Strategy: Investing in a full-service, high demand building

Posted by Wei Min Tan on September 3, 2017

When the investment objective is rental income, a full service, high demand building is important. Full service means amenities such as building staff (concierge, doormen, porters), residents’ lounge, roof deck, fitness center. Tenants are attracted to amenities and rents are higher as well.

There are two ways to achieving this:

Water view apartment in full service building near World Trade Center

Value buy

A value buy means buying in a full service building that is underpriced relative to similar buildings in other neighborhoods. Quality is the same. Price is lower. This may be because of oversupply, neighborhood is not as developed etc.

There should be an upcoming anchor that would bring up property prices. Financial District is an example of a value buy neighborhood. Prices are lower because of oversupply during the 2009 recession and the neighborhood infrastructure is not as developed. It used to be that during weekends, the neighborhood became empty. This is no longer the case as new buildings were built and restaurants opened.

Within FiDi, the key then is to select the right building with the full service, high demand profile.

Blue chip buy

This means buying in a neighborhood that is already expensive and in high demand. For example, Tribeca and West Village. Neighborhood infrastructure (nice restaurants) are all there. In West Village, the trees make the neighborhood feel like a village and you forget you’re in Manhattan.

The buyer is paying a premium relative to Manhattan prices because the demand is already strong. There is no anxiety about when prices will appreciate to market. Prices may be 30 percent higher than with a value buy but rents are higher as well. Vacancy period would be lower.

Our role as a buyer’s broker is to recommend the 3 to 5 apartments that makes sense as an investment depending on strategy. This will be based on the (i) neighborhood, (ii) building and (iii) apartment line within the building. Knowing just the neighborhood or building is insufficient. For example, the strategy would not work if buying in a good neighborhood and building but an apartment line that has an inferior exposure.


Related Links:

Strategy: Investing in ultra luxury for above market appreciation

Strategy: Investing in new development projects

Foreign Buyer Guide to Manhattan property


Work With Wei Min


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.