Douglas Elliman experts answer key questions about real estate trends and share an insider’s perspective on three hot markets.
—by Michelle Sinclair Colman
Q: What opportunities do you see in the Manhattan market?
A: New condominiums built over the past five to seven years were priced significantly above those in the secondary market, which has made them out of reach for many local buyers and only attainable by the cash-heavy foreign buyers. The dis3appearance of the foreign buyers has forced developers to reduce their pricing, so there is a lot of interest from local market buyers who plan to use the properties as a first or second home, not as a cash machine.
Buyers should make sure the developer is established, and, if a building is not yet complete, be sure the developer has the ability to complete the project. For the first time since the last cycle, we are going to see lenders take over projects, which reinforces the importance of knowing not only what you are buying but who you are buying from.
Kathy Murray, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
New York, New York
Q: How would you describe Palm Beach’s personality?
A: Palm Beach is very inclusive. Most people arrive intimidated by their perception of Palm Beach as an exclusive place, only to be surprised by its small-town feel. No other town on the east coast of Florida has such low density coupled with such great restaurants and shops.
The island is broken up into three distinct sections. The North End has the best beaches and the lake trail. Midtown has all the hotels, restaurants, and shops. The Estate Section (the southern part of the island) has mainly estate-sized lots and larger homes. You won’t find such incredible landscaping and natural beauty anywhere else, not even within the most prestigious gated communities in the country.
My favorite way to sightsee is on a bike or a golf cart. Come check it out for yourself. Palm Beach is open for everyone to enjoy.
Gary Pohrer, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Palm Beach, Florida
Q: What’s the best-kept secret of the Hamptons?
A: The Hamptons are a year-round destination. Smart urbanites have discovered that the East End is a relaxing and easy retreat from the city. In the off-season—which continues through May—the traffic is light, the gourmet restaurants have plenty of tables, and there’s tons to do.
You’ll find everything you could want without the crowds. Start the morning with a yoga session at Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor or a spin class at SoulCycle, followed by a spa treatment at Gurney’s Inn in Montauk or Naturopathica in East Hampton. Enjoy lunch in Sag Harbor at one of the many amazing restaurants (Lulu, American Hotel, Sen, etc.), then visit the world-class Parrish Art Museum. In the evening, enjoy a wine tasting overlooking the fields at Wölffer Vineyard or Channing Daughters.