Uptown Heats Up As Sizzling Sales In Upper Manhattan Outpace The Rest Of The Borough

Harlem and beyond seems to be the criteria for new buyers attracted to cheaper prices in northern Manhattan.

By Jeff Vasishta April 7, 2017

Bruno Mars isn’t the only one feeling the Uptown Funk these days. Upper Manhattan stretching from Harlem (Uptown) and East Harlem to Inwood and Washington Heights, is enjoying a blistering real estate market as buyers crave cheaper residences compared to its southerly neighbors.

Upper Manhattan enclaves are half the median price — at $680,000 — of residences further south. Such has been the disparity that sales are up 21 percent from the year before, according to a report released Tuesday by Stribling looking at sales during the first quarter of 2017. The median co-op price was $525,000, up 32 percent from a year ago. The clamor has meant that almost 60 percent of listings went into contract in under two months of being listed.

Related: Harlem And Beyond Is On Fire As Buyers Look For More Affordable Properties

East Harlem is leading the charge with a average of 23 days on the market according to a report released by Douglas Elliman. At the tip of Manhattan in Inwood, listings stayed on the market a little longer at 120 days.

“Northern Manhattan as a market is moving fast. It’s benefiting from the search for affordability,” said Jonathan Miller, author of the Elliman report. “If you look at the co-op and condo market, the median is roughly half of what it is for the entire island.

“In many ways, Northern Manhattan is mirroring what’s happening nationally with rising sales, not enough inventory and a fast-moving market,” he continued, a trend that swept the rest of the borough two years earlier.

Related: 5 Must Have Condo Amenities From Five Years Ago That Are No Longer In Vogue

There are a slew of new condos now on the market in East Harlem, which make the $2.50 subway ride north a worthwhile expense when considering the disparity in prices in other parts of the city.

Seventy-Two apartments went on the market at 1399 Park Avenue in the fall with a starting price of $645,000 and it is almost three quarters sold out, according the building’s web site. In November, NY Yimby reported that a rezoning touted for East Harlem, to cover a 95 block stretch, could add 3500 new apartments to the neighborhood.

With interest rates likely to rise along with home prices, potential buyers who can manage to get a mortgage in Upper Manhattan are realizing that their dream of home ownership could soon be over unless they act quickly.

“They realize that — it being the last affordable part in the borough of Manhattan — the opportunity is now, if they can do it,” Gretchen deChellis, principal broker for ROW Real Estate, which works with residential and commercial space in Upper Manhattan and The Bronx, told DNA Info.

Fueling the zeitgeist, development has been brisk. A Whole Foods — a harbinger for change — is opening on West 125th St and Lenox Ave, the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal at 178th & Broadway is nearing completion bringing retail to a densely populated area. There has also been a blowback against skyrocketing real estate prices, fueled by the young, rich and trendy. Savvy residents want no part of that but rather a relatively affordable place to live in a neighborhood they can call home.

“People want to live specifically in a place that’s not super trendy, and not completely renovated and completely built up,” RoseAnn Hermann, licensed real estate salesperson for the Team Hermann at Halstead Property in Washington Heights and Inwood, said. “It still has that real neighborhood feeling.”

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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