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Do doorman buildings rebound first from a recession?

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A rental market report released this week predicts that rents in doorman buildings will rise faster than non-doorman buildings as New York emerges from the Great Recession.

While doorman properties were some of the hardest hit this downturn, it appears that they will also be the sector that leads the rebound,” states the March report by The Real Estate Group of New York, a Manhattan real estate brokerage.

Rents in these units are up 1.31% this month vs. last," the report continues, "while non-doorman units were virtually flat at -0.08%. As activity picks up this summer, renters should anticipate a return to paying a premium for service.

Curious whether the same might hold true for co-ops and condos, BrickUnderground turned to Manhattan appraisal guru and market analyst Jonathan Miller.

He was doubtful.

“Lower priced sales properties are usually the first to recover,” he says, noting that this principle was borne out in his firm’s report on the fourth quarter of 2009.  (Miller’s report for the current quarter is due out in the second week of April.)

As far as doorman rentals, Miller wonders whether it's too early to draw conclusions.  He put together a chart (above and here) based on his own rental-market reports that shows a zig-zagging spread between rents in doorman vs non-doorman buildings during 2009.

Miller's data shows one thing for certain:  Long gone are the best deals on doorman rentals, which occurred in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2008.

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