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A blog for breaking sales and neighborhood real estate news.

It used to be the dream of aspiring investors to buy a 2-4 family. They would live in one of the units and rent the remaining units to cover the expenses and live rent free.

In Manhattan, that window of opportunity has shut as the highest and best use for a multi-family townhouse is to convert it back to a single family. We surveyed the 2-4 families which have sold this year in one of the strongest townhouse markets – Greenwich Village. We found that at least six of these sales will be converted back to single families.

It’s easy to see why. In 2011, Greenwich Village 2-4 families sold for between $1,059/SF and $2,008/SF with an average of $1,389/SF; whereas several finished single families traded at above $3,000 per square foot. There’s still a great case to be made for speculators to convert these multifamily townhouses back to their original configurations. The challenge is that the investor must come in heavy with equity, as financing for this type of product is remote.

However, the competition for investors is steep. Users have caught on to this disconnect in pricing and are actively buying these properties to convert for themselves...

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Neighborhoods: Chelsea