Wed, December 29, 2010
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NY luxury apartment comeback

2010-12-29 02:51:40 GMT2010-12-29 10:51:40 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

The luxury real estate market shows signs of improvement in New York as the national market continues to struggle. Prices for New York apartments over $2.5 million are nearly back to the high-flying 2008 levels.

The luxury real estate market is showing signs of improvement in New York as the national market continues to struggle. Prices for New York apartments over $2.5 million are still down 3 percent from the high-flying days before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but that's a big improvement from the 13 percent plunge they took the first year after the financial crisis began. That according to figures from StreetEasy.com.

Jacky Teplitzky, managing director for Prudential Douglas Elliman, has the listing for this two bedroom apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

"And you have the nice cabinets."

Teplitzky says the real estate market in New York is doing better than the rest of the United States, because it's more diversified, more desired and land is limited.

But New York faces similar challenges to the rest of the nation, such as tougher loan requirements and bigger down payments. Welcome to the new economy.

"If people are still looking to put 20% down payment, I can tell you, that is not going to work anymore. You have to think in most cases you have to put 25% and up."

With hundreds of apartments on the market for sale in direct competition with yours, how do you stand out? How do you grab the buyer's attention? How about offering a pair of two carat diamond earrings with the sale?

That's what Teplitzky is doing. But some people are not even looking to buy these days. Without rising prices, returns on real estate investments have dropped, so many people are renting instead. Dawn Doherty of StreetEasy-dot-com.

"There were 4 buildings in the 3rd quarter of this year that on average the apts were 13k a month, certainly some were much higher than that. And we saw those buildings rent out within two months. 100%

But as owners and developers see rising prices, those rentals may not last. Many of them may be converted to properties for sale, and that may mean an even stronger luxury real estate market for 2011.

Carmen Roberts. Reuters

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