Sunday, November 6, 2011

Harlem is doing better than you thought

A lot of real estate watchers out there assumed that Harlem was doomed in this recession.

We felt that Harlem was reliving some (unfunny) real estate history.

Just as the neighborhood was overbuilt more than 100 years ago with the coming of the IRT line (the city's first subway) and property values plummeted when recession hit, most observers in recent years felt that Harlem real estate was one of two areas in Manhattan where developers were completely overbuilding. (The other being the Financial District.)

Buildings that were unfinished when the recession hit were doomed; buildings that were only partially sold were likely to remain that way.

But it looks like this is not entirely the case.

Developers aggressively cut prices (the average went from $836 per square foot during the height of the market in 2007 to $582 now) and thus managed to work through the glut of inventory -- the sales figures are the best on record.

I wrote about this here. And the Real Deal was kind enough to pick up on my story here.