Mon. Feb 26th, 2024
Upper West Side Condos
It’s common knowledge that New York City’s living cost can vary quite a bit. Some
neighborhoods are more upscale, while others offer more affordable options. If you’re thinking
about moving to NYC, you’re probably curious about these differences.
To start, NYC is made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and
Staten Island. Among these, Manhattan stands out as the most well-known. That’s why many
want to learn more about the neighborhoods in this widely loved borough. The Upper East Side
and Upper West Side (and their beautiful condos) are two neighborhoods that come up
frequently in discussions. So, most people are interested in comparing the living costs between
these two.

The East And The West

What sets the Upper East Side apart from the Upper West Side in terms of living costs?
If you were to ask New York residents which one they prefer, you’d likely get differing opinions.
Moreover, most people have their favorite neighborhoods, making it a tough choice.
Nevertheless, both areas offer a great quality of life and are worth exploring. If you have the
opportunity, consider visiting both neighborhoods before making your move. Besides, get a feel
for the overall vibe and see which aligns better with your lifestyle.
Beyond personal preferences, some aspects can be quantified, like living costs. So, look closely
at both and compare their living expenses to make an informed decision. In any case, moving to
Manhattan promises an unforgettable experience. Both neighborhoods rank among the city’s
most prosperous, and the title of being pricier tends to shift. Presently, median property values –
of the condos for sale or apartments for rent – on the Upper West Side slightly edge out those on
the Upper East Side. The median home price on the West stands at $1,174,918, while on the
East, it’s $1,096,509.

It Wasn’t Always Like This!

The Upper East Side has historically enjoyed a slightly more prestigious and affluent reputation.
According to the best real estate agents in NYC, the West Side tends to attract professionals
working in Midtown or other business districts. Why? Because they value convenient
transportation. On the other hand, the East Side tends to appeal more to older residents and
foreign dignitaries, who may not rely on public transit as much in their daily lives.
While you’ll encounter both groups in either neighborhood, the Upper East Side leans towards
those with established wealth. Moreover, the West Side tends to attract the newly prosperous.
The current higher prices on the West Side may be attributed to the pandemic. East Side
residents often choose to live in New York for its cultural vibrancy. And, as already mentioned,
the West Side tends to house more working professionals. Additionally, the former group was
likelier to sell their homes early in the pandemic and move to the suburbs or back to their home
countries. In contrast, West Side residents were more inclined to wait it out. Consequently, the
East Side experienced a more significant impact than the West Side, reversing historical trends.
These two neighborhoods have a long-standing rivalry, and the title of being pricier will likely
continue to shift over time. For now, those searching for property on the East Side might find it
at a more favorable price.

Factors That Affect Manhattan Real Estate Prices

From lively neighborhoods to urban development, all of these contribute to the value of real
estate across the city. According to the best real estate agents in NYC, the following things might
play a role.

Proximity to Amenities and Transportation

The age-old saying “location, location, location” holds especially true in Manhattan. How close a
property is to essential amenities and efficient transportation networks can significantly impact
its value. Further, this is why the Upper West Side consistently commands higher prices because
of the convenience it offers residents along with:
Cultural institutions
Restaurants
Shopping districts
Access to subway lines can similarly increase the appeal of an area.

Views and Natural Light Works Wonders on Property Value

The presence of stunning views of iconic landmarks, rivers, or lush parks undeniably influences
property values. Apartments that offer panoramic views of Central Park or scenic Hudson River
sights illustrate how capturing a piece of Manhattan’s natural beauty can significantly boost a
residence’s appeal—and its price tag. You’ll often find plenty of natural light in neighborhoods
like SoHo, known for their loft-style spaces.

Neighborhood Appeal and Safety

Manhattan’s neighborhoods span a broad range of appeal and safety. Further, there are Upper
West Side condos in areas that offer charm and protection. However, some areas provide unique
cultures and communities. Then you have the juxtaposition of active business districts within a
residential enclave, bustling on weekdays and quieter on weekends.
Moreover, these variations in pizzazz and security play a pivotal role in influencing real estate
prices.

Economic Growth and Local Infrastructure Projects

Manhattan’s transformation is closely tied to its ongoing economic growth and infrastructure
initiatives. Take Hudson Yards, for instance, a transformative development breathing new life
into the Far West Side with a mix of residential, commercial, and cultural spaces.
Similarly, areas like the Lower East Side and the Garment District have experienced rejuvenation
thanks to local projects. Recognizing the potential for growth and investment in developing
neighborhoods can guide strategic real estate choices.

High Closing Costs

In New York City, when you’re purchasing a property over $1 million, you’ll encounter a
mansion tax that the buyer is responsible for. This tax follows a tiered structure, starting at 1%
for homes priced between $1 million and $1,999,999 and increasing to 3.9% for purchases
exceeding $25 million.
Normally, the seller covers the New York City and state transfer taxes for purchases. However, if
you’re buying a newly constructed home directly from the developer, often referred to as the
sponsor, be prepared to handle substantial transfer taxes. Additionally, this includes covering the
developer’s expenses, attorney fees, as well as city and state transfer taxes.
Keep in mind that some of these costs may be open to negotiation, depending on the prevailing
market conditions. Also, developers who are keen to sell properties in newly constructed
buildings might be willing to negotiate on these expenses. On the positive side, by bearing these
significant transfer taxes, you become the first owner of a brand-new condo on the Upper West
Side. After all, modern new developments in New York City offer an array of cutting-edge
amenities.

Final Thoughts

No matter which neighborhood you pick, you won’t be let down. While affordable housing
options are essential, your living experience matters just as much. It’s crucial to find a place that
truly resonates with you, and sometimes, you might discover unexpected delights.
If you’re still grappling with the choice between the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side,
don’t worry – they’re both fantastic options situated close to each other. Once you’ve compared
the living costs of both, your decision will become clearer. Moreover, Manhattan is the most
popular borough in NYC for a reason. You just can’t go wrong here!
Just don’t forget to get a professional real estate agent to help you; NYC has some of the best
ones, anyway.