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East Harlem Home Prices Dictated by Proximity to Upper East Side: Experts

By Dartunorro Clark | August 8, 2016 7:27am | Updated on August 9, 2016 5:54pm
 The real estate listings analyzed by Neighborhood X with an average of $1,091 per square foot.
The real estate listings analyzed by Neighborhood X with an average of $1,091 per square foot.
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EAST HARLEM — East Harlem is a neighborhood with real estate prices that range widely, due in large part to its border with the affluent Upper East Side and the rise of condos, experts say.

July real estate listings in East Harlem reveal that condos are driving up the average asking price — $1,091 per square foot — of real estate in the neighborhood, said Constantine Valhouli, co-founder of NeighborhoodX, the real estate analytics company that crunched the numbers.

For instance, One Museum Mile — a swanky 114-unit condo with views of Central Park North — has a listing at $2,436 per square foot and another for $2,073.

This not only reveals the high price of real estate, but how sharing a border with the Upper East Side may influence the price, he said.

The condo is firmly located in East Harlem at 1280 Fifth Ave., on 110th Street, yet listings put it at “Upper Carnegie Hill,” on the Upper East Side.

A condo at 1212 Fifth Ave., near 103rd Street, has a listing for $1,347 per square feet and is close to the Upper East Side border and listed in the same area.

Technically, East Harlem begins — and the Upper East Side ends — at East 96th Street.

But the border between the two neighborhoods has long been the subject of dispute, as DNAinfo New York found in its interactive "Draw Where You Think Your Neighborhood Begins and Ends." 

“When it comes to 96th to 98th streets, on one level … we’re both probably walking to the same bodega, we both have access to the same services and parks and neighborhood amenities,” Valhouli said of residents living on blurred borders.

 A map showing the concentration of NYCHA housing in East Harlem.
A map showing the concentration of NYCHA housing in East Harlem.
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Neighborhood X

“It’s interesting to see what factors are shifting to change how one regards certain blocks and why.”

On the other end of the real estate market, at 2041 Fifth Avenue (an HFDC coop near 126th Street), there was a $482 per square foot listing.

Valhouli said the high prices of condos are, in part, due to the less strenuous requirements that buyers must pass through than are needed to live in an affordable co-op.

“You’re paying more to have not to deal with a co-op board and the … experience of not going through that interview,” he said.

The asking price for townhouses ranged from $657 to $1,041 per square foot.

Another interesting nugget of real estate data in the analysis, Valhouli said, is the meeting of two unusual forces: The high-priced condos and New York City Housing Authority buildings in the neighborhood.

East Harlem is unique because, in the densely populated area, there are burgeoning condos and a plethora of public housing, he said.

“The bifurcation of that market is fascinating because you have record-setting (condo) prices … that are above the standard deviation,” he said. “And on the other side you have a concentration of NYCHA housing.

“To find two of those in a concentrated area, I just find fascinating.”

And as development proliferates beyond East Harlem, there’s a likelihood of it being more common. 

“I see the potential of that happening further uptown as well,” he said.