Elika Associates specializes in residential New York investment properties and as an exclusive buyer’s agency, we offer our clients valuable strategies and independent quality research that results in risk-averse property acquisitions.
With years of experience in risk management, we understand the needs of our discerning clients and provide best-in-class advice and execution excellence on all property transactions to help our customers maximize return on investment.
Regardless of whether you are considering new developments, resales or commercial properties, New York City is one of the most stable and in-demand real estate markets in the world.
For investors, it is a classic example of high demand and limited supply. With rising property values thanks to a growing populace, international and national interest and limited landmass, New York City condo or townhouses properties provide their owners with solid returns and insulation from unexpected global market changes.
However, supply and demand is not absolutely consistent across the city. Investment potential varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. Even if you are considering two similar apartments in the same building or street one apartment might make a better investment than the other. We are focused on helping our clients acquire quality assets that are built to outperform.
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We are compensated as any other Broker and paid through the proceeds of the sale. Customarily, fees for real estate brokerage have been “built-in” to the purchase price of the property. This means that a typical investment will result in no additional out-of-pocket fees for you!. Technically when buying a property you are paying to have representation or not to have representation.
The question is: Would you prefer to pay to have someone work for you or the seller?
When an apartment sells, half of the 5% or 6% commission is paid to the real estate company that brings in the Buyer and the other half is kept by the company listing the property for sale, representing the Seller.
But when the real estate company which lists the property also brings in the Buyer, that real estate company keeps both the sides of the commission.
You may be thinking the higher the price you pay for the home, the higher our commission will be, so how does this work? We have a fiduciary responsibility to get the home at the best price for you, not the highest commission for ourselves. We know that our business expands more with satisfied clients, and recognize the long-term value of their equity position.
REMEMBER, you would not hire your spouse’s attorney to represent you in your divorce. The same applies to Real Estate.
Featured in The Buddy System or the Buyer’s Broker
Featured in Should You Hire a Buyer’s Broker in NYC?
If you are buying a home in NYC, should you hire an agent or broker to represent you?
The quick answer is yes. – StreetEasy
Property type. Many co-operative apartments restrict property owners subletting rights. Elika agents can help you understand subletting requirements and avoid unsatisfactory properties.
Tenant. Excellent investment properties will attract stable, long-term tenants. You should know how to avoid properties with high turnover.
Property statistics. Neighborhood amenities, transportation, property age and community features will affect investment potential.
Neighborhood-specific markets. Property costs, yield and capital appreciation vary from street to street and from one development to the next. When investing, you will need a real estate agent who has access to all properties and market analysis info.
Reasons to Invest in Manhattan
As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, New York has a powerful real estate market that attracts investors from all over the world.
Manhattan has been considered a center of culture, art, and business for decades, and the borough's reputation drives its rental and real estate markets. The most expensive property ever sold in Manhattan went for $88 million in June of 2012, and the city continues to set records for property values, rental rates, and other important investment indicators.
As the population of New York City has increased by about 70,000 persons per year over the last several years and will likely continue to grow over the next decade, many investors have championed New Yorks relatively safe, tangible and lucrative real estate market. Manhattan is an especially attractive market thanks to its historical real estate resiliency and its dependable economic and cultural growth.
To understand Manhattans favorable investment potential, it is helpful to consider how the city of New York fared in harsh economic times.
During the housing market crash of 2008, for example, New York real estate prices showed extraordinary resiliency. While New York properties depreciated by about 4.8 percent in 2008, the state fared better than the United States as a whole, where average property prices fell by 6.28 percent according to the House Price Index HPI.
Over the next several years, New York housing market bounced back, posting a 0.18 percent appreciation in 2010 while the United States housing market as a whole fell by 1.55 percent. Much of this appreciation was due to sales activity in New York City and in New York County, Manhattan in particular.
Although U.S. home sale prices decreased slightly in 2011, homes in Manhattan and in other upscale NYC neighborhoods appreciated slightly over the same period. Sales volumes in Manhattan are up 3 percent year-over-year when comparing August 2012 and 2011. In that time frame, Manhattan real estate sales prices rose by about 2 percent. Condominium prices increased by about 8 percent to an average of $1.81 million, among the highest in the United States.
According to the Elliman report on Manhattan co-ops and condos, there were 10,161 sales in 2011. For a historical perspective on the current sales environment in Manhattan, it is helpful to consider the following:
The average sales price in 2011 for all properties was $1,426,912, relatively similar to the average price of $1,457,255 in 2010 and up from $1,393,001 in 2009. In 2002, the average sales price was only $795,079.
The average sales price in 2011 for all properties was $1,426,912, relatively similar to the average price of $1,457,255 in 2010 and up from $1,393,001 in 2009. In 2002, the average sales price was only $795,079.
The median sales price in 2011 was 850,000, again relatively consistent with $880,000 and $850,000 in 2010 and 2009 respectively. In 2002, the median sales price was only $450,000.
Average cost per square foot was $1,087 in 2011, up from $1,060 in 2010. The average price per square foot of Manhattan properties peaked before the pricing correction at $1,251 in 2008.
The report also notes that listing inventory continues to decline and that year-over-year price indicators are relatively stable since 2008.
The gradual increase in sales prices can be partially attributed to Manhattans strict zoning laws, which significantly restrict the number of available residential properties in the borough. Other factors include New York Citys growing population, currently at 8.24 million in NYC as a whole and 1.6 million in Manhattan alone according to the United States Census Bureau. The recent global financial crisis slowed down new construction in the city, and as a result, New York real estate supply is restrained. This has created a supply-demand issue and a potential opportunity for savvy investors.
There is also some inflation in wealthier communities, but analysts expect prices to continue to rise with many luxury homes and luxury rentals. According to the Wealth Report, a publication that provides a global perspective on prime properties, Manhattan ranks 17th among the main cities for cost per square foot.
This shows the potential of capital investments in the city, especially compared to cities like London, Hong Kong, Paris, and Moscow, all of which have more expensive real estate per square foot in prime housing locations. According to the report, New York is second only to London in importance among global cities and will likely hold the same level of relevance in 10 years. Given this analysis, property costs in Manhattan are remarkably low relative to their value.
Unlike many of these major cities, New York real estate is easily available for foreign nationals. The United States friendly real estate purchasing regulations allow Manhattan to draw in a global market of buyers. As a direct result, sellers in the city have a larger pool of potential buyers and can make relatively safe real estate investments.
Rental properties in the city of New York are historically a strong investment. The Manhattan rental agency Citi Habitats noted that Manhattan rental prices soared to $3,418 in 2011. For investors, rising rental prices indicates strong demand and the viability of rental property ownership, especially for those who intend to sell properties at some point.
Vacancy rates for Manhattan rental properties are almost unbelievably low and have historically stayed around 2-3 percent. According to a 2011 New York City Housing and Vacancy sample survey, Manhattan had a 2.8 percent vacancy rate, the lowest of all five boroughs except for Brooklyn. As a whole, New York City boasted a low 3.12 percent vacancy rate.
With these high rental rates, it's no surprise that rental averages in Manhattan are among the highest in the world. The average renter in Manhattan pays $3,418 per month according to an April 2012 report in the New York Times. This surpasses the previous record for rental averages in New York City, which was set in 2007 before the housing market crash.
High average incomes. Revenue figures have an apparent correlation with the ability to sell property in a major city. The Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS reports that Manhattans average weekly wages were $2,634 in the first quarter of 2011. Wages in the borough grew by more than 9 percent during this period, exceeding the national average over the same period.
A varied, international business climate. New York City was named the most attractive city for business in 2009 by the Global Power City Index, ranking it ahead of the other main cities including Tokyo and London. The powerful, growing economy of New York City is varied enough to provide real estate markets with some protection from a recession, particularly in Manhattan and other neighborhoods with relatively high property costs.
Strong culture and superior public transportation. These factors directly influence visitors decisions to move to a major city. New York City has the largest subway system in the world, over 13,000 taxis and some of the worlds largest international airports. The art scene, numerous museums, and other world-famous cultural attractions bring over 50 million visitors to the city annually.
Properties in New York City are extremely valuable, and most analysts believe that properties in many neighborhoods will hold their value. This certainly holds true in Manhattan. From July of 2011 to July of 2012, real estate inventory in the borough fell by almost 18 percent.
However, buyers need to consider taxes, property types, locations and other features when purchasing properties as investments in New York City. With the rising cost of real estate, an appropriate level of research and expert advice from experienced property professionals are crucial when trying to maximize property value.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The information below does not constitute legal advice, tax advice or an official position from Elika Associates. We do not provide any guarantee or warranty that the information below is correct. If you are seeking professional guidance for a real estate purchase, contact the broker's agents at Elika Associates to schedule a consultation. Consult a tax professional for qualified income tax advice.
Non-resident aliens (NRAs) often invest in New York real estate thanks to the market's history of consistent growth. At Elika Associates, we frequently act as buyer's agents for NRAs and help our clients organize their goals, evaluate properties and choose ownership alternatives to maximize the value of their new properties. There are several ways that non-resident aliens can acquire U.S. real estate. However, to control costs and personal information disclosures, NRAs can consider several ownership options.
If you are a non-resident alien, directly owning a property has several distinct benefits and two significant disadvantages.
The United States also does not tax imputed rental income for individual direct owners. Imputed income is an important concept in non-resident alien ownership, and we will discuss it further when addressing other purchasing options.
The two primary disadvantages of direct ownership for non-resident aliens:
There are instances in which an NRA would not immediately file income taxes, but all direct owners need to file income tax statements when selling their properties.
These disadvantages compel many buyers to consider other options, such as owning property through corporations and limited liability corporations.
Many buyers choose to purchase property through a U.S.-based or foreign corporation. Owning a New York City property through a U.S. corporation offers the following advantages and disadvantages:
You can also form a corporation in another country to own U.S. real estate, but the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) comes into play. Here's what you need to know about this option:
Speak with a qualified tax accountant who has experience with foreign corporations for more information on tax advantages and disadvantages as they relate to your case.
Some non-resident aliens create a limited liability corporation (LLC) in order to get some of the benefits of buying a property through a corporation along with the flexibility of direct ownership. Limited liability corporations get their name from the way that the U.S. government assigns a limited tax liability to the owner or owners of the LLC.
Here's what you need to know about purchasing property through an LLC:
If you do not want to file personal income taxes and your home country assigns a similar tax status to LLCs as the United States, this is certainly an option to consider.
In a tiered structure, you own a United States corporation through a foreign corporation or trust. Tiered structures are an especially popular option for the following reasons:
You should work with experienced tax professionals to understand the full advantages and disadvantages of every option.
Before choosing a property ownership method, consider your goals. Ask yourself the following questions:
By working with the experienced buyer's agents at Elika Associates, you can meet your real estate goals by purchasing excellent investment properties or a private home perfectly suited to your lifestyle. We frequently work with non-resident aliens and can recommend a variety of resources to help you take the first steps towards property ownership in New York City, including accountancy and legal professionals.
The information above does not constitute legal advice, tax advice or an official position from Elika Associates. We do not provide any guarantee or warranty that the above information is correct. If you are seeking professional guidance for a real estate purchase, contact the broker's agents at Elika Associates to schedule a consultation. Consult a tax professional for qualified income tax advice.
Rent Control Guidelines
Rent control favors the tenant. Regulations limit the amount that landlords can invest into a particular property and it restricts the owners right to evict tenants. As well, the owner is obligated to provide necessary services and appliances.
Rent control in New York City is under the Maximum Base Rent (MBR) system. A maximum base rent is set for each apartment but it is adjusted every two years. The adjustment is determined by changes in operating expenses. Owners may raise rents up to 7.5% annually (up to the MBR limit) but they must prove that they are providing essential services to renters. They must also prove that the property is free of violations. Below you will find a helpful guide to understanding more about rent control guidelines. Rent Control Guidelines
Rent stabilization protects renters. It provides extra protection that goes beyond rent limitations. Tenants must receive required services. In addition, renters must have their leases renewed - unless there is a legal reason for eviction. Leases must be entered into (and renewed) for one to two-year periods. The particular term is a tenant's choice.
If an owner acts in violation of a tenant's rights, DHCR can reduce rent (and even impose civil penalties). Owners must provide services and they cannot overcharge renters. If tenants get overcharged, DHCR will assign penalties including payment of interest and even payments in excess of the original amount (if willful overcharges). The Omnibus Housing Act required owners to initially register with DHCR including the rent and services for all rent stabilized apartments occupied between April 1, 1984 and June 30, 1984. Owners were required to give a copy of the registration to tenants. They had 90 days to challenge the information provided by the owner.
For apartments eligible for rent stabilization after 1984, owners must submit an initial registration of all apartments within 90 days after becoming subject to rent stabilization. In NYC, tenants may file a challenge (Fair Market Rent Appeal) to the initial registration (concerning rent-controlled apartments becoming subject to rent stabilization for the first time). Owners are also required to register on an annual basis. If they fail to register, they may be denied rent increases. Of course, owners must provide tenants with a copy of the annual registration.
1031 Tax Exchange
Buying a home today is about more than simply finding a good location and a nice house. Buyers must think about the future value of the home, and its personal value. Personal value relates to the intention of the buyer. Is this the permanent family home? A temporary property? A fixer-upper or a chance to try out those flipping skills? Most people who consider a 1031 tax abatement have a short-term interest in the property.
A 1031 tax abatement, also known as a Like-Kind exchange, allows buyers to avoid paying taxes during the process of selling and buying investment property. It is meant to assist property investors in purchasing the higher-priced property after a sale. As a concrete example, imagine an investor purchasing a piece of property for $300,000. A year later, he sells the property for $400,000 and then buys another property with that $400,000. Under normal circumstances, the investor would have to pay taxes on the capital gain (the $100,000 profit), leaving little money to buy a better piece of property. Under a 1031 abatement, however, he can defer paying taxes on the gain until a later time, and use the entire $100,000 profit to invest in a bigger or better piece of property. The concept of a 1031 exchange is the trading of properties (one bought, one sold) without reporting whether there was a loss or gain on the transaction. In essence, this exchange allows buyers to borrow the amount of the gain from the government as an interest-free loan.
With 1031, there is a solid timeline that must be followed between the time that a property is sold and another exchanged. This timeline is divided into two distinct periods, the Identification Period and the Exchange Period. The Identification Period is the first 45 days of the exchange; in this time, the property to be exchanged has to be officially recognized. As such, taxpayers who have multiple properties and identify the wrong property for trade must stick with their choice. In addition, if Mother Nature steps in and destroys the home that was to be exchanged, the 1031 will have to be dismissed. The process of exchange is very stringent.
The exchange period ends when a replacement property has been successfully exchanged with the original property, not to exceed 180 days from the start of the Identification Period.
The principles of the 1031 tax abatement have simplified since it was originally introduced. Instead of requiring that buyers sell their current property before buying a new one, the IRS has recently allowed taxpayers to complete a reverse exchange, where the buyer purchases a replacement property before selling the original property. A non-simultaneous exchange of property is known as a Starker Tax-deferred exchange. Another simplification to the process involves the definition of “real” property. Law states that you may only exchange real property with real property. But real property includes both commercial and residential property, as well as land. This means that under certain circumstances, taxpayers may exchange residential property for commercial property. An exception is that property inside of the United States cannot be exchanged for property outside of the country. In addition, the proceeds of a home sale must be reinvested within 180 days.
The hardest part of following through with a 1031 exchange is finding a replacement property within the 45 days given by the IRS after relinquishing the original property. However, there are some guidelines that can increase a person’s options. First, a taxpayer may choose up to three replacement properties, of any value, from which he/she must acquire at least one of those before the 180-day deadline. Another option, called the 95% rule, allows taxpayers to choose any number of replacement properties as long as the Fair Market Value of the properties received by the end of the exchange period is 95% or more of the total FMV of all potential properties identified. Finally, the 200% rule permits taxpayers to choose any number of replacement properties as long as the total FMV of the replacement properties doesn’t surpass 200% of the fair market value of the exchanged property/properties.
Think of 1031 as a traditional IRA or 401k. When you sell assets in a tax-deferred retirement plan, the capital gains are deferred until you cash out of the retirement plan. Same with 1031. As long as you re-invest your money in real estate, you may stall on the taxes.
Follow the step-by-step process below to benefit from the tax advantages of a 1031 Exchange:
Before purchasing an investment property, you need as much information as possible about its long-term potential. Research and experience make a serious difference, you can significantly improve your investment portfolio with a strategic real estate purchase.
Elika Associates can help. Whether you already own property or you’re looking to diversify, our investment experts will help you gather accurate information that you can use to make strong decisions.
Comprehensive Needs Analysis – In order to spend your time wisely, you will need a real estate expert who understands your goals. We gather vital information before showing properties. Our dedicated agents will know which options will work well with your portfolio, and by extensively analyzing your needs, we will never waste your valuable time with unsuitable properties.
Property Selection Help – You need accurate information about properties to make an investment. Our experts work exclusively as buyer’s agents. They understand investment potential and know how to see past positive sales copy. We will always provide impartial accurate information about the properties that we show, as we have a strong incentive to help our clients avoid lukewarm investments.
Diversifying your portfolio with New York real estate investments is a safe, smart financial move when you are working with a qualified agency. With unequaled knowledge of the New York housing market, Elika Associates give you unbiased information, advice and a wealth of resources that you can use to make an appropriate purchase.
Let Elika’s experts search, filter and send you the best available New York City properties that match your investment profile: CUSTOM SEARCH
Contact an experienced and knowledgeable agent for a free consultation.