September 30th, 2014
The Harlem residential market continues to grow as investors and developers seek more affordable opportunities uptown. Harlem is finding itself in the midst of a new real estate renaissance as crime has decreased over the decades. New condos have replaced decaying brownstones and vacant lots. Foreign investors are fueling the developments as they see Harlem as an attractive place to park their money.
Harlem’s real estate fortunes have experienced highs and lows that few pockets of New York City have matched. Blighted by high crime and chronic decay in the 1970s and 1980s caused a sharp decline in the market. A new wave of development in the late 1990's led to a rise in real estate values. According to the Furman Center for Real Estate of NYU, home prices in Harlem increased an unbelievable 89.7 % between 2002 and 2006. Prices relapsed for a few years following the 2008 financial crisis but are now approaching near record levels in 2014.
The current real estate market growth in Harlem is now outpacing every other neighborhood on the island. The median price of a home in Harlem increased a whopping 17.4 % over the year in the second quarter, according to property consultants Miller Samuel. Prices in Harlem have risen a record 30.2 % since the market turned around back in 2010. Condos are seeing the greatest surge in pricing. One of the newer projects that has been built during the current boom market is The Adeline, a brand new 83 unit tower on West 116th Street.
Despite the increase in overall prices, Harlem is still more affordable than most neighborhoods in Manhattan. The median price of a condo in all of Manhattan is $910,000, compared with $640,000 in Harlem, according to Miller Samuel. Brokers in the area believe that the current market is a stable one. “We’re in another boom period but there’s a sense this time it’ll stick,” says Robb Pair, president of Harlem Lofts, an estate agent operating in Harlem for 15 years. The company caters mostly to the growing number of international investors drawn to the area. “There’s sustained and balanced growth in the real estate market this time and that hasn’t existed in Harlem for decades.”
Only time will tell
See the original story by the Financial Times here