Different Types of Manhattan Real Estate For Sale

Anthony Guerriero, 1/11/18 7:30 AM

The residential real estate market of Manhattan presents a lot of variety both in price and style. Comprised of about 25% condos, 70% co-operatives (co-ops), and 5% townhouses, the population and metropolitan style of Manhattan means there aren’t many single-family homes for sale on the island. No matter whether you’re an investor looking to make income off your property purchase, or a new resident hoping to find a forever home, you’ll want to know what types of property are available to you. Below is a breakdown of the Manhattan market to help you get a sense of the city’s many offerings.


Co-operatives (or co-ops) are incredibly common in New York City. These buildings are prestigious for their amenities and historical prominence in the city. These are intended for people purchasing a home to live in full time. They consist of mainly old buildings built before 1975. Co-ops have a board, and the board conducts interviews with each prospective buyer, including background checks and a review of your financials. This is because the Board wants to evaluate whether they want to live with prospective purchasers and have them as their neighbors.

Purchasing of property in a co-op is different than any other purchase. A buyer will purchase shares of stock in a company that owns a building. In turn, the buyer will receive a proprietary lease to use a particular apartment. Co ops tend to impose very strict rules, including prohibiting the subletting of one’s apartment or whether one can use the property as a pied-a-terre; requiring steep flip taxes, a percentage of the purchase price, to be paid to the Condo Board if an owner sells; and limiting the amount of mortgage one can take out on the property (some limit mortgages to 50% of the value, others don’t allow mortgages at all). Accordingly, co-ops are not for investors, locals who plan on moving away any time soon, or someone who doesn’t want to put a significant portion of their cash into their home.


Purchasing a condominium in New York City is much more flexible than purchasing a co-op apartment. A condominium refers to a large property that is divided into units and sold. Owning a condo is much like owning a single-family home, as the owner has many rights and holds outright title to the unit, as well as jointly with other unit owners owns the land and common areas (such as elevators, lobby, fitness center, lounge, etc.). While there is a Condo Board in place, it’s job is to manage the building, not impose incredibly restrictive rules like that of Coops. Condos are comprised of the newest building stock in New York City and are the main purchase option among foreign buyers, investors, parents making purchases for their children, and primary home owners who want to live in the newest buildings.


Townhouses are similar to free-standing homes. Unlike condos and co-op, the word “townhouse” does not apply to style of building management, but rather the type of structure. Townhouses, also called brownstones, are like single-family homes, in the sense that the homeowner owns both the structure and the land the structure exists on. Townhouses sit on a small footprint in a city, but because of its multiple floors (sometimes six or more), it has a large living space. Townhouses, however, have few amenities but usually have some outdoor space in terms of a back yard. Depending upon the location the average price of a Townhouse in 2017 was as low as $6.8 million in the East Village to $13.6 million in the Upper East Side.

 Learn more about the difference between Condo and Coop

With all the architectural variety available in Manhattan, narrowing down your options can seem difficult. At Manhattan Miami, we take the time to listen to what you need and want your property to do for you. Throughout the purchase process, we’ll keep refining our search, discussing our methods, and applying our resources until we find the property that you’ll love. Contact us today and let us put our skills to work on your dream.


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