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Supply of Condos in Long Island City Reaches an All-Time High: Report

The Long Island City skyline (Photo: Queens Post)

Aug. 13, 2019 By Christian Murray

The supply of condos in Long Island City has reached a record high and it could take years before the market absorbs them all, according to a new study released by a local real estate consultant.

More than 1,100 new-development condos are currently for sale in Long Island City and hundreds more will become available over the next year, according to the study. The number is particularly large considering that approximately 2,500 condos were built in Long Island City between 2006 and 2018.

The booming supply means there are a lot of buildings for buyers to choose from. Most of the units in these buildings are currently in construction.

“This is a great opportunity for buyers because there is a wide selection of floor plans, price points and locations available,” said Patrick W. Smith, a real estate consultant and broker who has tracked the Long Island City condo market since its inception and conducted the study.

Smith’s report defines Long Island City as 41st Avenue to the north, Borden Avenue to the south, the East River to the west and Skillman Avenue to the east.

Smith’s report revealed that there were 538 unsold condo units in 23 newly-developed buildings as of July 31, 2019– excluding the massive Skyline Tower at 23-15 44th Drive that has recently hit the market.

That building, the tallest in Queens at 67 stories, contains 802 units, with about 600 still to be sold. The building currently accounts for about half the available supply in the area.

Additionally, there are eight developments in the pipeline that will contain about 315 condo units, according to Smith. These units are likely to hit the market from now through the end of 2020.

The amount of time it will take for buyers to absorb the supply is not easy to gauge.

Historically new condos have sold at a pace of about 20 units per month, according to Smith’s analysis based on city and public records.

In 2018, 283 condos sold in Long Island City, with 191 of these being new development, according to Smith’s findings based on transactions recorded with the city. The number of new development sales equated to 16 per month, while the resale market came in at eight per month.

However, these numbers appear to have picked up. Smith’s analysis—excluding Skyline Tower—indicates that 26 contracts have been signed on average each month for new condos since Feb. 14, the date Amazon announced its withdrawal.

However, that number is less precise than transactions recorded with the city, he said, since it is based on when developers decide to report a contract signing. Developers are able to report contract sales at a time of their choosing or not at all, he said.

The Skyline Tower, which has striking views and an extensive amenity package, has seen 200 units of its 802 units sell since it got the go-ahead from the state attorney general’s office to start selling units after Oct. 12. That would equate to a little over 21 sales per month.

Modern Spaces, which has been exclusively handling marketing and sales for the Skyline Tower, however, said Thursday that the 200 sales ($223 million worth of inventory) were made since its soft launch in May—equating to an absorption rate of about 80 units a month.

The company also noted that when it opened its official sales gallery on July 11, nine sales were made on the spot. The day-of sales ranged from $640,000 to $2.4 million.

Smith, who does not represent Skyline Tower, believes the building will continue to sell because of its unprecedented height, views, amenities, location and value as compared to similar properties in Manhattan.

Quality condos will continue to perform well, Smith said. He noted that prices are remaining firm throughout the area despite the growing supply.

Developers are not feeling price pressure since most of the new buildings that are on offer are still under construction and not ready for occupancy, he said.

Smith said that condos priced below $1.2 million have historically been in demand. He anticipates that this will continue and that the pressure is likely to come on units listed at higher price points.

No matter, Smith says the main drivers for the Long Island City condo market remain intact. Area condos, for instance, continue to sell at a discount compared to Manhattan.

Furthermore, he noted, the area has an excellent transportation network, a commercial sector that continues to grow, waterfront parks and safety.

Note: The chart above excludes 802 units at Skyline Tower, 23-15 44th Drive. The number of condo units shown for 2019 and 2020 are based on units that have received or that are anticipated to receive their temporary certificate of occupancy in 2019 or in 2020. Source: Patrick W. Smith | The Smith Report

To access the full report, click here

email the author: [email protected]

35 Comments

Gerald

Too bad the only people that can afford them are out of towners who earn over $100,000 per year. Meanwhile, the city workers that fit in middle class are forced to live further and further away. This city is going down the garbage chute!

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Sara Ross

I think the picture accompanying this article is horrible! The buildings are ugly (they don’t make good architects the way they used to) and the famous NY skyline is slowly disappearing! Anybody that moves into these tall buildings will probably only have views of apartments in the other buildings.

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RA

Its almost as if….they are building 5 apartments for every actual buyer who actually has the intent and resources to buy….hmm….when has this happenned before? ( cough cough 2008)

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Tim_bopbop

With the weakness seen in mainland China, turmoil in Hong Kong, and recent inversion in the 2/10 yield curve, GOOD LUCK selling at these price points. Many of the sales that have occurred in LIC have been to foreign buyers. Not happening any longer. I suspect we will see a material drop of 15-30% on list prices.

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Matthew

Amazon never committed to hiring locally, so those jobs would just have brought in more people from outside Queens – working people in Queens are breathing a sigh of relief that their cost of living didn’t skyrocket, pricing them out of the area (even further). You want us to trust a mega-corporation to have our best interests at heart over our elected local officials? Foolish doesn’t even begin to describe it. Look into what the residents of Seattle feel about Amazon and how its ‘improved’ their conditions. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/19/amazon-headquarters-seattle-215725

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geo

Then again, working people who actually INVESTED IN THE CITY, saw their home values plunge when Amazon was frightened away. But those people don’t count. Nor do people who think a “poor people only” borough is going to do anything for the poor because the the poor do not pay taxes that provide money for decent housing for the poor, do they?
Actually, the “keep our rents low” movement was ginned up by Manhattan developers to make sure development stays in Manhattan.

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MRLIC

What you say is wrong and terrible. You demonize the POOR as a Stuck up ELITIST. LIC has the largest Building Boom in the country. LIC is also a top 5 highest rent area in the USA also. Poor people pay taxes, the Greedy Developers can keep their apartments and commercial spaces empty because of the Tax Breaks they receive from DumBlasio and Governor Corruption Cuomo. PS I don’t know haw many middle class and poor are left after Gentrification in LIC. LIC is a OVERBUILT and UNDERPLANNED JOKE.

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Tell us more about how you hate elites, Trump lover

> as a Stuck up ELITIST

You voted for the billionaire that lives in a golden tower, right? What a hypocrite.

> the Greedy Developers can keep their apartments

Like the president you voted for? You have no integrity at all.

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Mt O'Really

The problem is that Amazon is buying office space in Manhattan instead of Queens without having to line the pockets of JVB, AOC and Gianaris. Those workers will be coming to live in LIC raising the cost of living without the benefit of the promised schools and job training. The subsidies Amazon was getting is available to any company willing to move to the outer boroughs. Wonder if the NY Times received a subsidy with the recent move to LIC. ?

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c

Considering that the middle class makes nowhere near enough to afford the lower end of 1.2 million, much less even $500K for a condo it makes absolute sense that there are massive amounts of condos available for sale.

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ASensibleMan

“Modern Spaces… for the Skyline Tower, however, said Thursday that the 200 sales ($223 million worth of inventory) were made since its soft launch in May”

I find it astonishing that people will buy condos they have never seen in a building that isn’t finished yet. How many of the purchases are from outside the U.S.? Is Skyline Tower going to be like the Manhattan super-talls? A sold out building with nearly all foreign buyers, few of whom actually live there more than a few weeks a year? Let’s just call it Ghost Town Tower now and be done with it.

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mytwopfennigs

Any apartments in a building like this that are not lived in by the owners will be rented out.

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Please wake up

The surplus would have dwindled fast if Amazon had moved in but instead were ran out of Queens by Ocasio Cortez and her two sidekick fools. Incidentally Amazon is looking at 400,000 SQF of office space in Manhattan. Every working person in Queens should be outraged at how we were cheated out of good paying jobs for ourselves and our Children. But according to the 3 fools we Queens working class would never have got a Job at Amazon anyhow as are too stupid. People please wake up and stop thinking Cortes and the other fools (van bramer & gianiris) and will ever work for you in the interest of improving your lives.
https://nypost.com/2019/08/13/460-w-34th-is-looking-prime-for-amazon-sources/

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Jacob

Why would you want Amazon to move to nyc? If you’re a homeowner great your house gets more valuable but for everyone else it makes it an even harder goal. Amazon moving to NY would be good for Amazon, no one else.

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Please wake up

You are correct. I do own a home and hope its value would increase. Only a fool would want otherwise. I managed to save and buy a home on a blue collar salary and it was just as hard 25 years ago as it is today. Little piece of advice, ease up on spending out all the time

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DazedandConfused

If Amazon came, then we would have condos starting at more than 1.2mil, which would mean that the average resident of Queens County could not even afford a studio apt. Respectfully, there may be other reasons to be upset about the Amazon issue, but I do not see how this is one of them.

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DB

If the job is in Manhattan then how does that prevent us from working there? If you live near LIC you can get to Manhattan pretty easily….

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Where are the jobs?

It’s interesting that the 3 butt heads who were against Amazon bringing 25,000 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs to the area, never talk about the actual jobs they helped create. It’s because they can’t. They have not be instrumental in creating one job. Ocasio-Cortez is too busy being a media celebrity and little Jimmy VB is desperately trying to figure out a way he can run for Borough President. At least the fourth member of the butt head brigade, Caban, lost.

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Jav

Lmao, do you even live in Queens ?? If you did you would know the traffic around sunnyside/long island city is crazy during the day. Not only that the 7 train is already packed enough, amazon would have not helped fixing our subway since they wanted to pay zero in taxes. A 2 bedroom apartment already goes for $2700 in sunny side, thats crazy expensive already! Imagine what that price would be if amazon moved in… You sound like an amazon shill or just someone who doesn’t live in the area and hates #AOC cuz shes a “female bartender” . Funny thing is most conservatives would love a young white male who “pulled himself up by the boot straps and realized the American dream by working hard and becoming a congressman from being a bartender” sooo much more. Since she’s latino and female all you conservatives hate her. The HYPOCRISY is real… I guess only some people can live/have the American dream …

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Please Think for yourself

The fact that our politicians didn’t think Queens residents could have those jobs is beyond insulting. Why didn’t anyone question that? And what do we have now? They could’ve negotiated better to help our community and those that don’t realize that are probably the Team Hardcore Left, who are just as shortsighted as the Team Hardcore Right, and prefer to just pick a team rather than think independently. Open your eyes Queens. A deal could’ve been made but they were bullied out of town.

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Dave

Think for yourself- I agree with most of what you said except find it hard to believe Amazon was “bullied out of town.”

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It’s true

Why would you make a deal with people that organized groups to talk smack about your company? By and large, whether it is a good fit, tremendous opportunity was offered and waisted. They didn’t have to come there and when the hardcore press was put on, it’s disrespectful. It would’ve never ended. These politicians aren’t business people and they really don’t give a damn about the area. They play everyone in the neighborhood and blew the biggest opportunity we had in a lifetime. They’re complete shortsighted fools and the only way to realize it is to open your eyes to a different perspective and realize right now they aren’t doing anything to bring opportunity to the neighborhood.

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ABC

Show us the poor developers who can’t find work and would have gotten good jobs at Amazon. Doesn’t exist.

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Anon

Ok so Amazon is expanding in Manhattan (WITHOUT tax breaks) and people act like LIC residents can’t go into Manhattan for the Amazon jobs. Ridiculous.

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