How smoking bans are affecting the resi market

Agents say smoking bans aren't a deterrent — and don't apply to vaping
April 27, 2019 12:00PM

(Credit: iStock)

Last summer, all of the city’s multifamily properties were required by law to create smoking policies for their buildings. But added restrictions haven’t hindered sales in an already-slow market.

Buildings that have put in place smoke-free policies have either seen a boost in interest or no change, according to Forbes. The rules can be enforced once they’re added to a building’s property lease and bylaws. The report comes as New Yorkers have already adapted to restrictions under the Bloomberg administration, which banned smoking from bars in 2003.

At The Rio Condominium and Spa at 304 East 65th Street, interest has been high despite the smoke-free policy, said Becki Danchik, an agent at Warburg Realty.

“It’s quite amazing how many people follow this property for sales and rental vacancies,” Danchik said. “There is no shortage of interested buyers and long-term residents here.”

Listings websites like StreetEasy also allow prospective buyers and renters to search for buildings with smoking bans. The shift comes as smoking has been declining nationwide. The number of American adults who smoke fell to 15.5% in 2016 from about 21% in 2005, the report said. Mary Hall Mayer, also an agent at Warburg, said that societal change has made the bans less of an issue.

“Most people have either quit, have quit and are vaping—these policies don’t address vaping—or they never smoked to begin with,” she told Forbes.

Meanwhile, sales in Manhattan have slowed overall. The number of sales closed in the first quarter dipped 2.7% versus a year earlier while the median sales price fell 0.2%, according to Douglas Elliman. Among new development properties, sales volume tumbled more than 39%, as the median price ticked up nearly 3.5%. [Forbes] — Meenal Vamburkar