East Side sellers suffer from high competition

January 23, 2012 10:00AM

New Yorkers looking to purchase a “starter” apartment would be wise to stick to the East Side. Citing Streeteasy.com research, New York magazine reported that competition for selling studios and one-bedroom apartments in the Upper East Side, Lenox Hill, Turtle Bay and Murray Hill is so strong that more than one-third of those units have had their asking prices cut.

Apartments in those neighborhoods linger on the market for 33 to 42 weeks, on average, so owners “have to make their listings more compelling,” said Sofia Song, vice president of research at Streeteasy.com. These conditions could last for a prolonged period, as apartment absorption rates on the Upper East Side and in Lenox Hill are well below the Manhattan average of 36 percent. Median prices for studios and one-bedrooms on the East Side range from $498,000 in Murray Hill to $575,000 in Lenox Hill.

In addition to the East Side, Hell’s Kitchen and Washington Heights have favorable conditions for first-time buyers. The former is plagued by the host of new developments “taking a while to find buyers” at the median asking price of $699,000, while the latter offer some of the lowest prices on the island, with a median of $279,450. [NY Mag]