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New York City is considered one of the best cities on Earth. With a thriving cultural scene, an array of residences and endless entertainment, in New York you have anything you could ever want right at your fingertips, any time of the day.

“New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town,” were the famous words sung by Frank Sinatra and the all-star cast from On the Town. But what is it about this fine city that makes its real estate market one of America’s best?

Low Inventory, High Demand

Low inventory and high demand make New York’s real estate market the best. The limited properties fuel bidding wars for local gems. Consider the borough of Manhattan. A recent report found there were only 4,900 available units during the first quarter of 2014. That’s 17 percent less than Q1 of 2013, and the lowest inventory seen in Manhattan in almost six years.

Despite limited choices, property owners and investors are still keen to secure their own piece of Manhattan. During Q1 of 2014, Manhattan apartments hit a record average price of $1,715,741, 30 percent more than the same time last year. New developments were particularly strong at an average price of $3.29 million, almost 70 percent more than Q1 2013.

Properties Moving Quickly

Buyers know if they don’t act quickly on their dream New York property, it’ll be snatched up from underneath them. In Q4 of 2013, Manhattan apartments were on the market just 95 days, a 46.3 percent decrease from the year before. In Brooklyn, properties were snatched up in about 98 days, nearly 28 less than in late 2012.
However, the real jewels move much more quickly than that. For example, a one-bedroom unit in Long Island was on the market for just 30 minutes this year before an investor offered the full $599,000 asking price without even looking at the property. Buyers know that in New York’s strong real estate market, moving quickly is essential.

Cash is King

More New York buyers are dismissing mortgages and paying for their purchases in cash. A whopping 57 percent of New York property sales go to cash buyers, 14 percent more than the national average. In Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan, the percentage of cash sales is even higher than the city average.

The higher the number of cash sales improves the local real estate market in a number of ways. These sales don’t carry the risk of mortgage-funded sales, where financing could fall through. Without the need to wait for mortgage approvals, New York property cash sales can close in as little as two days, compared to the three to four weeks traditional sales typically take.

Land Prices Soaring

It’s not just established properties that are in demand. The prices of precious vacant land in New York are also soaring and strengthening the city’s real estate market.

We’re seeing it across all the boroughs, from affluent Manhattan to working-class Brooklyn. Last year, Manhattan plots sold for an average of $445 per square foot, up from $366 in 2012. Brooklyn’s prices are more modest, with the average vacant land in this borough costing $177 per square foot last year. However, those prices have almost doubled since 2010. It’s no wonder local churches are selling off parcels of their land worth millions to fund their organizations.

With all thee reasons in mind, there’s no doubt the New York real estate market is booming.

11 Things that Make NYC the Best Place to Buy a Home

1. Arts & Culture

New York is unrivaled in its arts and culture. With world-renowned museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim, the Big Apple is a top global destination for exhibits and installations. In addition to the city’s museums, there is also a thriving art scene – small galleries are peppered across the greater New York City area featuring a diverse collection of art from local illustrators to nationally known sculptors.

2. Nightlife

In each of the city’s neighborhoods, there is a plethora of bars, cocktail lounges, and clubs to suit anyone’s preferences. From dives in the East Village to upscale craft cocktail dens in the Lower East Side to nightclubs in the West Village, New York’s nightlife thrives every night of the week in all far corners of the city.

3. Food Scene

Restaurants line the streets of New York, corner cafes next to 5-star eateries. Constantly opening, renovating and rebranding, the city’s food scene embraces innovation and creativity. New types of fusion cuisines are welcomed as energetically as a classic burger joint, providing the city’s residents with endless and elite dining opportunities.

4. Transportation

Cabs and buses fill the streets while the subway constantly runs underfoot. In the city that never sleeps, the transportation never stops, allowing New Yorkers to get almost anywhere, any time of day.

5. Diversity

No matter the age, race or religion, New Yorkers come in all shapes and sizes. The city epitomizes the American dream, where anyone can make it with determination and hard work, and this idea draws in people from all walks of life and from all over the world.

6. Parks & Recreation

Central Park is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The beauty of the city’s outdoor recreation, however, doesn’t stop there. Small parks are scattered throughout the city in addition to larger green spaces like Madison Square Park, the newly revived South Street Seaport and Riverside Park – all serene havens within the concrete jungle.

7. Retail & Fashion

New York is known as the fashion capital of the world. Shops line Fifth Avenue, trendy boutiques fill the streets of SoHo, and the city is taken over several times a year for the excitement of fashion week. Embrace the endless opportunities to express your style.

8. Affordability

Though New York sometimes thought of as one of the most expensive cities in the world, that is not always the case. According to the Real Deal, in 2015 the average cost of living in New York was $2,586 per square foot, while London and Hong Kong came in at $4,480 and $4,682 per square foot respectively.

9. Film & Entertainment

Though Los Angeles is traditionally thought of as home to the movie industry, New York is quickly gaining ground. More and more films and television shows are being filmed in New York. Because of this, the industry is thriving in the city, with independent films and festivals happening regularly and small, indie theaters prospering.

10. Iconic History

From its time as an early settlement, through the peak of immigration at Ellis Island to the events currently unfolding, New York has always been an epicenter for historical events. Landmark buildings stand next to modern developments, honoring the city’s rich legacy and commemorating the past.

11. Strong Economy

New York is the center of countless fields, from financial institutions on Wall Street to countless advertising agencies and a booming technology scene. Companies are flocking to the Big Apple because of the constantly expanding talent pool and the diversity of industries, resulting in a strong and growing economy that in turn creates strong employment opportunities.

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