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Manhattan is the smallest, most expensive, and most densely developed of New York City's five boroughs. The island is 22 square miles (just 7.1% of the city's land), and has 1.6 million residents (20% of the city's population of roughly 8 million). According to the Economist, the city as a whole has almost 400,000 residents with assets of over $1 million (excluding their primary residence), and over 70 declared billionaires. In other words, almost 25% of the residents of Manhattan are millionaires.

According to Cushman and Wakefield, New York City has been the world’s largest commercial real estate market in every year since 2010. In 2014, New York City captured 7% of global commercial real estate investment with $55 billion.


Manhattan's housing market consists primarily (97.5%) of apartments, while rowhouses comprise just 2.5% of the housing stock (according to Curbed. There is even a handful of freestanding houses (mostly in Inwood).

As of 2Q2015, there are approximately 850,000 apartments in Manhattan, according to Crain's. The apartment market is roughly 75% co-ops and 25% condos. Almost all new developments are structured as condos. Whereas the national homeownership rate is typically 64-68%, within Manhattan only 25% of households own their property. In other words, 75% of Manhattan's residents are renters, according to Crain's. Of the total rental housing stock, approximately ____% is rent-controlled or rent-stabilized.


Although New York City is regarded as one of the most expensive markets in the United States and in the world, there is considerable range of pricing even on Manhattan island.

As of 2Q2015, the prices in Manhattan range from $___/sq.ft. for co-ops in Washington Heights and Inwood to over $4,000/sq.ft. for townhouses in the West Village. The most expensive new developments have sold for over $9,000/sq.ft. at 15 Central Park West, One57, and 432 Park Avenue. However, for comparison, New York is relatively more affordable than other international cities such as London ($_____/sq.ft.), Hong Kong ($_____/sq.ft.), Paris ($_____/sq.ft.), Monaco ($_____/sq.ft.), and Moscow ($_____/sq.ft.).


Downtown. Since the 1990s, a number of lower Manhattan neighborhoods have recovered their intrinsic value as they became safer and as nightlife and retail options became more abundant. The Lower East Side did not become hot until the very late 1990s or early 00's, East Village began its latest resurgence around 2005, and the New York Times characterized parts of Tribeca as emerging as late as 2006.

There are still pockets of the Lower East Side, particularly the southern and eastern edges, where there are relative bargains, although the lower prices reflect fewer amenities or longer walks to the subway. Chinatown and Two Bridges are also still relatively affordable. The Financial District and Battery Park City have some intrinsic shortcomings, although retail and dining options are improving. For more detail, see the individual neighborhood reports.

Upper Manhattan is, in many ways, a separate market, with less street life and a quieter lifestyle. Prices per square foot drop further up the island (Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, Inwood), as commutes become longer. However, these neighborhoods offer spectacular views, parkland, Art Deco buildings, and even a pocket of freestanding single-family Tudor houses in Inwood. Interestingly, as one goes further out, to Fieldston or Riverdale in the Bronx, the commute is shorter because of the Metro-North Railroad.

Harlem consists of several neighborhoods, each with a distinct identity. West Harlem is the name broadly applied to Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights. Central Harlem is better defined, as it is surrounded by parks, and has a distinct architectural identity, with its ornate Queen Anne and Renaissance Revival townhouses. In addition, Central Harlem's growing restaurant scene is a draw for visitors and new residents, which makes it the heart of the neighborhood's revival. East Harlem is just above the Upper East Side. East Harlem's identity was shaped in 1897, when the elevated train line along Park Avenue separated the neighborhood from the more affluent Central Harlem to the west. The area to the east of Park Avenue was developed for less affluent residents - with pre-war tenement buildings like the Lower East Side, and more modest rowhouses.