August was a particularly slow one this year. We had only one "accepted offer" on a very niche property in the $3 million range on the Upper East Side.
One trend that has emerged this summer: when property is listed over the perceived value, Buyers are showing reluctance to even “low-ball” in absence of other buyers showing interest in the property. Buyers need to sense that a “true market” has been established – that other similar minded purchasers also want to bid on the subject property – thus helping to define the actual value for the home.
It is clear there is still a gap in the market. Although Sellers now recognize the market is not as strong as it was just a few short years back, and are pricing more appropriately to today's market, there is still a point below which many are simply not willing to go. And Buyers, aware that the market has declined, are insisting on a fair reduction in value when negotiating. So although things are still moving, it remains difficult to close the gap between the two parties - both strong in their beliefs.
A summer slump is setting in somewhat dramatically this month in New York, specifically in the luxury market, with the total dollar volume of contracts signed the week of August 14-20 being the lowest it's been in over a year. It is the eighth consecutive week that luxury sale contracts (over $4 million) have numbered below 20. Last week, no contracts priced over $10 million were signed - the first time that’s happened since the week of October 29, 2012, when Hurricane Sandy landed in NYC.
Gramercy Tavern at 42 East 20th St
Daily Provisions at 103 East 19th St
The Rose Bar at The Gramercy Park Hotel
The Tight Doors and Locked Gates of Gramercy
A quiet enclave at the crossroads of Midtown and Downtown, Gramercy has been home to many families, professionals, artists, and students throughout the years who enjoy its central location yet peaceful atmosphere. The central location makes it easy to get downtown closer to the action, or for an easy commute uptown for work. But, while Gramercy is in the center of the city, it can feel like a secluded retreat - with few tourist attractions, keeping crowds at bay.
The best example of this is Gramercy Park, an idyllic and well-manicured park that only neighbors who live on the park’s perimeter have a key to access. Nearby benches and tall trees make the surrounding area a quiet place to jog or read even if you can’t get inside.
While Gramercy is not the flashiest, it still hosts a handful of acclaimed restaurants and go-to spots. Gramercy Tavern, an institution in both the neighborhood and the city, is the king of farm-to-table cuisine, with its executive chef Michael Anthony picking up a James Beard Awards for Best Chef: New York City. The restaurant's bar room is one of the best places in New York for a business lunch or a romantic meal for two.
A new addition to Gramercy in 2017 is Daily Provisions, a new cafe and sister restaurant to mainstay Union Square Cafe, opened as a place for people who live and work in the neighborhood. For those who can’t take the time to sit down for a full meal, the cafe provides the antidote of a high-quality quick, to-go meal, either while on the go or to take home. And nightlife in Gramercy can be defined by The Rose Bar, the stylish bar in the Gramercy Park Hotel. Well-known for having a notoriously tight door policy, the bar is lit almost exclusively by candlelight, and the gold and black decor creates an intimate space for a quiet evening among an exclusive clientele, holding true to Gramercy's neighborhood rule of thumb: keeping it all in the family.
Home Design Trends
Pink is the New Black
The latest and greatest color trends go in and out of style every year. Last year, what was touted as "millennial pink" went viral. Pink, after all, was Pantone’s Color of the Year in 2016. And 2017 is proving that pink is here to stay, both in fashion and home decor. Skewing away from the bold, statement-making tones of magenta and fuschia, we're seeing a more sophisticated, softer hue reminiscent of blush, pairing perfectly with a range of grays, browns, and creams as a neutral shade. Take a look at how this pink has given a powdery pop to interiors this year.
Tech & Design
Stefano Boeri's Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy
Home of the Future
With air pollution as the single biggest environmental health risk the world faces today, engineers are racing to come up with new air-purifying tactics. The solution may be that the city of the future may actually be a forest. Welcome to Bosco Verticale, which means "vertical forest" in italian. Brainchild of Italian architect Stefano Boeri, these plant covered apartments can literally suck pollution from the air. Bosco Verticale's residential towers contain more than 20,000 trees and plants, equivalent to nearly 3.5 acres of greenery spread out on flat land. The plant life reduces pollution by converting 44,000 lbs of CO2 into O2 annually. Built and nurtured by a team of skilled and daring arborists, vertical forests are an amazing way to fight climate change, as well as dampening city noise, relegating inside temperatures and increasing biodiversity.
Boeri's towers have inspired other cities to design "reforestation" plans, from Sao Paulo, Toronto, and Amsterdam to even a concept of an entire "forest city" in Nanjing, China that will be a entire urban complex covered in 40,000 trees and 1,000,000 plants. As cities continue to grapple with air pollution, housing shortages, and climate change, these vertical forests could very well be the answer we need for the future.
The World Of Sotheby's
Explore ART & HOME
It is our pleasure to share with you the latest edition of ART & HOME, a magazine jointly published by Sotheby's and Sotheby's International Realty. This literary collaboration showcases all the elements of an extraordinary life. It presents sophisticated content and beautiful images related to the art and real estate worlds. Enjoy the digital edition below.