huge reductions in price.” What’s hot in L.A.? Luxury penthouses in full 24-hour security buildings in prime areas, according to Hurwitz. “High-end penthouses will continue to be in-demand from foreign buyers purchasing as a part time home or for housing for their children.” Other price brackets, notably the $1.5-million to $3.5-million range, are busy, and, Hurwitz says, his agents are doing a lot of deals.
Perceptions of prices in Manhattan can be skewed, since recent closings are often for new construction for which contracts (and prices) were written a couple of years prior. Even though stats show sales decreasing, Ellie Johnson, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties, says, “There is still a healthy but steady group of buyers that are still out there in the high-end luxury landscape.” Additionally, New York is particularly keyed to Wall Street, and volatility in the stock market often means more money gets transferred into brick and mortar. “We’ve seen an uptick that we didn’t have at the beginning of the fall season,” Johnson observes. Despite a less than stellar real estate market at year end, New York remains a global gateway and the top city for global wealth.
In other locations, particularly those with lower prices for upscale properties compared to California, Florida or New York, reports show strong interest and price growth. An acre in one of Atlanta’s prime addresses in Buckhead can demand as much as $1 million. It’s just one indication that luxury here continues to reach new price levels with considerable demand coming from outside the region, including buyers from California and Florida. Some relocate simply because they want a home in the city; others follow corporate moves. The city has also become a favorite for the film industry, which has become a $4 million industry. “It’s changing everything about this city,” says Debra Johnston with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties. Luxury really doesn’t begin until the $5 million threshold, says Johnston, but prices compared to Florida and California are reasonable.
At one time, it was thought it might take more than 20 years for Florida real estate to recoup from the recession. In October, the state tracked 82 consecutive months of price hikes for both single-family and condo-townhouse properties, with many cities showing double-digit increases in the number of sales. “The overall market in Florida, particularly higher-end areas such as Sarasota, Naples and Palm Beach, is definitely strong and stable. Maybe not as robust as say 2013 and 2014, but we haven’t had any major slide — except the economists talking about the market slowing down,” says Pam Charron with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty in Sarasota.
“The St. Petersburg market seems to be performing differently than other Florida markets and other national trends,” observes Tami Simms with Coastal Properties Group, noting November sales skyrocketed over the prior year. “We have developed into a year-round market with luxury downtown condominiums in high steady demand.” Another sign of consumer confidence is lack of defaults on pre-construction sales. “When we experienced the crash, those buildings that had been sold out prior to completion experienced a significant number of defaults. We see none of that in this instance.”
Florida is one of several states including Texas and Nevada benefiting from changes in tax law. Tax changes not only force some to reevaluate where they live, but they also impact the margins of price brackets. “While it doesn’t mean people wholesale leave New York or San Francisco, marginal changes tickle up and trickle down to the next closest price level,” and it will take several years for that to be felt, says Rossell.
The New Market
“So many trends have taken place they are no longer trends, they are the new market,” observes Hogan, using new construction as one example. “It doesn’t matter where you go or who you talk to, new construction is part of the conversation.”
Global demographics will have a long-term impact. “What luxury is adjusting to is a different demographic worldwide. Those aging baby boomers are kind of done with big homes and the following demographic is 50-percent smaller,” Rossell says.
Changing demographics affect location and property type. “I think we’ll see increased demand for primary residences in traditional second home and resort markets. We are seeing this trend in select markets, as individuals who have the freedom to work remotely are opting to live in places where they feel their quality of life will be the best,” observes Anthony Hitt, president and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas.
Summer 2019 will mark the most prolonged economic recovery since World War II, but wild cards including interest rates, a trade war and further instability could easily derail this expectation. However, there is a silver lining to the current market. Increasing inventories will bring some buyers back to the market and create more demand. “I think it’s going to a be a great opportunity. People will buy things that they haven’t considered, and they’re going to buy more of them. I think that’s been a big challenge. We’ve not had the inventory, and a lot of buyers kind of just fell out of the market because they didn’t feel like there really was one,” explains Akers.
ILHM President Diane Hartley believes 2019 will be a year of opportunity for both buyers and sellers provided they remain agile, innovative and adaptable to their local market influence.
This story originally appeared in the Winter 2019 edition of Unique Homes Magazine.
Parts of the Hamptons are priced (on a per square foot basis) more affordably than parts of the Rockaways or even Staten Island, according to data analyzers NeighborhoodX.
As one of America’s most elite summertime destinations, the Hamptons are home to many celebrities, CEOs, and New York’s many socialites. Though considered one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country, other parts of the NYC Metropolitan area are surpassing the Hamptons in price by square foot.
Based on a study conducted for August 2018, NeighborhoodX found that several part of the Hamptons, typically thought to be untouchable real estate, are more affordable than beach towns elsewhere in the New York City area. For example, the average asking price per square foot in Riverhead, on the North Fork of the Hamptons, is $267/sq.ft., which is more affordable than City Island in the Bronx, where the average asking price is $362/sq.ft.
NeighborhoodX, who gathered the data in this study, is a real estate & data analytics firm whose data has been featured in The Real Deal, Wall Street Journal, Curbed, and several other real estate outlets, founded by Constantine Valhouli and advisor Jonathan Miller.
Courtesy of Wiki Commons / Mark Jenney
This set of data further suggests that Brooklyn’s beach towns are currently surpassing the Hamptons in terms of price by square foot. The average asking price for Brooklyn’s Manhattan Beach is $619/sq.ft., and in Brighton Beach, the price is $617, both of which are higher than those in some of the leading Hamptons sections, including Sag Harbor, at $614/sq.ft., Amagansett at $598, and Southampton at $554/sq.ft., according to the study conducted by NeighborhoodX in 2018.
The average asking price in Rockaway Beach, which is $335/sq.ft., is on par with the Hamptons’ East Quogue, at $373/sq.ft. Meanwhile, on Staten Island, South Beach ($388) and Midland Beach ($372) are priced on par with Shinnecock Hills ($392) and East Quogue, respectively.
In another set of data, NeighborhoodX found that the average property in Manhattan is more expensive per square foot than the trophy properties in many cities, as the average property in Manhattan is $1,773/sq.ft., surpassing Portland ($1,053), New Orleans ($1,308), Austin ($1,466), Philadelphia ($1,643), and Denver ($1,708).
The newly-engaged Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson recently bought a home in the Zaha Hadid-designed 520 West 28th Street condominium complex. Whether a popstar like Ariana or a comedian like Pete, celebrities of all types are looking to own property in the Big Apple. Here are a few perfect for every type of New York City’s celebrities.
The Dog Influencer
Everyone follows at least one dog on Instagram, and the perfect place to raise an Insta-worthy pup is at Fifty Third and Eighth in Hell’s Kitchen. This condominium boasts its own private pet park, and the building’s concierge is always willing coordinate pet spa outings in the city to truly pamper your puppy. Prices range from $1.2-$3.5 million for one- to three-bedroom residences.
Courtesy of Watson & Co.
Courtesy of Whitehall Interiors
The Visual Artist
Artists and interior designers alike will appreciate the detail in the condominium building, 91 Leonard, as it features subtle nods to the older architecture of Tribeca. The building, designed by Whitehall Interiors, includes white-washed wood floors, with planks that are the same width as those of traditional Tribeca warehouses, and a custom rope chandelier in the residents’ lounge that mimics art materials. Pricing of remaining units starts at $1.735 million
The Financial District is one of the most stylish and sought-after residences in Lower Manhattan, the perfect destination for the City’s hottest models. 19 Dutch is a shimmering downtown jewel, with close proximity to the Conde Nast headquarters, South Street Seaport, FDR Drive and West Street, of course, for easy access to photo shoots throughout the city. With Dutch-influenced interiors and breathtaking skyline views, 19 Dutch is the perfect residence for up and coming stars. Pricing for residences start in the low $3,000s/month.
Courtesy of Visuals for IF Studio
The Broadway Star
Located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, the luxury rental 525 West 52nd Street is the perfect spot for the Broadway star who is constantly commuting to and from the theater for shows and rehearsals. Social Broadway stars can enjoy sunset rooftop happy hours, film series in the screening room, book club in the library curated by the famous Strand Bookstore, and more. Average monthly rents top $5,000.
New York City is now in full summer swing, with the dark days of winter and the snowy skyline a thing of the past. New Yorkers are heading outside to enjoy the city streets, as well as waking up to sunny skyline views from their apartments.
Though the towering buildings of the city are notorious for their unobstructed views, several low-rise properties have changed that. Thanks to ingenious architectural design, these buildings provide the same high-rise views as the skyscrapers towering over them. Here are three properties currently listed that provide the high-rise views for the low-rise convenience:
The d’Orsay Pristinely located on 14th Street in Downtown Manhattan while neighboring Greenwich Village, the Meatpacking District, and the West Village, the d’Orsay is a 11-story luxury condominium that provides a view of the city reaching all the way to the Financial District. Though there aren’t many neighborhoods left in New York City where a 11-story building isn’t getting swallowed by taller buildings, the d’Orsay is structured to have just as breathtaking a view as its neighboring buildings. Hill West Architects designed the d’Orsay with these views in mind, as most of the bedrooms are situated at the front of the building with oversized windows, so residents feel like they’re looking down on the city right from the comfort of their beds.
363 Bond Street and 365 Bond Street Located in the architecturally innovative Gowanus, this pair of buildings represents the first new developments in the neighborhood — with varying scale and height to maximize the views of surrounding Brooklyn on the historic canal. Also designed by Hill West Architects, even the ground-level townhouses offer unrivaled views of the canal and neighborhood through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
70 Henry Designed by the world-renowned architect Morris Adjmi, this luxury residential property is in the heart of Brooklyn Heights. Emulating the classic brownstone architecture for which the neighborhood is known, 70 Henry features five exclusive residences, including a full-floor penthouse. This penthouse is complete with stunning views of the surrounding classic architecture and vibrant NYC sunsets from the roof deck.
Photos courtesy of The Neighborhood (the d’Orsay), Tim Williams (365 Bond) and Hill West Architects (363 Bond Street), and 70 Henry
Architect SOO K. CHAN’S LATEST RESIDENTIAL BUILDING provides expansive panoramic views of Manhattan’s High Line.
Sales have launched at Five One Five, a new luxury residential building in Manhattan’s West Chelsea neighborhood. Located at 515 West 29th Street, the building is the only property in Manhattan to be framed by the renowned High Line park on two sides.
The 15-unit development was designed by acclaimed Singaporean architect Soo K. Chan, founding principal of SCDA — a multi-disciplinary firm engaging in architecture, interior, landscape and product design. The building’s distinctive design and construction features, including an intricate exterior made of curvy glass fins that give the façade a rippling appearance, reflects Chan’s signature fluid style that seamlessly coalesces with its surroundings. Chan and SCDA have designed and built residences, hotels and museums around the world, with Five One Five being their second project in New York.
Forum Absolute Capital Partners, a New York-based, privately-owned real estate investment platform with approximately $400 million in equity under management, is the owner and developer of the project. FACP and CORE, New York City’s leading boutique real estate brokerage firm, are leading sales and marketing for the development.
“Five One Five is a truly remarkable residential development because it is one of the few buildings that overlooks the High Line with unobstructed views over the Hudson Yards plaza,” said Shaun Osher, founder and CEO of CORE. “The unique building design and generous layouts are sure to generate strong interest in this boutique project.”
Five One Five has world-class amenities that come with it, including a gym, 24-hour attended lobby, direct keyed elevator access to each residence, roof deck with a kitchen and ample storage. The development is located just steps from multiple transportation options, including the West Side Highway, the 7, A, C and E subway lines and access to interstate rail-transit via Penn Station.
Five One Five also includes a mix of two- and three-bedroom apartments, including a five-unit penthouse collection with expansive panoramic views of the High Line. All units feature bright, spacious Bulthaup kitchens with Gaggenau appliance packages and built-in multipurpose islands that are great for entertaining. Additionally, each unit features light oak floors, Molteni millwork and closet build-outs, door hardware by Franz Schneider Brakel, as well as Delta LED light fixtures and mobile-controlled Lutron Homeworks QS System for electronics, temperature control, shades and lighting. Prices at the 11-story building range from $4.3 million to $8.5 million.
Photos courtesy of CORE
The spas at Fifty Third and Eighth, 50 West, 1000M and The Grand View at Skyview Park offer guests steam rooms, experiential showers, fitness center access and specialty treatments.
Photo courtesy of Millerhare
With self care being top of mind in 2018, here are some of the best residential spas for #selfcaresunday, a weekly ritual for resetting and treating oneself before the week ahead.
Manhattan luxury condo Fifty Third and Eighth recently completed its residents-only sauna.
For some real “me time” any day of the week, Fifty Third and Eighth’s spa offers a peaceful refuge in the heart of Manhattan. Residents can start their #selfcaresundays by taking a walk through the secluded garden.
After a morning stroll, residents can head over to the fitness center for a solid sweat session, then unwind in the personal sauna or steam room before ending the day doing face masks in their spacious two-bedroom residence.
Photos courtesy of Gotham
The downtown tower 50 West features a full-floor Water Club in the lower level that includes a 60-foot swimming pool, a cedar-lined sauna, marble steam room and an experiential shower. The experiential shower allows a variable of water pressures, the sounds of thunder and lightning and the aroma of impending rain. The showers are capable of simulating the sounds of a “summer thunderstorm in Colorado” or a “tropical rainforest.” The showers are a good space for residents to relax their muscles and relieve any pain, swelling or stiffness from working out at the gym.
Photo courtesy of Qualls Benson
Among the many features of the Level 11 Spa are ice therapy, which can be used in a cryotherapy routine, and a Himalayan salt room, which in addition to relaxing your mind and body can help clear pollens, viruses, toxins and other pollutants from the body.
Photo courtesy of Millerhare
At The Grand at Skyview Park in Flushing, residents have access to The Grand Club, an onsite health and wellness space offering full-service spa services and treatment rooms with on-site staff.
Spa-goers can finish off a relaxing day at the spa with a unique experience shower, equipped with multiple misters and body sprays including a 24-inch shower head with various flow settings and a unique variety of multi-temperature water sequences with soothing chromotherapy, relaxing acoustics and rejuvenating aroma. Chromotherapy, or color therapy, directs colored lights on acupressure points focusing on stimulating the healing energy that naturally occurs within the human body.
Photo courtesy of Thanassi Karageorgiou
Designed by Manuel Glas to capture the relationship between light, shadow and air, The Clare showcases dawn-to-dusk light and sweeping city views. Residences feature 7-inch white oak plank flooring, double-paned insulated glass operable windows, LED lighting, and radiant floor heating throughout.
Open kitchens are equipped with appliances by Miele, along with custom Poggenpohl cabinetry. The serene master bedrooms feature 9-foot ceilings and en suite baths with fixtures by Watermark.
Unique to The Clare is the sprawling 13th floor amenity space, which offers views of Central Park and the Queensboro Bridge. Residents can enjoy a fitness center and flex-room, a spacious lounge with a bar and entertainment area, and an 800 square-foot terrace. The full-service residential experience at The Clare also includes a 24-hour doorman, as well as a bike room for added convenience.
Photos courtesy of Binyan Studios for IF STUDIO and MW Studio