Columns Residential Uncategorised


Sometimes, you just need some time away.

Following months of indecision, New Yorkers are deciding that now is the time to demonstrate their commitment to the city — and they are doing it with a sparkling new home.

Though budgets, must-haves and neighborhoods have seen some reprioritization to meet new day-to-day life needs, some of the most eager buyers in today’s market are those in transitional phases of life where it would be easy to call it quits and move out of the city. But when have you ever known a New Yorker to walk away so easily?

The following three trends demonstrate the mindset of New Yorkers ready to recommit and renew their vow of unconditional love to the city.

Rekindling Urgency
Whether it’s those uncertain about the school year, empty nesters or shoppers with second homes they could easily run off to, a variety of buyers in transitional life phases have been sitting tight through the pandemic. Wallflowers no more, these buyers have a rekindled sense of urgency and are ready to hit the proverbial dance floor. This is true for both those relaunching their pre-COVID-19 search and for those who feel newly invigorated after an extended period in their current home.

Months of pause have given them time to consider where they truly want to be located, and they are ready to jump in. Despite current market cautions to not overpay, these buyers are prepared to view listings, make offers and move quickly into contract. Buyers in the current market are very serious and seriously focused on finding a property; they are not just window shopping.

Twice as Nice
In addition to moving ahead with purchasing their New York recommitment home, many are securing second properties in the city, whether it be via rental or purchase to serve as auxiliary space. From learning pods to a getaway office or a haven for visitors coming into town, many are finding this flex space a new necessity. Whether it be looking in a building they are currently located to being open to a new “work commute,” studios and one-bedroom spaces are enjoying a moment with a new audience.

There has also been the trend of people purchasing a home in the city for primary use and a second home outside to serve as a getaway destination. While owning two homes was once considered the ultimate luxury, many are now seeing it as a nice-to-have and are willing to adjust with two more modest living accommodations. People are also becoming more flexible with where they would want a second home. It’s no longer Hamptons or bust. Smaller towns such as Pawling, Beacon and Peekskill have been catching the eye.

Adjusting Priorities
Home wish- and must-have lists have been readjusted to meet the daily needs and priorities that have arisen over recent months. Buyers ready to take the plunge are looking to their new normal and how this ever-developing living perspective fits into a new neighborhood where a child’s school is closer or the budget gets them an extra room that can serve as auxiliary space. Once-deluxe building community amenity packages may be reconsidered for private outdoor space, an in-home laundry, a Costco closet or something within closer walking distance to a local park.

There are two common trends in the current market: those willing to raise their budget having honed in on the need of that extra bedroom that can be flex space and those who reason the current market is the perfect time to get a comparable space and all their must-haves with a lower budget. There is no right answer or one-size-fits-all when it comes to a home. It’s finding what the right property is for you at the current moment in your life at the best deal.

It is worth noting that while summer brought very few transactions over $2 million, the current activity is focused around the $4 million to $4.5 million price range. However, this is for a primary home. For auxiliary space, people tend to transact under $1 million.

Whether it be a new primary home or committing to a second space, New Yorkers are sending a positive message that, despite months of ambiguity, the city is here to stay. They will adjust as needed because it is truly their dream home. New York is a town built on comebacks.

Christopher Halstead
Brown Harris Stevens

Sharon Fahy
Brown Harris Stevens

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