LOWER EAST SIDE — Looking to buy a home in the East Village or Lower East Side?
Be prepared to act quickly — both neighborhoods are in demand and are two of the fastest-selling areas in the borough, according to a new analysis by StreetEasy, a real estate search site.
Manhattan homes typically spent 50 days on the market, according to the site’s July 2015 report, but properties in the East Village and Lower East Side usually stayed on the market for an average of only 31 and 36 days, respectively.
The brisk sales are a sign that the demand for real estate is high, said Alan Lightfeldt, a data scientist for StreetEasy.
“The Lower East Side and East Village offer prime downtown Manhattan living, with access to plenty of options for transportation, dining and entertainment, a trifecta that makes these neighborhoods especially appealing to buyers,” he said.
Ondel Hylton from CityRealty agreed, noting that the neighborhood’s nightlife options and “New York character” — a mix of historical architecture and local businesses — appealed to buyers. The neighborhoods, he added, were also priced more affordably than other nearby areas.
In the Lower East Side, for example, condos and co-ops cost about $1,227 per square foot while similar properties in SoHo went for $2,283 per square foot, he said.
“That’s a significant difference — that’s almost double of that in the Lower East Side,” Hylton said. “It’s the same for Tribeca, Flatiron. Those two neighborhoods [the Lower East Side and East Village] are priced substantially lower than the rest of downtown.”
But the neighborhoods’ inventory has not kept up with demand, making the markets more competitive, Lightfeldt and Hylton said. Available properties fell 14.2 percent in the East Village compared to July last year, Lightfeldt said, and declined by 23 percent in the Lower East Side during the same period.
“A variety of factors make it especially difficult for supply to catch up to ever-increasing demand for New York City real estate," he said.
"Current homeowners who might typically consider selling their homes may not be putting their homes on the market because they see how competitive the buyer’s market is in New York City. Additionally, land and construction costs may also be prohibitively high for developers to build new units in these neighborhoods."
Hylton said other factors have kept inventory low. Up until recently, the neighborhoods have not had a large number of condos and zoning regulations also limit the size of new developments, keeping them relatively small, he said.
Buyers with their hearts set on purchasing in the East Village or Lower East Side will need to act quickly, Lightfeldt said, and be prepared for a bidding war. Homes in the East Village sold for 3.4 percent above the asking price while homes in the Lower East Side went for about 12 percent more than the seller asked, according to StreetEasy’s data.
“The rule is that you will definitely pay at or above ask,” Lightfeldt said.
The median asking price last month was $995,000 in the East Village and $1.16 million in the Lower East Side, he said.