Even at height of storm, brokers and clients scheduled showings

New Yorkers hunt for apartments as hurricane bears down

TRD New York /
Oct.October 30, 2012 03:00 PM

Never underestimate New Yorkers’ lust for real estate. Even amid hurricane Sandy’s record-breaking onslaught — which brought with it flooding, fires and power outages – some New Yorkers (and would-be New Yorkers) were still trying to see an apartment, with the intention of renting or buying, industry sources said.

“Several people contacted me and wanted to see apartments [yesterday],” said Michael Chadwick, an agent at Bond New York. One client was in from out of town to look for an apartment. “I was very polite, I told them ‘you know, there’s a hurricane?’” He said he was able to reschedule, but remained busy booking showings via email and was still on social media sites promoting his listings. 

“People think it’s so competitive that they [should] take advantage of the hurricane, and see apartments while no one else is seeing them, despite the fact that we are in a state of emergency,” Chadwick said.

He added: “We have a hurricane. But instead of planning for their survival, people are thinking about real estate.”

Prudential Douglas Elliman’s offices were closed for the storm, but brokers were still fielding calls and were, in many cases, willing to show apartments, Kathy Murray, a senior vice president at the firm, told The Real Deal.

“A lot of people are taking the day to look for a new apartment,” she said. She said that she fielded 15 to 20 calls from people looking to see apartments on Monday, but were willing to settle for Tuesday or Wednesday showings. Murray said many apartment-hunters were using the forced day off to search for a new home.

“A lot of people who are difficult to get ahold of during the week … I’m finding it’s easier to get a hold of them,” Murray said.

Patricia Levan, owner of Levan Real Estate, said that some of her clients who were scheduled to see a large Upper West Side co-op wanted to proceed with the showing yesterday, until they realized how hard it would be to get a taxi. The couple selling the home mentioned that it was actually good timing, because they could both be home to show the unit. “I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to cancel,” Levan said.

And a re-development condominium Murray is marketing at 752 West End Avenue, at 97th Street, launched marketing despite the storm, and interest was high despite Sandy’s wrath. She said she was willing to show homes, but that the interested parties were having trouble finding transportation. Still, she said, “If they can get there, I will get there.”


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