Strength on the U.E.S.

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:01

    Currently the real estate market is very active in all areas of the Upper East Side. There is a shortage of inventory across all apartment sizes and price ranges. The classic apartments along Fifth and Park Avenue continue to attract well-heeled buyers. Foreigners have confidence in our city and many want to own on the Upper East Side, especially in close proximity to Central Park.

    New construction condominiums are being snapped up at a record pace and even condominiums along First Avenue, once a more challenging area for luxury apartment sales, are attracting buyers at record prices. It is not uncommon to see 20 prospective buyers line up at a Sunday open house. These apartments go into contract within days, sometimes at prices over the asking price.

    Of course, apartments that are overpriced and those in need of TLC still linger on the market.

    But the Upper East Side is broadening its appeal as transportation improves, particularly along Second Avenue.

    In the past, the eastern reaches of the neighborhood, with wonderful parks and quieter streets, were far from subway transportation and as such potential residents sometimes were hesitant about the area. This perception is rapidly changing in large part due to the Second Avenue Subway. In Phase 1 it will run from 63rd to 96th Street along Second Avenue. Initially the development of the subway brought unwelcome noise, construction debris and turmoil to the neighborhood. Residents would tell me "I avoid Second Avenue as much as possible" and commerce struggled.

    As the construction is farther along, new stores, bars and restaurants have opened along First Avenue with new locations emerging on Second Avenue as well. Graces Marketplace, a longtime tenant on Third Avenue, is moving to bigger space on Second Avenue and Whole Foods, known as a neighborhood game changer, is opening at 87th Street and Third Avenue.

    We expect prices to rise especially along East End, York, First and Second Avenue.

    Susan Landau Abrams is an associate broker at Warburg Realty. You can reach her at 212-439-4537