Is Harlem Real Estate a Good Investment?


Even amidst turmoil and uncertainty, Harlem real estate remains a good buy

New York's real estate market entered 2020 on a promising note. In 2017, increased tax burdens, among other concerns, slowed down the nearly decade-long recovery from the Great Recession. But that two-year slide began to wane, and the New York market, including Harlem, seemed to be back on track. Then COVID-19 happened.

Uncertainty Everywhere

Real estate markets everywhere are facing an uncertain future. But there's reason to remain optimistic in the face of the current pandemic, especially when considering future property investment in New York and more specifically, the Harlem market.As we noted with our predictions at the start of the year—months before COVID-19 took hold in the United States—Harlem real estate is well-positioned. Harlem's luxury submarket remains an attractive alternative for big-tech employees who can't afford the high asking prices of neighborhoods near where their companies will set up shop. In light of COVID-19, little has changed in the underlying foundation that makes Harlem attractive, especially for those who want Manhattan real estate without Manhattan prices.Admittedly, for sellers, now is not the best time to market anything of significance—new listings reflect that trepidation. However, for buyers shopping for bargains, properties that are being marketed now have motivated sellers behind them who offer excellent opportunities for a deal.

Reasons for Optimism

Although the pandemic has severely reduced transactions over the past five months, along with the prior two years of flat prices, the overall luxury real estate market has remained steady, including in Harlem. This bodes well for investors looking to strike a deal before year's end. Find the right property now and benefit from the uptick in value once the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us.In addition, mortgage rates remain historically low, at levels previously never seen before in many current buyers’ lifetimes. Many experts anticipate these rates will be the new normal for the foreseeable future.Of course, the current pandemic is an unprecedented event that knows no modern equivalent. It remains uncertain what recovery will actually look like when we finally break free from COVID's grip. Will it resemble a "V" with a quick rebound on the backend of the virus, or something slower and more methodical? If the past is any indication, recovery will come.

Looking Ahead to a Bright Future

While nobody can say for sure just yet, the good news is that real estate, as is its historical norm, often proves remarkably resilient even in the most challenging times. Should the pandemic linger into next year, New York and Harlem are positioned for a rapid rebound similar to what occurred after the Great Recession in 2008 and 9/11 seven years prior. The vast majority of city-wide investments, including prior commitments from big tech, are still moving ahead, undeterred. As it stood at the beginning of 2020, even as the year took a decidedly different turn than everyone expected, Harlem real estate remains an excellent investment.

Are you interested in buying or selling a home in Harlem? Or are you seeking more information on investment opportunities in the Harlem real estate market? Contact the Uptown Flats team at Compass today. It would be our pleasure to help you navigate the process.


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