Spring Fever is affecting both buyers and sellers as evidenced by the Monthly Contract Activity Report below; a 23.3% increase in contracts signed in March from the previous month. The contract sale activity is spurred by the improving weather, low interest rates, an unemployment rate holding steady at 3.8%, good deals for buyers and sellers, and an attempt to close on residence(s) before July 1st to beat the New Mansion Tax change.
Monthly Contract Rate
New Mansion Tax
The NYS Legislature and Governor have finalized the State’s new budget. There are many new items in the budget – congestion pricing, a ban on plastic bags, etc., as described in the following NY Times article: March 31 NYT Article on New NYS Budget.
Of major importance is the adoption of a new mansion tax and changes to the NYS real property tax. The new mansion tax will reflect a sliding tax rate as follows:
Sales Price Mansion Tax
$1 million – $1.999 million 1% (no change)
$2 million – $2.999 million 1.25%
$3 million – $4.999 million 1.5%
$5 million – $9.999 million 2.25%
$10 million – $14.999 million 3.25%
$15 million – $19.999 million 3.5%
$20 million – $24.999 million 3.75%
$25 million and up 3.9%
The NYS real property transfer tax will increase from .4% to .65% for deals of $3 million and up.
Three important considerations:
- For all sales in contract on or before April 1, 2019, the former tax rates will apply
- For all sales in the contract after April 1, the former tax rates will apply if the closing occurs before July 1.
- For all sales in the contract after April 1, but closing on or after July 1, the new tax rates will apply.
This month’s Culturally Inclined features the East Village sharing historic landmarks, vintage and high-fashion shops by independent designers, contemporary art galleries and museums, delicious culinary delights, music venues, boutique gyms, and market snapshot depicting the median asking price for condos currently on the market is $1.95 million and $850,000 for co-ops versus $8 million for townhouses.
The first use in the New York Times of the term “East Village” to refer to the east side of Manhattan between Fourteenth and Houston Streets was on February 7, 1960.1 Edmond J. Bartnett wrote, “The walls of Jericho came tumbling down when the Third Avenue El was razed four years ago. …When the El was wiped out, the barrier was broken between the Village and the Lower East Side.” The article reported that high rents had pressured many Greenwich Village renters, whose search for lower rents now led them to look at what they had recently considered “a slum area without comfort or prestige.” The article continued: “Rental agents — some of them advertising rooms for ‘$40 and down’ — are increasingly referring to the area as Village East or East Village.” – GVHSP
The East Village contains three New York City historic districts: St. Mark’s Historic District and Extension, East Village / Lower East Side Historic District, and East 10th Street Historic District, which comprises Alphabet City. Alphabet City’s name was derived from its Avenues ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’; the only avenues in Manhattan to have single-letter-names. Alphabet City has a long-standing reputation as the home and hang-out spot for “free-thinkers, musicians, artists, and eccentrics” and remains a cool area to eat, drink, shop, and explore this off-beat iconic neighborhood. Long forgotten along with Avenue D and the East River is the “Dry Dock District” for the famous shipping industry throughout much of the 1800s. A group of shipbuilders came together as the New York Dry Dock Company to construct an inclined railway at the foot of East 10th Street to pull ships from the water for repair and by the mid-1800s there were shipyards extending along the East River from Grand Street to 12th Street. In honor of this district of the past, the City of New York created the Dry Dock Pool and Recreation Center on 10th Street and Avenue D. The Greenwich Village Society in coordination with a report titled: A History of the East Village and Its Architecture has devised an online tool called “The East Village Building Blocks” to explore and provide a detailed look at both present-day and a glimpse into the history of 2,200 neighborhood buildings. The online interactive tool offers information such as the original architect, date of construction, original use, alterations over time, and any other significant information tied to the building and/or its site.
The rich historical landscape of various immigrant populations establishing their roots in America and the anti-establishment cultural revolution of art, music, and theater in the East Village is quickly vanishing. St. Mark’s Place played a key role in launching the careers of artists such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. St. Marks a main cultural Street in the area once home to funky shops and tattoo parlors is now home to a hip speakeasy behind the phone booth in Crif Dogs, restaurants like Empellon Al Pastor, authentic Amalfi Coast pizza at Tramonti, Spot dessert bar whose “confections are re-imagined and spiked with a healthy dose of Asian flair”. EATER acclaims the East Village as the best dining neighborhood in New York City; (examine the Ultimate Guide to Eating in the East Village), and 18 of the most outstanding dessert spots. My favorite dining and dessert spots are Desnuda, Black Ant, Veselka, Hearth, the Eddy, Mayahuel Mariposa, Prune, Upstate, Veniero’s Pastry shop dating back to 1894, and Davey’s ice cream parlor. Thompkins Square Park, a 10.5-acre public park in the Alphabet City portion of East Village is a respite from the hustle and bustle and a sanctuary to commune with nature and the community. The park was originally swampland and graded and landscaped in the mid-1800s to create an open parade ground for the 7th Regiment. Three Sycamore trees have survived from that time. It was not until the late 1800’s that The New York State Legislature was pressured from the community to officially redesign the area and plant over 450 trees and officially declare it a Park. The Park had a face-lift in the 1990s’ and a dog run and playground were added.
- Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m
Hot Restaurant “Violet” and “Van Da” At Violet in Alphabet City, Matt Hyland focuses on the Rhode Island style of grilling dough and then topping it with fontina cheese and various ingredients. Click on Link to visit the Violet 511 E 5th St website.
Van Da’s catering whiz Yen Ngo debuts this modern Vietnamese restaurant in the East Village, with food from Gramercy Tavern alum chef Hannah Wong that spotlights the cuisines of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Hue, and Hanoi. Van Da – 234 East 4th Street.
“it’s not what you do, it’s what you say and it’s not who you know, it’s who you pay Down on Avenue A” — The Dictators (“Avenue A”)
” Lived in an apartment out on Avenue A / I had a tar-hut on the corner of 10th,” “Used to take the subway up to Houston and Third / I would wait for you and I’d try to hide,” “I remember Christmas in the blistering cold / In a church on the Upper West Side,” “Found a lot of trouble out on Avenue B / But I tried to keep the overhead low.” ― Ryan Adams (“New York, New York“)