Hell's Kitchen Apartment Prices Jump 15 Percent, Brokers Say Buy Now

By Mathew Katz on April 18, 2013 2:25pm 

HELL'S KITCHEN — After three straight quarters of plummeting real estate prices in Hell's Kitchen, the cost of homes in the neighborhood shot up by more than 15 percent in the first quarter, a new report shows.

The report by real estate firm MNS found that the median sale prices of apartments jumped by 15.7 percent during the first quarter of 2013 in Midtown West — which includes Hell's Kitchen, Clinton, and the soon-to-be-bustling Hudson Yards — and the brokerage predicts prices will keep going up.

According to the report, the median price per square foot in the area jumped from $1,308 in the last quarter of 2012 to $1,514 in the first quarter of 2013.

The spike comes after residential prices dropped for three straight quarters in 2012, a trend MNS CEO Andrew Barrocas attributed to a lack of new inventory coming to the market.

With Hudson Yards under construction and the 7 Train extension set to open in 2014, Barrocas said there were a lot of customers interested in snatching up property before the neighborhood explodes with activity.

"What's happening in the area is you're starting to see pricing starting to come back," he said. "People want to get into the market where they see a lot of infrastructure coming in Hudson Yards and with the train going there."

Barrocas added that the recent dip in pricing in the area was largely because of developers halting plans to build between 2008 and 2010, meaning few new buildings came online in 2012.

Many of the apartments sold in the first quarter of 2013 were on the larger end — 38.5 percent of them were more than 1,500 square feet. For those units, the median price in the area came in at $1,914 per square foot.

The latest jump in median price was the biggest in all of Manhattan so far in 2013, the report found, and Barrocas noted that he wouldn't be surprised if that trend continues throughout the year.

"This is the very early stages of it, but the writing's on the wall in terms of what's going to happen," he said.

"We expect to see a pricing increase in that area — the demand is certainly there."

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