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NYC enclave gets meat on bones

American Dream
RICCARDO RAVASINI

Published: May 02, 2013

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More chain stores may be on the way to the Meatpacking District (MPD) – already home to outlet chains Patagonia and Lululemon.  The MPD is a neighborhood in Manhattan which runs roughly from West 14th Street south to Gansevoort Street, and from the Hudson River east to Hudson Street, although recently it is sometimes considered to extend north to West 16th Street and east beyond Hudson Street.

With an average asking rent of $183 per square foot in the Village and MPD in the first quarter of 2013 — up 11 percent from $165 at the beginning of 2012 — commercial rental costs could triple when the new Whitney Museum of American Art opens in 2015.  According to experts, retail rents could soar to $500 -600 per square foot.  As a result, smaller businesses may find themselves priced out and MPD, besides restaurants and clubs, may find more national retailers coming to the area as landlords demand higher prices.

Brooklyn is another area that is undergoing transformation.  In fact, home prices in Brooklyn are getting so high, some buyers are heading back to Manhattan.  The median price of a Brooklyn home in the first quarter rose 14.4 percent to $515,000, the highest price reached since the second quarter of 2008, according to a report from Douglas Elliman.  Brooklyn’s prices are being pushed up by strong demand coupled with a sharp decline in inventory, which fell 45% in the quarter to a five-year low.  Prices in North Brooklyn, which includes the luxury condos of Williamsburg, jumped by 30% in the first quarter to $691,000.

But sales fell sharply — by 45%.  Even east Brooklyn, which has been an epicenter of the city’s foreclosure crisis, also saw prices increase – by 5.2% to $390,000.  Brooklyn rents are also up – the average rent in March reached $2,971, an 11.5% increase when compared with March 2012.

Meanwhile, South Florida home prices have continued their rise as eager buyers chase a dwindling supply of homes for sale, in most cases paying near the full asking price.  The median price of a single-family home in Miami-Dade County soared 25.1 percent to $225,000 in March from $179,850 a year earlier, while the median price of a Miami-Dade condo jumped 19.3 percent year over year, to $167,000 from $140,000, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.

While there has been a lot of attention on Latin Americans’ interest in South Florida real estate (as I’ve written in my past columns), Canadians are another group which is helping the Florida real estate housing market emerge from the doldrums – particularly in Southwest Florida.  A study prepared for the Consulate General of Canada in Miami found that Canadians purchased $2.1 billion worth of residential real estate in Florida in 2010, accounting for 8 percent of all home purchases and 36 percent of all foreign-buyer deals.  The Sarasota-Manatee area was cited as the most popular among Canadian buyers in 2010, the most recent year measured, according to the Consulate General report.

This is it for today, dear readers.  I am available to answer your questions and provide you with more information on New York City, Miami and U.S. real estate.

• Riccardo Ravasini is a real estate maven and an active agent in New York and Miami.  He grew up in Italy where he studied business and finance at Bocconi University in Milan before moving to the U.S.  He enjoys assisting people in the search for the perfect rental apartment as well as international buyers looking for smart investment properties.  Contact him at +1-917-214-2509 or rava@ravarealty.com.


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