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Go Lower and Farther East for a Real Estate Bargain in Lower East Side

By Allegra Hobbs | September 26, 2016 7:40am
 Neighborhood X breaks down real estate listings in the Lower East Side by price per square foot.
Lower East Side Listing Prices
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LOWER EAST SIDE — If you’re looking to buy in the Lower East Side, you may want to look farther east.

The hip neighborhood is wildly popular — and wildly priced — because of its much-desired cocktail of restaurants, nightlife and growing litany of entertainment options, according to Constantine Valhouli, co-founder of the real-estate analytics team Neighborhood X.

He found the average listing price to be $1,048 per square foot for a co-op and $2,163 per square foot for condos.

But if prospective buyers are willing to broaden their horizons beyond the concentrated thoroughfares and look closer to the East River and FDR Drive, they may be more likely to snag a bargain, according to data gathered and analyzed by the group.

“It’s almost like it's a neighborhood within a neighborhood,” said Valhouli. “You could almost call it the Lowest East Side.”

At 457 FDR Drive, for example, a one-bedroom co-op is going for $649,000, at $811 per square foot. The building is right along the East River and a considerable trek from the nearest subway station at East Broadway. 

By contrast, a two-bedroom co-op at 118 Forsyth St. — right off the main thoroughfare of Delancey Street and just over a block from the Grand Street subway station — is listed at $3,750,000, or $1,630 per square foot.

The contrast in condo prices is noticeable as well. A one-bedroom condo at 154 Attorney St. is $1,095,000 at $1,271 per square foot while a four-bedroom condo at 215 Chrystie St. is $20,000,000 at $4,721 per square foot.

The differences in price may be due to a number of factors, explained Valhouli — the buildings further inland are often more aesthetically pleasing, tenement-style structures, while they are also closer to dining, entertainment and transit hubs.

“I think it’s a combination of all of those,” he said, also noting the emptier streets may be dicier late at night due to the lack of crowds and light.

“The street life isn’t there yet. … The experience of walking those blocks isn’t as lively and, in some cases, isn’t as safe.”

Still, the Lower East Side is pricey compared to other neighborhoods, no matter how far you are from the subway.

The cheapest co-op in the Lower East Side is still more expensive than the priciest units in Washington Heights or Inwood, where in July the most expensive listing was a $595,000 two-bedroom apartment at $619 per square foot

And with the ever-growing influx of hot restaurants, monolith developments along the waterfront and attractions such as subterranean oasis The Lowline, prices are sure to spike in the coming years, Valhouli predicted. 

“[The average price] is going to be increasing, as the amenities and dining and shopping and parks fill in to the south and east parts of the neighborhood even more,” he said.