Relaxing the rules: Millennial buyers are prompting some co-op boards to loosen up

Co-ops want to bring building values in line with condos

Jan.January 05, 2019 04:00 PM

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Vying to lure in more young buyers, some co-op boards are loosening their rules.

Some boards are trying to ease requirements about approvals and subletting to make home values more in line with condos, Forbes reported.

“So many mindful co-ops are trying to act more like condos these days, so they can attract higher prices from a wider audience,” Compass agent Brian Lewis told Forbes. “I’ve never encountered a condo that wants to act more like a restrictive co-op.”

The changing mindset comes as millennial buyers have struggled to purchase co-ops. Obstacles include not being able to afford down payments and an influx of buyers flooding the market, the report said.

As Warburg’s Lisa Larson told Forbes, a decade ago, the main options for housing in New York City were to rent or buy a co-op. But with a rise in condo development, buyers have other choices now. About 80 percent of the city’s housing stock are co-ops.

Larson said her board opted to require the first two pages of tax returns, without the tax schedules. And it chose to nix the requirement for full bank and brokerage statements in a bid to increase the building’s value by upping buyer accessibility.

Martin Eiden, another Compass agent, said millennial buyers he’s worked with tend to seek diversity — which doesn’t necessarily align with how co-op boards function.

“Co-ops by their very nature want consistency, sameness,” he said. [Forbes] — Meenal Vamburkar

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