There’s only one place in New York City where high-class living and bohemian charm co-exist effortlessly: SoHo.
SoHo — short for “South of Houston Street” — is a neighborhood that’s teeming with character, thanks in large part to the various creative types who call it home.
Once a relic of the industrial age, this area has undergone a renaissance between the 1960s and 1980s, first attracting artists then well-heeled homebuyers.
It is home to the so-called Cast Iron Historic District, which is why properties here fetch such lofty prices. The vibrant vibe, cultural cache, and stylish shops make it especially attractive to high-net-worth buyers.
Sounds like your kind of neighborhood? Be sure to read our comprehensive guide to buying luxury apartments in SoHo.
- Why the luxury apartment market in Manhattan is booming
- How is SoHo different from the rest of Manhattan?
- Things to consider before purchasing luxury apartments in SoHo, NY
- Developer credentials
- Condo association
- Privacy and security
- Modern home features
- Cost of living in SoHo, NY
- Choosing the proper Soho, NY real estate agent
- VIP service
- Track record
- Why Angel Recalde is the perfect agent for you
Why the luxury apartment market in Manhattan is booming
With a median list price of $1.3 million, Manhattan is New York’s priciest property market by a wide margin. And with the average sales price rising by 12% in the second quarter of 2021 alone, it won’t be dethroned anytime soon.
Luxury real estate costs are caused mainly by dwindling real estate inventory, driven by people who wish to upgrade to more spacious homes in more affluent neighborhoods—looking at another factor that’s boosting demand? Low mortgage interest rates.
The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate is just above 3% as of this writing. In short, buying luxury apartments in SoHo has never been this affordable.
There has been a crop of new luxury developments in Manhattan, including 111 West 57th Street and 432 Park Avenue. In some cases, historic buildings are transformed into residential developments, like Wales in Madison Avenue, a former hotel. So whether you’re looking for a modern apartment or one that’s steeped in history, New York City is the ideal place to buy.
This combination of high demand, low mortgage rates, and strong developer interest have made The Big Apple a premier market for luxury condo buyers. And given the strong price appreciation of high-end homes in this city, your unit will prove to be an excellent investment.
How is SoHo different from the rest of Manhattan?
Just like its diverse citizens, New York has a diverse collection of boroughs, too. But of course, this is true of Manhattan, whose neighborhoods each have a unique personality.
Many consider SoHo as the trendiest spot in Manhattan, owing to its roots as the preferred address of New York artists. Indeed, several galleries still dot the neighborhood, and many properties for sale are converted artists’ lofts.
This stands in stark contrast to the suburb-like Tribeca, the highly commercial Upper East Side, and the quiet Park Avenue.
Though the locale has a decidedly more bohemian vibe than its neighbors, it’s no less affluent. Around every block are white-glove residential buildings, gourmet restaurants, and swanky boutique stores — all testaments to SoHo’s elite stature.
Prestigious without being uptight. Vibrant without being garish. SoHo is the perfect place to look for luxury apartments.
Things to consider before purchasing luxury apartments in SoHo, NY
Given the cost of luxury apartments in Soho, buyers like you need to evaluate the available options carefully. This way, you can feel confident that the property you choose suits not only your needs but also supports your lifestyle. To help you narrow down your choices, you must consider vital considerations.
There’s no more significant factor in real estate than location when it comes to real estate. This is especially true of New York, given the city’s sprawling landscape. Even SoHo stretches 87 hectares, so where you buy a luxury apartment is vital.
When choosing a location, pay close attention to accessibility. Will your new place be close to all the iconic museums, brunch spots, and retail stores that are part of SoHo’s charm? And while some might feel that the view an apartment affords is merely a bonus, it’s a significant draw for many buyers. If you’re going to spend a fortune on a million-dollar home, why not get the million-dollar view, too?
Now that most professionals have the option of working remotely, you’ll want an apartment that has enough space to serve as both your abode and your office. Moreover, you’ll also want to consider your life stage when deciding what unit to get. A one-bedroom luxury apartment may be all you need today, but if you plan on getting married and having kids shortly, you may want to get a place that has more rooms and more considerable square footage. It would help if you likewise considered your lifestyle when deciding on the size of your pad. If you love having people over, you’ll surely want a unit that has ample cooking, dining, and entertaining space.
Where you buy an apartment is essential, but so is whom you buy it from. The last thing you want is to purchase an expensive unit only to discover that its build quality is subpar. Luckily, you can avoid this costly mistake by choosing projects built by experienced and established developers. Most high-rise developments have websites where you can find the developer’s name; from there, you can research what properties it has developed in the past, whether it has a good reputation, and what awards it has won. Your agent can also provide you with trusted information about property developers.
One of the perks of living in high-end condo or apartment buildings is that the property management office’s maintenance is primarily taken care of. That said, maintenance takes money, which comes from your association dues. So before signing the dotted line, ask about the homeowners’ association. Is the project self or professionally managed? How much are the monthly dues? Is the association well-funded and well-managed? Are there significant projects on the horizon that might cause the monthly dues to rise? Asking these questions now will spare you from headaches — and sticker shock — later on.
There’s no one-size-fits-all definition for the ideal luxury apartment. As with most things in life, the best choice is the one that best suits your lifestyle. For instance, fitness buffs will thrive in a unit with room for a private gym or a building with a fitness center. If you’re a dog or cat lover, a team that has ample space for your fur babies to roam is ideal. Are you a self-employed individual who works from home? Then a well-appointed home office will surely be a must. List down the non-negotiable features your new place must have so your agent can shortlist properties that fit the bill.
Privacy and security
Privacy is scarce and precious in a city with over eight million residents. That’s why the apartment you get should be a reprieve from the sometimes-maddening bustle of The Big Apple. One way to check if a unit is a good fit is to ask about resident density or the number of people per floor. The lower the number, the fewer residents in the building, and the more exclusive the property. You’ll also want to check the security of the building. The property should have 24/7 layered security, meaning multiple components in the system prevent non-residents from entering, such as guards, CCTV cameras, and private elevators with access passes.
Where you live is not just one of the most important decisions you’ll make — it’s also one of the most personal. You already have well-established lifestyle preferences, and it’s essential to find an apartment that suits them. Sometimes those preferences lean towards aesthetics, like having a penchant for a specific architectural style. Sometimes they’re more practical, like wanting features supporting your hobbies and interests.
The good news is that luxury apartments in SoHo have many features that will surely tick all your boxes. What’s more, they have convenient amenities that make daily living more convenient and comfortable. These include:
- Multiple-level car parking — Does your household have multiple cars? If so, the luxury apartment you move into must have parking spots for all your vehicles.
- Super-fast elevators — Successful people are busy and don’t have time to wait for elevators. That’s why the best luxury apartments in SoHo come with super-fast elevators, not unlike those you’d find in iconic skyscrapers like One World Trade Center.
- CCTV surveillance — Security is essential, especially in multi-family structures like condominiums. Having a CCTV system ensures that unauthorized entry will not be a concern.
- Function rooms — Why rent a ballroom or function room for your special occasion when you can host it right in your building? Many deluxe condominiums have banqueting areas to hold gatherings like birthday parties, anniversaries, and even wedding receptions.
- Community club — Life in The Big Apple can be pretty hectic, so it’s nice to be able to unwind after a long day’s work. Fortunately, high-end developments usually have clubs with amenities like lap pools, fitness centers, indoor tennis courts, and even in-house bars.
- 24/7 backup power — Blackouts aren’t widespread in New York, but it’s good to know that if one were to happen, your building has 24/7 backup power.
Modern home features
Smart home devices and systems have quickly become the new status symbol for high-end property buyers. Imagine being able to dim the lights, play music, and set your thermostat with just your phone or via voice commands. When viewing luxury apartments in SoHo, keep an eye out for sought-after features like those below.
- Biometric front door locks — Say “goodbye” to missing or forgotten house keys with a biometric door lock. As the name suggests, this system uses fingerprint or facial scanning to verify your identity and unlock your door.
- WiFi-powered locks — Some units also have intelligent locks for interior doors. These are also keyless, as you can release or engage locks remotely using smartphones or biometric scans.
- Home automation — Want to close the lights in the other room without walking there? A home automation system allows you to do so easily with just a few taps on your smartphone.
- IP-enabled Camera — For added security, some units also have surveillance systems. The camera angles can be set using an app, and all footage is stored on a secure and remote server.
- Panic button — Many accidents can happen at home. If an emergency occurs, pressing a panic button sends a notification to your home security provider, who will then dispatch emergency responders to your apartment post haste.
- Fire and gas alarm — These alarms can be literal lifesavers, as they will alert you the moment a gas leak or fire starts. Deluxe versions are hardwired, meaning you don’t have to replace batteries every so often to ensure that they’re still working.
- Curtain control — Your swanky condo unit is bound to have excellent views, but if you want a little privacy, a curtain control system has you covered. The controls can be Wi-Fi enabled, too, making things more convenient.
- Mood lighting — Want to wind down at night? Using intelligent controls, you can dim the lighting to your desired brightness, thus creating a relaxing atmosphere.
- Motion sensor lights — Tired of switching lights on or off manually? There are now motion-sensor-powered lights that automatically turn on when you step into a room and shut off when you leave.
Cost of living in SoHo, NY
Given the access, convenience, and views that SoHo luxury apartments offer, it’s unsurprising that they cost a premium. That said, it compares favorably compared to Tribeca — the priciest parcel of land in all of New York City. According to data from Realtor.com, the median listing price of properties in SoHo is $3.5 million — a total million dollars lower than in Tribeca.
As you’d expect, the cost of goods and services in SoHo is markedly higher than elsewhere in the state or the country. Groceries, healthcare, utilities, and transportation are anywhere from 4% to 35% more expensive than the state benchmark. That said, the prestige and culture you enjoy as a resident of SoHo are well worth the price of admission.
Choosing the proper SoHo, NY real estate agent
SoHo luxury apartments are a significant investment indeed, which is why you need a real estate agent who can help you make the right decision. When choosing a realtor, take note of:
Expertise— Different agents have different specialties, and some focus exclusively on luxury homes. This is the kind of agent you want to work with, as they possess deep insight into the high-end property market. They have access to deluxe apartments, for starters, that the average realtor does not. Such agents also know the prevailing market rate for the apartment you want to buy, ensuring that you won’t pay more than you have to. VIP service— Luxury agents cater to very discerning clients, so no less than concierge-level service will do. Such realtors are very hands-on and are thus able to answer any question or assist with any matter ASAP. If you want a twilight property viewing of luxury apartments in SoHo, they can make it happen. Network— Great realtors have a network of equally great professional contacts. These include real estate lawyers, inspectors, appraisers, and interior decorators. They can also refer you to trusted lenders specializing in financing high-end homes. In short, your luxury property agent should provide you with a one-stop-shop experience. Track record— At the end of the day, it’s all about results. That is, the agent you choose must have the track record to back up his promises. For example, how many luxury apartments in SoHo have they sold in the last three months? What is their listing price-to-closing-price ratio? How quickly can they close on a property once your offer has been accepted? Can they provide a list of recent clients that you can call?
Why Angel Recalde is the perfect agent for you
SoHo has an appeal all its own, attracting passionate artists, free-spirited individuals, and well-off buyers alike. If you’d like to own real estate in this beautiful neighborhood, allow Angel Recalde to be your trusted agent.
Angel is principal at Recalde Real Estate, and he also partners with Nest Seekers International. Angel is known as “That New York City Luxury Real Estate Guy” as he is the go-to agent for elite-level property services in The Big Apple. He and his team have a particular focus on helping you balance your lifestyle needs and financial goals when purchasing luxury apartments in SoHo.
As a local New Yorker, he has unparalleled first-hand insight into its lifestyle and various neighborhoods. If you’d like to get in touch with him, call 917.239.9987 or send an email to angelr(at)nestseekers(dotted)com. You can also subscribe to his newsletter to get the latest luxury listings and to receive news about New York’s property market.