What is a Residential Condominium Specialist

Posted by Wei Min Tan on September 25, 2017

We are residential condominium specialists and we only represent residential condominium transactions. This makes us experts in this category.

What is a condominium: In New York City, apartments are divided into cooperatives (co-ops) and condominiums. Co-ops represent the vast majority of apartments in Manhattan and it is an apartment structure where the owner owns shares in the building. With a co-op, there are restrictions on renting out, board approval is needed to buy/sell and board approval is needed for renovations. Co-ops are not deemed “real estate” in the traditional sense, mainly because of the share ownership legal structure.

A condominium is real estate and similar to condominiums in most other countries. The owner of a condominium is free to rent out the property and board approval is not required to buy or sell.

Percentage of property that are condos in Manhattan: Condominiums make up about 19 percent of property in Manhattan. Co-ops are about 70 percent, Mitchell-Lama 7 percent and townhouses 4 percent.

Are condos more expensive? Absolutely. On a price per sqft basis, condos are about 50 percent more expensive than co-ops. The appreciation rate of condominiums is also higher than that of co-ops.

Isn’t this a narrow niche? Yes. We focus on the 19 percent of property inventory that are condos. This makes us experts on the market. We know every condo building and within them, the good apartments currently on the market. Being a condo expert is our difference.

So you can’t help us with co-ops? We are not experts on co-ops and we believe clients are better served by an expert in the respective area.

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Wei Min Tan is a property broker focusing on Manhattan, New York luxury condominiums and foreign buyers. He is often interviewed by the media including CNN, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on the subject of foreign buyers of Manhattan property.