May Brighter Report: Neighborhood Arbitrage and Sub Market Speed

May 5, 2021

Loving the wealth of information at my fingertips and the seamless packaging.

May Weather Trends:
Step into the Arena

It's the middle of May.  I've been at Corcoran for a month.  Loving the wealth of information at my fingertips and the seamless packaging.  Still not ready for the "best place to have an Aperol Spritz" type updates, but will throw some in for good measure.

I'm not a boxing fan, and I generally prefer nature based metaphors for the NYC real estate market, but the competition is heating up in the Sales Market, and Floyd Mayweather is a household name that lends itself well to my Month based theme.

With that being said, and with my limited patronage of pugilism, it is important to remember that boxing self segments into weight classes.  The appeal of a welterweight bout isn't the same as that of a heavyweight bout, and we will likely never see even an Aging Tyson vs a Retired Mayweather.  

As it relates to real estate, the relative speed of a segmented property type, neighborhood, or price point defines the dance.  Yes there is more activity, but unless you are segmenting the market accurately you may be misjudging either your reach, punching power, or stamina.

My answer to the oft asked "How's the market?" is always, "Which Market?"  When processing articles, posts, and even statistics, it is imperative to focus on the ones most relevant to you and your property search.  Is it a slugfest out there?  In some segments yes, but if NYC Real Estate is Fight Night, remember there will always be an undercard, segmentation by weight class and a title bout.

I'm gonna unpack some of the data from the Corcoran Report combined with some experiential anecdotes and hopefully land your business as the Cus D'Amato in your corner.

The Full Corcoran Brooklyn Townhouse Report is 16 pages,

I didn't want to overload the newsletter with too much data, but can send the full report if interested. 
Just MSG ME,

Corcoran’s 2020 Brooklyn Townhouse Report surveys sales of single- and multi-family townhouses throughout the borough. In 2020, the Brooklyn townhome market felt the effects of Covid-19 and the market “pause” during the spring selling season.  However, single-family townhouse closings actually increased versus both 2019 and 2018. This improvement was likely tied to buyers’ desire for more privacy and outdoor space.

2020 Data Analyzed and published in May 2021.

There is and will always be a data lag, considering the 45-90 day period form contract to close.  
Thankfully, I have "in the streets" experience to supplement and update the data.
2 BED TO 2 FAM or 3 BED to 1 FAM

When you compare average prices of a 2 bed Condo in say Williamsburg with a 2 Family house in Bed Stuy, you tend to double your space and trade $1500-2k in pre mortgage monthlies for Lower Taxes, Deferred Miantenance, and $2k of Income.

I can run comparisons for all neighborhoods, but my most recent experience is here.  You won't get skyline views or an amenity package, but you do get to live the iconic New York dream or staircase and stoop.  Backyard and likely double the space.  You don't need to be handy, but you do need to find a layout and location that best suits your needs, as townhouses have many variables that either require guidance or swift adaptation to identify a suitable option in the desired time frame.

Media tends to select higher price points, as ~2M wasn't high enough, so i'm gonna skip UES/Brooklyn Heights and use Williamsburg to Central BK as a case study.

AVG/Median 2 bed on Williamsburg Northside

AVG/Median 3 bed on Williamsburg Northside

AVG/Median Townhouse Central BK: Fort Greene, Clinton HIll, Bed Stuy, Prospect Heights

Stay tuned for a full report in the upcoming weeks for those of you looking to get more space and choosing between apartment and townhome.

Granted this is a very specific play, but back of the envelope, 450k gets you from a 2 bed condo to a 3 bed condo or a Townhouse.  450k represents your 20% down payment, but it also represents approximately $2600 in monthly payments.  A garden rental unit or floorthru, generally rents for +/-$2600 in stable markets.  

Provided you are only required to do cosmetic upgrades to taste, the combination of income, deferred maintenance, and lower taxes, tip the scale in favor of Townhouses, which are also in fewer supply (rarer) and therefore more valuable over time since they cannot be replaced.

Granted the combination of views and amenities may be a luxury you select for, but the tradeoff, in your applicable sub-market and relative arbitrage of monthlies makes a compelling case for those less gung ho about condo life.

"The allure of owning a condo or co-op in Manhattan, an icon of success for many people, may be fading in favor of something once considered a little mundane: a townhouse in Brooklyn. While the increase in Brooklyn’s desirability has been happening for well over a decade, the pandemic has pushed more people to look for a home with extra indoor and outdoor space and less interaction with neighbors and staff."

Barrons, Are Brooklyn Brownstones the New Manhattan Co-op?, 11/23/20

“Townhouse owners are responsible for all maintenance but can save when they don't have to pay monthly common charges, with real estate taxes often lower as well.” 

Condos vs. townhouses: Which is a better investment in New York City?


I never beat this game on Nintendo.  In fact, I don't think I ever beat a Nintendo Game.  And I don't watch boxing, but this May weather is bringing people out to shop, and different submarkets and product classes will perform with different volatility and competition.  

It's nice having all this data at my fingertips. Mwahaha. 

It's even nicer when "on the job training" leads to contracts and ultimately sales, transactionally speaking.  The shift from apartment owner or renter to Townhouse owner is a big one, as it generally is the result of a long thought out internal decision about longevity, spatial priorities, and family planning.  So, non-transactionally, it is a pleasure to be involved in these type of transactions, because of what they represent.  No shade to condo/coops, single buyers, or committed couples without kids.

If you are in the market, pls do reach out.   

I am currently working with 2 coop buyers sub 500k,
have listed a 1 bed coop in Gramercy, 575k,
closed on a 1 bed condo in Fort Greene 720k
closed on a 2 bed Brownstone Condo in Bed Stuy 900k
and have two townhouses in contract for $1.7 and $2.25M in Bed Stuy
I also have 2 retail spaces for lease in Flatbush.

As a buyer broker, I review anywhere from 10s to 100s of comparable units, reaching out to and developing both a relationship and reputation with listing agents.  

So this isn't a reality tv flex, it's an invitation to reach out, either for early stage conversations or to throw one's hat in the residential ring, with me in your corner.

15 Pictures of Young Mike Tyson | Mike tyson, American boxer, Cus d'amato
2 BED 1 BATH COOP 900K, $1050 Maint.

This renovated 1 bed is located on arguably one of the best blocks in Gramercy. Beautiful treelined streets filled with stately architecture await you just outside your front door, and a short strip of accessible entertainment that is at once ultra local and exceptionally cosmopolitan invites you to explore and enjoy..

The property is a 3 min walk to Gramercy Park, 7 minutes to Union Square Park, and 9 mins to Madison Square Park. Many of the local watering holes and restaurants are still active, Pete's Tavern, L'Express, Casa Mono, and Barbounia to name a few. Multiple options abound less than 10 minutes from home, and your central location affords for ease of commute to visit friends.
360 Macon Street  BED STUY, 
How can I help you?
Rent, Sell, Buy, Invest.

Areas Served. 
All Manhattan.
All Brooklyn: accessible by train, 1 fare zones.

Property Types:
Rentals: Doorman, Walkup, Elevator, Loft, Townhouse
Sales: Condo, Coop, Condop, Townhouse/Brownstone
Commercial: Office Leasing, Retail Leasing, Investment Sales

Featured Blog Posts

August: Brighter Report

August 18, 2021

The irrational fear of numbers taken out of context and the intrinsic value of vibe, feeling, and "dare I say" Love, when it comes to real estate.

July: Brighter Report

July 27, 2021

Money is still cheap, prices are largely corrected and therefore less negotiable.

June: Brighter Report

June 22, 2021

For the market, it generally means more activity in most sectors, more competition, and less negotiability.

May Brighter Report: Neighborhood Arbitrage and Sub Market Speed

May 5, 2021

Loving the wealth of information at my fingertips and the seamless packaging.

April: Spring and New Beginnings

April 16, 2021

Spring represents the "awakening" of the world from winter's slumber.

March: Move in a Direct Purposeful Manner

March 21, 2021

New Development is notorious for not negotiating on their listing price.

February: The Longest Short

February 27, 2021

Prioritize list of search criteria and figure out what is best for you.

January Brighter Report. Transitions and Transacting

January 30, 2021

2020 taught us what are most important to us, so we prioritize our intentions.

December Brighter Report, Happy Holidays, See You in 2021!

December 21, 2020

Grateful for the closed deals, the lessons implicit in stalled searches.

November Brighter Report: Let's Talk Turkey

November 26, 2020

The energy of the number 9 represents completion, but not finality.

October Brighter Report: Let's Do the Time Warp, Again!

October 31, 2020

Buyers need to be reassured that they are not making a bad move.

When 7's Are 9's

September 18, 2020

September became the 9th month as a result of political action.

August or Bust

August 18, 2020

Sellers are experiencing financial hardship and unsure of whether they would qualify.

Julyin or Buyin?

July 31, 2020

Whether you are in the market for NYC real estate or not, July is hot.

J.U.N.E. Brighter Report

June 26, 2020

The significance of this image to me is a singular perspective being refracted.

Brighter Report: Maybemight(Y)

May 22, 2020

Late May typically marks the start of the summer vacation season.

KW Red Day: Zoom-athon for Charity

May 13, 2020

Keller Williams agents take time to give back to their communities. 

Brighter Report: April Jewels, Resources, Real Estate, and Relativity

April 2, 2020

With limited competition, sellers who need to sell will be negotiable.

Brighter Report: Covid-19 Edition

March 18, 2020

Eviction notices may be served, but courts will not process evictions.

Brighter Real Estate Tips for 2020

February 25, 2020

Ordering an inspection before signing contracts revealed some flaws.

Robust and Rigorous: August Brighter Report

August 30, 2019

Median Sales Price for new developments is on a downward trend.

Brighter July: Interpreting the Effect of the Stars

July 31, 2019

Buyers who wanted to save money avoids the new mansion tax. 

Oh Snap. June Just Got Brighter!

June 28, 2019

Given the nice weather, sale open houses are showing better attendance.

Follow Me On Instagram