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November 2020 Upper Manhattan Residential Real Estate Market Report

The Upper Manhattan residential real estate market is seeing what could be the beginnings of a recovery.

The Mortgage Brokers Association just announced that the national forbearance rate, a key indication of whether folks are able to pay their mortgages, fell seven basis points to 5.83% for all types of loans. That’s news worth celebrating, because this means that a lot more borrowers are starting to pay on their loans again.

The listing count, a grassroots indicator of what’s going on neighborhood by neighborhood, also contains some good news. This is the first month since June, when New York City real estate agents were deemed essential, that the number of listings has gone down! Even Harlem, with its massive amount of new construction and inventory, has hit a plateau with just under 350 properties available for sale.

Prior to the pandemic, Upper Manhattan (the borough’s northern tip that includes the historic neighborhoods of Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood) had units with similar size and amenity sell for about half that of their downtown equivalents. And with a moderate 12%-15% decrease, the region has been spared the drastic price reduction the rest of Manhattan experienced.

In the last couple of weeks, uptown listing agents have seen a noticeable uptick in bidding wars on properties that were priced to move. What’s more interesting are the types of properties going into contract: studios and one-bedrooms, or in other words, inventory popular with first-time homebuyers.

With bidding wars back, mortgage interest rates dipping below 3% and Upper Manhattan’s abundance of co-ops with low financial barriers, a few brokers are cautiously optimistic about a recovery.

It seems as there are a tremendous amount of savvy individuals out there that are scraping, saving up for that down payment–or borrowing gifts from family–because they realize the opportunity they have won’t last forever.

In just the last two decades, New Yorkers have experienced a few down makers themselves. First, the down market of 2002 after the tragedies of September 11th. And then the down market of 2009 after the financial crash of 2008. And in both occurrences, plenty of pundits were quick to declare that the city would never return to her former grandeur.

“The demise of New York City has been greatly exaggerated.” said Matthew Bizzarro, the newly elected Upper Manhattan REBNY Co-chair at a digital industry event. “We have a track record of going through an eight to eighteen month recovery period after the unthinkable occurs.”

He went on to say that, “All of the clients that I worked with–even back then it was mostly first-time home buyers–in 2009 and after 9/11… they knew they were sitting on an opportunity. And their family, their friends, the media, pretty much everybody called them nuts. They were called crazy; they were accused of throwing their money, their lives and their future away! After twenty years in the business, I can tell you that these are the same clients who called me back to sell and made the most money out of anyone I’ve worked with. All because they had the foresight and the courage to purchase in a down market.”

Matthew Bizzarro is the Broker of Record and Owner of The Bizzarro Agency, an award-winning boutique residential real estate company serving buyers, sellers and investors in Upper Manhattan and The Bronx.

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September 2020 Upper Manhattan Residential Real Estate Market Report

I’m about to quote 🤓 you one page out of the classic 📖 children’s book Henny Penny. And it says, 💨🌰

🐔“Goodness gracious me!” said Henny Penny.
“The sky is falling! I must go tell the King.”
And away she runs. 🏰

🐓🦢🦆🦃 Henny Penny then goes and gets her friends.
We got Goosey Loosey, Ducky Lucky, Turkey Lurkey.
And they’re running. They’re not thinking 🤔 “Why is the sky falling?”.
They’re not trying to find an answer.

And what happens? 🦊 They stumble upon the Fox.
The Fox sees this. The Fox is very wise.
And he says, 👑“I can show you a better way to the King!”.

So spoiler alert! He shows them a better way, right?
Right to his cave 🍗 And then he and his family eat them all 🦴

🤨 What am I talking about?
We have 359 units for sale in Harlem. 📈🆙

As we’ve previously discussed, 🏠🏙🏠 Harlem has the highest unit count because of all the new construction and new development that has come to the market.

😲 And this number is almost 20% higher and it was last month. 📈🆙

📊 Then we’ve got Morningside East Harlem, Washington Heights, Hudson Heights all come in with about 80 units for sale. Hamilton Heights, 64. Inwood, 46. And the Fort George area has 13.

😲 These are also across the board about 10% higher than they were last month. 📈🆙

Yeah, it’s high. But I also know that going into 🗓 October, this is typically the time of year with the highest amount of listings on the market. 🏰 So with that perspective, I’m not freaking out.

🤗 I’m happy to report that the sky is not falling.

That amount of inventory 🏘 creates a very interesting opportunity for buyers, especially since interest rates are at an all-time low. 📉⏬

🗽⛅️ If you’re sure you’re staying in New York, you can own in some instances for pretty much what you’re paying in rent. And this is the perfect time to upgrade 🍼👶 because there are a lot of well-priced options available.

Sellers: the sky may not be falling, but what has fallen a little bit are prices. 🏷⬇️

📊We were at about 5% to 8% already, and I can predict that going up to about 10%, maybe even 12% as we head into the wintertime. ☃️🌨

The fact is, is that Upper Manhattan has seen a fair price increase year over year, over year, over year and there has to be a correction. 🌇 And the good news for sellers is that this is not like the correction the market downtown has been seeing. 🥳 The key thing to think about is pricing your homes correctly.

👨‍🏫 Remember that when buyers have a choice, we have to be competitive. ✌️

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August 2020 Upper Manhattan Residential Real Estate Market Report

It’s August! ☀️ What’s happening to New York City’s Real Estate Market?

Almost two months since we are back in business and New York City’s market is already on 🔥! I’m here to tell you where it’s going as we dig in the August market report.

Best way to see the future 🔮 is to look at the past, especially at the COVID effects to our current market, because data doesn’t lie.

📊2019 Upper Manhattan Closed Sales:
Q1 ➡ 250
Q2 ➡ 330
Q3 ➡ 305

📊2020 Upper Manhattan Closed Sales:
Q1 ➡ 258
Q2 ➡ 160
Q3 ➡ You are here 👋

📊There are current 6️⃣9️⃣1️⃣ homes for sale available in Upper Manhattan.
Harlem ➡ 307 listings
East Harlem ➡ 76 listings
Morning Heights ➡ 76 listings
Hudson Heights ➡ 65 listings
Washington Heights ➡ 62 listings
Hamilton Heights ➡ 53 listings
Inwood ➡ 39 listings
Fort George ➡ 13 listings

📈Supply is very high.
📈Inventory is on the rise.
👥Buyers are meeting the demand.

Don’t believe everything you read 📰, because in reality, the market is moving. It’s 🔥 right now in upper Manhattan. The Bizzarro Agency has never been busier!

HOME SELLERS: You’re on the market right now. If you get no action 😐, no traffic☹️, and no one wants to visit your apartment 😭, it’s probably overpriced.

Nowadays buyers want a deal because they’re buying it during a pandemic.
🚨Apartments that are priced right are the ones that are selling.
🚨They’re not going to overpay.
🚨This is not a market to overprice your property by $50,000 or more.

This is a real market. And in this market, you have to price your apartment right to drive traffic to your listing.

For every 1️⃣ person that’s leaving the city, there’s another 🙋‍♀️coming back.

📣 There is no better time to purchase than right now! 📣

If you know you’re going to live in 🗽:
➡ There are a ton of listings to choose from
➡ Mortgage rates are at a historic low, around 3%
➡ Buyers are able to stretch their dollar further than ever, which allows them to purchase bigger spaces, more expensive places that they would not have been able to get six to twelve months ago

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Matthew Bizzarro Elected REBNY Upper Manhattan Committee Co-Chair

Matthew Bizzarro has been elected by his peers to Co-Chair The REBNY Upper Manhattan Residential Brokerage Committee for 2021-2022. He will hold a 2-year term commencing on September 1, 2020, and conclude August 31, 2022 along with his co-chair, Beth Gittleman of Compass. As the Committee Co-Chair, Matthew will take the lead in establishing committee initiatives, shaping the future of the industry for agents in Upper Manhattan.

Election season for the Co-Chair position has started in late May, with the ballot box closing on June 12th.

The REBNY Upper Manhattan Residential Brokerage Committee provides an open forum and networking opportunity for those practicing in the upper Manhattan vicinity The committee places emphasis on the residential markets of Washington Heights, Hudson Heights, Harlem, Hamilton Heights, and Inwood. The committee is Co-Chaired by Beth Gittleman.

The Real Estate Board of New York “represents influential real estate professionals as it works to protect, improve, and advance the business of real estate in New York City.”.

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Cristina & Daniel for Matthew Bizzarro

Hear how the honesty and hard work of Matthew Bizzarro helped qualm Cristina & Daniel’s anxieties surrounding homebuying for a family!

 

“From the first time I spoke with Matthew, he was attentive, he was responsive, he had very thorough, honest answers and he was great to work with throughout the whole process of our search. We were searching for a long time so it was really good to have to have him as a resource. ”

“He educated us throughout the way as well because we are first time buyers. We knew nothing about the market or how to negotiate or any of those things. His knowledge of the area came in really handy for that because we had lived in the area for many, many years as renters, but we weren’t familiar with the buildings in the area as buyers.

We didn’t necessarily know “is this co-op board crazy, you know, is this building financially sound.” And he had a sense of which ones we might want to avoid and which ones were actually really great buildings that he knew for a fact would be a wonderful place to live. And our daughter would now have a bedroom of her own because we had always been in a one bedroom, a rent stabilized one bedroom, which is how we saved in order to buy a place.”

 

-Cristina & Daniel

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Taisha for Matthew Bizzarro at the Bizzarro Agency

Check out how the Bizzarro Agency handled all of the home-buying hoops, and helped Taisha felt heard and satisfied!

 

“I would recommend the Bizzarro Agency because they listen to what we’re looking for. They are very to the point, they have the resources that all home home buyers need when buying a home and they’re the best.

I mean, I can’t say it. There’s no words to describe, the experience they made us feel. ”

 

-Taisha

 

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Ramon Baez for Thomas Rainey

Check out Ramon Baez’s experience with Thomas Rainey and the Bizzarro Agency was satisfying from start to finish!

 

“The reason I would recommend Tom and the Bizzarro Agency in general is because they kind of bring you in. They get to know your personality, they get to know you as a person. And Tom was great. Everything from the beginning all the way to the end.

He was there, he helped me find contractors, he helped me take a look at a few other apartments in the neighborhood. And once he got to know more or less like what we were looking for, he helped me find a wonderful attorney and he was able to explain everything in detail all the way to the end. And I really appreciate that.

The Bizzarro Agency itself, you know, once I got to know more of the people in the Bizzarro Agency, I guess I understand why they’re so special. I really appreciate everyone there.”

 

-Ramon Baez

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Juan Botero for Matthew Bizzarro

#PeopleOverProperty is our motto! Hear Juan Botero’s personal experience with The Bizzarro Agency and Matthew Bizzarro.

 

“I’d recommend the Bizzarro Agency specifically because you feel you’re working with a friend more than just a sales person. They’re really interested in finding the right pace for you. Whether you know you’re looking for a family area or you’re working, looking for like a solo loft or whatever.

They’ll really work with you as a friend, more than a pushy sales person. And now we’ve been lucky to find a place that we found through Matthew that I think we wouldn’t have found with somebody else.”

 

-Juan Botero

 

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Juan Toro for the Bizzarro Agency

Check out how our life-long client Juan Toro’s empowering experience educated him about the homebuying process along the way.

 

“Well, I have to say that I had no idea how much of a family atmosphere the Bizzarro Agency creates. I was very lucky to find Wendy as my agent. My first conversation with her was, “I don’t know what I’m doing. I need help for me to see”. She was very methodical and taking me through exactly what I needed to do, the steps I needed to take. She kind of took me by the hand and led me.

It was really important for us to be heard as to what we want in the price range we had. She gave us excellent attention, personalized, professional, efficient, reply to emails and calls right away. She was with us at the closing, held our hand through the whole day. I’m a Bizzarro guy for life with this kind of attention, you know, it’s marvelous.”

 

-Juan Toro

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George Cho for the Bizzarro Agency

George Cho is one of the incredible people Matthew Bizzarro helped find a home in 2018.

 

“The Bizzarro Agency. Wendy is a rock star; very, very helpful. I didn’t know exactly where I was looking for, and Wendy was very patient in creating that space for me. Moving from Manhattan to Harlem and eventually to the Bronx, and she was very flexible.

The soft sell attitude is really the draw because they’re not, you don’t feel like, Oh my gosh, I feel obligated. I need to work with Wendy, or I need to work with Matthew. You feel very comfortable and the attention that you get, you feel like you’re the only client. So that’s a very comforting feeling. ”

 

-George Cho

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