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In the Know: Manhattan Real Estate Market Spotlight with Michael Biryla

by | Apr 23, 2024

There’s no market quite like Manhattan. The Agency New York City’s own Michael Biryla shares his perspective on the current market moment in the city. What buyers have their eyes on, tips for those in the market, what might be ahead for spring, and more—read on for the latest scoop.


What specific neighborhoods in Manhattan are attracting buyers most right now?

The Manhattan market has been quite robust regarding the most attractive neighborhoods right now, and this is mostly due to the lack of inventory. Buyer attraction and traffic persistently focus on the West Village, TriBeCa, and parts of SoHo and NoHo.


What do you think is attracting buyers to these areas? 

These areas are the most sought-after parts of the city for several reasons. Some of the hottest restaurants, shopping, and appealing neighborhood vibes all contribute to the desire for buyers to live in these areas. The buildings are also conducive to unique and loft-style apartments, which are harder to find in the Upper East and Upper West sides of Manhattan. Affordability is always a consideration, but in Manhattan, it often takes a backseat to the overall lifestyle and amenities offered by a neighborhood.


How have these areas evolved over the last few years since the pandemic, and what are buyers seeking in local luxury homes now? 

Downtown Manhattan has always been one of the most sought-after parts of New York City, but after the pandemic, we saw a huge surge in buyers seeking smaller, less-occupied buildings and townhouses. Post-pandemic, we’re seeing a return of people seeking full-service buildings with a wide range of amenities such as gyms, pools, saunas, and staff.


Is there a season to the real estate market in these areas or are buyers flocking year-round? 

Historically, these areas did have seasonality with its peak usually during the fall and spring market, but due to a severe lack of inventory, we’ve been seeing buyers pursuing properties year-round as fully-renovated, turn-key apartments are few and far between.


What are some home amenities or features that you see buyers seek out right now? 

Right now, we’re seeing buyers really leaning into more full-service, fully-amenitized buildings. Buyers are avoiding properties that require massive renovations as the construction costs and contractor quotes still remain on the higher end. Because of this, renovated apartments that offer state-of-the-art kitchens, spa-like bathrooms, and high-end finishes are garnering the most attention.


Have you seen any increase in home buyers or renters from a certain region?

Manhattan has always been known for its extremely diverse buyer pool. In recent years, we’ve seen a return of a lot of foreign investment, some notable areas include Asia and Middle Eastern Buyers. We’ve also seen a lot of buyers who left for the suburbs during the pandemic re-emerge in Manhattan for its unique lifestyle and incredible restaurants and shopping.


Are there any emerging developments in Manhattan that you foresee buyers being drawn to? 

New York City is full of emerging developments with a lot of potential, but a few definitely stand out as top contenders in recent years. Hudson Yards continues to draw interest from buyers, offering a mix of homes, offices, and shops in the city. Additionally, areas undergoing revitalization, such as the Lower East Side, are becoming increasingly popular among buyers seeking value and potential growth. There are also several new development projects emerging on the Upper East Side by notable developers such as the Naftali Group that are drawing investors and buyers seeking highly-amenitized buildings in an already established community.


Do you have any notable stats or data about the Manhattan real estate market over the past year, such as price increases, etc.?

In the first quarter of 2024, the median sale price for luxury properties in Manhattan was $5.8 million. That is up from $5.7M last year, marking the fourth consecutive increase. 

We also saw a larger number of bidding wars in the luxury market than in all of the other sub-markets in the first quarter, with 9% of homes trading above the asking price. 


Is there any particular advice you have been giving buyers most often these days regarding buying a home in Manhattan?   

The most important advice I have been giving to my buyers in this market with low inventory is one key thing: preparedness. It’s imperative that all of our ducks are in a row, meaning we have our pre-approvals in hand, our offer forms (in Manhattan, there are several nuances that need to be addressed when dealing with co-ops), and introduction letters to the seller. So, when we find the right property, we are able to pursue it immediately. The market is active, and the most prepared buyers are the ones getting deals done! 


What are your predictions for the real estate scene in Manhattan? What can we expect to see this year and into the future?

I predict that as we roll into the heart of the Spring market, we’ll continue to see an increase in demand while the supply slowly trickles in, but not at a strong enough pace to keep up with the demand. 

Buyers have become accustomed to the interest rates, and if the Feds decide to do a drop, we’ll see the prices begin to surge. The only looming question is typically as we roll into an election year, the end of the year tends to slow the market as people become anxious to see how things play out. Past the election, I think we’ll see Manhattan prices continue to remain strong and sellers will ultimately hold the upper hand. 


A Peek Into Current Manhattan Real Estate

48 Commerce Street, West Village, Manhattan

Listed for $8,995,000 by Michael Biryla

Nestled in the heart of the coveted West Village, 48 Commerce St. unveils a timeless 5-story townhome brimming with potential for bespoke luxury living. With nearly 5,000 square feet of space and a 20-foot width, this residence offers ample room for at least 6 bedrooms, each with its own office and walk-in closet, alongside 8 full baths. Featuring 9 wood-burning fireplaces, a rear patio, and a rooftop space with skyline vistas, the home exudes enduring charm and historical significance. Originally constructed in 1844 on land once owned by Queen Anne, the building was meticulously restored in 1994. Positioned along the iconic curve of Commerce St., amidst picturesque tree-lined streets and upscale amenities, this property epitomizes the essence of West Village living. Delivered vacant, it presents an unparalleled opportunity for a discerning buyer to fashion a singular single-family retreat from a blank canvas.


301 West 57th Street #51-BCD, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan

Listed for $8,995,000 by Michael Biryla

Experience luxury living in this Tower Suite on the 51st floor at 301 West 57th Street, offering breathtaking views of Central Park, the Hudson River, and Billionaire’s Row. This expansive property spans approximately 3,500 square feet, comprising three combined apartments. The residence features floor-to-ceiling windows, two balconies, and is currently configured as a four-bedroom home with three living areas, convertible to a five-bedroom layout with an office or study. Tailor the space to your taste, whether crafting a chef’s kitchen or a serene wellness retreat. Central Park Place, developed by Zeckendorf, offers coveted amenities such as a 24-hour doorman, concierge, health club with pool and sauna, outdoor terrace, and more. Nestled among premier dining and shopping destinations, with easy access to transportation, this exceptional residence epitomizes luxury living in the heart of Manhattan.

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