A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
By Nina Pajak
Remember last week, when we discovered that rents had reached a new record high in Manhattan? And how those astronomical prices were driving a faction of renters to look into buying apartments, and the other half to look into living in storage closets? Well, the news this week is that we’re all screwed. Because local real estate search website StreetEasy has released a report stating that sellers’ asking prices on apartments in New York have gone up 9.1 percent in the past six months and 12.4 percent in the last year, putting the average listing at $1.46 million.
Yeah. That sounds reasonable.
On the one hand, you could make the argument that this means our city is back on an upswing, and that’s a good thing. Because for a while there after the housing bubble burst, things were bad. Bad meaning real estate was still hella expensive, but not as expensive as it once was.
So where people were jumping on buying larger apartments at unusually not-so-horrible value a couple of years ago, now we’re back to a place where our economy is supposedly healthy enough that you have to be rich just to have more than 800 square feet in Manhattan, and that’s apparently working. Working well enough that inventory is down 8% overall, meaning there are fewer empty apartments to help keep prices down.
To that end, there was also a 22.5% drop in price cuts by sellers. Because when inventory is decreasing and average prices are increasing, duh.
So if you can’t afford your rent, you definitely can’t afford to buy. However, if you already own property and care to gauge some tenants or unload it for a lot of dough, the city is your oyster.
The rest of us have evidently missed the boat and will be forced to sell our wedding china, eat cold green beans out of cans and move into the attics of various suburban relatives.
On a related note, I’ve decided to pen a series of cookbooks for people who own only the following appliances: hot plate, electric kettle, magic bullet, microfridge, toaster oven. It’s going to be great. I was a culinary queen in college. Trust me.
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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