Ben Shaoul Op-Ed: It’s Back to Basics For New York City Real Estate

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Ben Shaoul, President of Magnum Real Estate Group, offers his insight on New York real estate.

Ben Shaoul

Between scarcity of land and a multimillionaire’s willingness to pay record prices for sweeping views, it’s no wonder Manhattan developers only continue to build taller and architecturally arduous apartment buildings. Historically, it was top of mind for a wealthy buyer to purchase a unit that helped project their status — swimming pools in the middle of an apartment, movie theaters on the lower level, private spas — all in some of the tallest buildings in New York City. These helicopter views, and other off-the-charts amenities, made buildings stand out from the pack and in return, buyers rushed to the newest building with the most outrageous trend.

Yet, with time, what was once considered a luxurious amenity in real estate transitioned to be viewed as overzealous. Although there is still a need for this type of ultra-luxury, it’s with little surprise that some wealthy buyers were beginning to realize the impracticality and reduced value on the resale market that some of these extravagant amenities held. Trends change as well as the buying public. A new group of buyers, 20-Something, wealthy millennials are on the lookout for classic apartments, ones that portrayed a traditional appeal, rather than a flashy one. In turn, a wave of change throughout the market was born. 

This caused some developers to pivot their approach, reverting back to the basics where classic, long-lasting residences reigned supreme. The importance of understanding the small sector of people who are willing to pay for trendy amenities and the ones who aren’t, is one of the key elements in developing a successful building. Older and younger buyers started looking for something that resonated with his or her lifestyle and made living as easy as possible. Many purchasers no longer assigned prestige to living in “the tallest skyscraper in their city,” or ones with the latest eccentric amenity, and started focusing on a simple, yet elegant lifestyle-focused building.

When your buyer knows the value in their purchase, there is no longer a need to pitch a lavish lifestyle. Instead, you can just let the residence speak for itself. In truth, by definition, trends will always change,  but the idea that quality prevails is what leads to happy purchasers and success.

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