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Mentioned in this Article:
Diane M. Ramirez

Diane M. Ramirez
Chief Operating Officer

Stephen G. Kliegerman

Stephen G. Kliegerman
President of Development Marketing

The New York Daily News

Lowering The Price

With tables turning, buyers now can look to bargain for a better deal


By LORE CROGHAN

DAILY NEWS BUSINESS WRITER

Advantage buyers.

It's something those purchasing homes haven't heard in a while, but in some neighborhoods in the city buyers are finding better deals - especially when they negotiate.

"Developers won't advertise it - but they will cut a deal with you," said Diane Ramirez, the president of brokerage Halstead Property. Get out there and haggle - whether you want an existing home or a new condo in one of the developments sprouting from Tribeca to Harlem to waterfront Brooklyn to Long Island City, Queens.

"After a five-year boom, buyers have been conditioned to not make lower offers," said Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

To be sure, there are some developments that won't budge from their asking prices - ultra-luxe projects with famous architects, for example.

But at many properties, you can buy for less than list price - and get the developers to pay transfer taxes and attorneys' fees. At some, you can also get reduced-rate mortgages that the builders have arranged.

Here are four locales where you stand a good chance of getting a good deal.

SOHO

Think you can't get into SoHo for less than $1,000 per square foot? Think again.

You can buy older lofts - in industrial buildings that were converted to co-ops in the 1970s and 1980s - for $800 to $900 per square foot. We're not talking about newer condos - which cost $1,200 to $1,400 per square foot in this nabe.

"These are funkier - they don't have Viking stoves," said Lea Governale of Halstead Property.

Even so, these co-op lofts were in hot demand last year. They drew multiple bids in their first week on the market, and sold for $1,100 per square foot or more, she said.

This year, they're sitting on the market for 90 days and longer.

WEST END AVE. & W. 59TH ST.

Three long blocks west of Columbus Circle developers are replacing garages and gritty industrial buildings with a cluster of glass skyscrapers.

The area around West End Ave. and W. 59th St. is uncharted territory for luxury condo sales. So, the prices are lower than they would be closer to Central Park - where apartments go for $1,700 per square foot.

At the Hudson at 225 W. 60th St. - which has been on the market longest and should be ready for occupancy at the end of next month - prices are $1,050 to $1,200 per square foot, said Stephen Kliegerman of Halstead Property.

At other projects where construction isn't as far along, they're around $1,250 per square foot.

And developers in this nascent nabe are willing to negotiate.

"The consumer can feel they are in an advantageous position - there's competition for the buyer," Kliegerman said.

SOUTH PARK SLOPE, BROOKLYN

In sought-after Park Slope, you're more likely to get a deal on the south side of the nabe, where the market has softened. Brokerage Aguayo & Huebener had a two-bedroom condo at 279 Prospect Ave. on the market for three months without an offer - even after dropping the price from $599,000 to $575,000.

Then Corcoran's Dannie King got the listing and dropped it again - to $540,000.

"Even at that price, it took me three weeks to find a buyer," she said.

In South Slope, if an apartment is "challenged" in any way, it takes four weeks to find a buyer, King said.

Last year, when the market was hot, these properties were snapped up in a week, or two weeks at most.

EAST WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

To find cheaper condos in trendy Williamsburg, head east.

In well-established North Williamsburg, condos are selling for $750 to $1,000 per square foot - just like a year ago.

But in less gentrified East Williamsburg, broker David Maundrell is charging $100 per square foot less for the apartments at 42 Scholes St. than he'd originally planned when he was hired a year ago to handle the project.

Sales will be starting soon.

The asking price will average $524 per square foot, said Maundrell, the president of aptsandlofts.com.

So, a big one-bedroom duplex will cost $549,000 and a smaller unit $475,000.

Last year, he sold apartments at another development in the neighborhood, the Union Lofts, for $650 per square foot. And there wasn't even a model apartment - he sold from floor plans.

But he won't start marketing 42 Scholes until construction is done.

Sunday, July 30, 2006