It's a new year and a new season for the Brick Underground podcast, with many big questions looming. For a look at what's in store for New Yorkers buying, selling, renting, and living in the city, we headed to the Brick studios for a sit-down with senior editor Virginia Smith and contributing writer Alanna Schubach to get a rundown on the biggest stories in real estate right now, including what the market may be like with a new president in the White House (one who engenders strong opinions from both sides of the aisles, and massive marches here in NYC, in DC and other American cities, and around the world).
For starters, the effect of the recent election may take a while to manifest itself in NYC real estate, as buyers and sellers try to make sense of what a Donald Trump presidency means for economic markets in general, especially if lending rules loosen up and deregulation takes place. (Read this for more on what the "Trump effect" might bring to the market.)
Locally, however, and specifically in Midtown, New Yorkers have already felt a shift as they grapple with heavier security, traffic, and protests around Trump Tower and other president-named buildings. (When we asked locals which hassle they'd rather deal with, Midtown Trump Tower gridlock or the L-train shutdown, New Yorkers resoundingly opted for dealing with the L-train issue.)
Meanwhile, the buyer's market continues to be bifurcated, with the high-end market seeing price cuts and apartments sitting for longer than usual, while the bread-and-butter, starter apartment market sees a little more activity. Rentals, too, have slowed down, with concessions—including one to two, even three, months' free rent—being the order of the day. (Read our story on the state of this winter's rental market.)
One piece of good news: the opening—finally!—of the Q train extension—aka, the first part of the Second Avenue subway. (One of our editors gave it a spin and posted this rave review.) Now that it's running, businesses are reporting more pedestrian traffic, which, given the economic hit they've taken during construction, is likely a welcome change. However, the heightened interest in the far east flank of the Upper East Side may mean higher rents—the one bright spot in the rental market these days–so stay tuned.
Plus, there are many more issues to watch out for in 2017, including major controversies in the HDFC affordable housing sector (and why this year could be make-or-break for them), other landmarking and preservation battles, gentrification in the Bronx and elsewhere, and more.
This podcast was produced by Jenny Falcon and Jhoanna Robledo. Many thanks to all of you for listening in, and for your story suggestions.
If you have a great tale about navigating NYC's maze of a real estate market, or about life in this sometimes-frustrating-but-always-fascinating city, comment on this post or email us at: [email protected].