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Inside the Market / Market Trends

Global cities: Julia Hoagland of Brown Harris Stevens talks about real estate in Manhattan

Julia Hoagland of Brown Harris Stevens talks Paris and New York real estate markets

With today’s global economy, knowing how other property markets with international appeal are faring can be important and insightful when considering buying real estate in Paris. We recently spoke with Julia Hoagland, the Senior Vice President of Brown Harris Stevens, and Director of the Modern Luxury Living Partnership, in New York City.  Get to know Julia and her take on today’s NYC real estate market.

1.      What is your background and how did you get into real estate?

I have an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, and an MBA in Finance/Economics.  I first worked in engineering (which can be basically defined as problem solving), and then moved on to Wall Street where I underwrote structured credit products (financial engineering).  Next I moved into marketing and selling a different financial asset.  Basically, I got lucky: I fell into real estate.

2.      Tell us about the state of the market you work in. Do you have any predictions for the upcoming year in your market?

Julia: The very low inventory mixed with very low interest rates and high demand from foreign sectors who are trying to get money into dollars and away from local trauma (e.g., out of Euros) is causing activity and prices to rise. It’s necessary to be on top of inventory and get in to see properties as soon as they hits the market, and also to act quickly and decisively when finding a property a client likes.

3.      Do you notice any trends appearing in your market?

Julia: Trending toward larger apartments as families stay in the city; trending towards condos as foreign money comes in (foreigners have a hard time purchasing co-ops because of the US asset and credit requirements, and condos are only about 40% of the Manhattan inventory)

4.      What’s something you feel like your clients or potential clients ask you for all the time?

Julia: They always want MORE- more inventory and more choices to look at.

5.      Is there a certain kind of property that everyone in your market seems to want?Does this vary with international versus local buyers?

Julia: Local buyers want that neighborhood feel, space in the unit, low additional monthly costs, less concerned with amenities. Foreign buyers tend to want condos, more central shopping/theatre/restaurant locations, amenities are more important.

6.      What are some concerns your clients/potential clients have voiced to you about the market?

Julia: I most commonly hear my clients be concerned about the lack of available apartments in NYC, and being in a Manhattan bubble when the rest of the world falls apart.

7.      What is one of the biggest challenges being a broker in your market?

Julia: Illustrating the value in properties through ways other than the experience.

8.      What is one of the biggest advantages to your market?

Julia: First I would have to say that the NYC real estate market is always in demand worldwide. When one sector dries up another is quick to take its place. There doesn’t have to be good local conditions to drive foreign demand in New York.  For example, after Hollande was elected President in France, he drove a lot of money out of French real estate and into Manhattan. Also, the market’s resilience to tragedy.  For example, Manhattan real estate took four months to bounce back after 9/11 and just over a year and a half to bounce back after 9/15 when Lehman filed, followed by the worst financial market meltdown in post-depression history.

9.      How has your market evolved over the last 5-10 years?

Julia: Co-op inventory has been slowly shrinking as all new developments over that time have been condos, and boards have become more sensitive to bonus income and no longer count discretionary income as 1-1.  Plus, the trophy properties have come to age, and there are more luxury penthouses to satisfy uber-rich.

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