Where should you buy a house in New York?

If New York City was a country, it would have the 10th largest economy in the world. There is such a diverse group of people, occupations, and living situations that there truly is something for everyone. More billionaires live in NY than anywhere else!

Buying a house in New York can be a huge change for many people, especially if you’re not used to city life or are relocating. It can be scary, but it can also be very exciting. Picking the right neighborhood can make or break your experience in NY, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for and do your research beforehand.

With plenty of NYC houses for sale, choosing the right one can be challenging. The five boroughs are all dramatically different, and even more so are the individual neighborhoods within. Here are a few options for those who want to buy a house in New York, whichever side of the coin you’re from, whether it’s in the middle of lush, beautiful skyscrapers in Central Park, or something more modest to get you on your feet.

Where is the best luxury housing in New York?

In New York City, the Upper West Side, as well as the Upper East Side, are a couple of the most sought-after places to live, and most coveted places to buy a house in New York. These two neighborhoods are among the most desirable and wealthiest areas of the city and are also home to some of NYC’s most iconic buildings.

Both are located in the borough of Manhattan. The median sale price between the two neighborhoods is around $1,300,000, but a townhouse is those neighborhoods can cost about $8 million.

What is it like to live in the Upper West Side?

Central Park borders the Upper West Side of Manhattan on the east and the Hudson River on the west. West 59th Street is on its south side, and West 110th Street lies to the north. It has long been the place where the most wealthy New Yorkers have resided, with the median housing price currently at $1.5M. Some of the most luxurious apartment buildings are found along Central Park West, many of which have housed popular celebrities.

There are numerous places for residents to get out and enjoy nature, with Central Park on the east side, along with Riverside Park near the Hudson River. Riverside Park is part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, a bicycle route and walkway that circles Manhattan’s waterfront. The park is a lengthy 4 miles, stretching from 72nd street to 158th street, and reaches right down into the water. It’s a beautiful, scenic area to relax, enjoy the outdoors and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The Upper West Side is a hub for diverse culture, intellect, art, and history. It’s home to the American Museum of Natural History, the Beacon Theater, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and much more. There are also countless restaurants, cafes, and diners. Some of the local favorites include City Diner at W. 90th street & Broadway, Cafe Luxembourg at 200 W 70th St, and Bar Boulud at 1900 Broadway, to name just a few. There is such a diverse assortment that you will certainly find something for everyone.

How about the Upper East Side?

Yet another of NYC’s most prestigious neighborhoods, the Upper East Side is surrounded by 96th Street on the north side, the East River to the east, 59th Street on the south side, and Fifth Avenue to the west. While pricing is roughly similar, it is slightly smaller than its sister in the west and has a few sub-neighborhoods, known as Lenox Hill, Yorkville, and Carnegie Hill.

Perhaps the most interesting of the sub-neighborhoods is Yorkville, which used to be known as Kleindeutschland, or “Little Germany.” Much of its past is no longer noticeable, but the history remains. There are still a few German restaurants, and markets around that have survived over the decades.

Many famous political names have lived in this section of NY, including the Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Trumps, as well as celebrities such as Woody Allen, Lady Gaga, and Mariah Carey. It has also been the setting for many movies, books, and TV shows.

The architecture is truly something to admire in this area, particularly on 62nd Street, which is filled with brownstone houses, grand stoops, and mansions. For history buffs, the Museum Mile along Fifth Avenue is a must-see. It includes institutions such as the Museum for African Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and many more.

What do houses look like in West Village?

West Village is located west of Greenwich Village, delimited by Greenwich Avenue all the way to the Hudson River. The neighborhood is famous for its Bohemian culture and atmosphere, and was home to historical new movements and ideas, especially political, artistic, and cultural.

Most houses, like the vast majority in Manhattan, are 19th-century townhouses, with typical brownstone, cast-iron stairs and fire escape. As of July 2022, the median sale price for a townhouse in West Village is $8,200,000*.

Where is the most affordable housing in New York?

If prestigious luxury housing is not your forte, you may be looking for something a little more on the down-low. While the overall median price of buying a house in NYC can seem high, there are a few areas where it’s exponentially more affordable. In addition, new developments in New York will eventually lead to more availability in high-interest areas.

If you still want to buy a house in New York, areas a little further away from the city can be explored, such as Brooklyn and Queens, or even Long Island, offering a lot more options such as townhouses and small houses and a little bit more space. It can be a little bit far away from the city, which, depending on your lifestyle, can be an advantage or an inconvenience. Owning a car, for example, might be easier if you get away a little bit from the city center.

*Data from UrbanDigs

How can BARNES work for you?

Unfortunately, due to the rising costs of construction labor and materials, a lot of companies simply can not afford to build anything less than expensive. This is great news for those looking for top-notch housing but can be a struggle for those trying to make ends meet.

There are also hundreds of older buildings in New York that, with a little TLC, could easily be rebuilt for either affordable housing options or turned into expensive townhomes. The bones of properties from the 60s and 70s, or even older, are still good, although they may feel out of date. However, they are well constructed, and with a little touching up, the possibilities are endless.

On the other side, the luxury housing trend continues to climb, increasing demand. For more information on the best places to find luxury housing, or to buy a house in New York, be sure to contact BARNES New York to talk to a professional.

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Where should you buy an apartment in Manhattan?

There are more than 50 neighborhoods to choose from when you want to buy an apartment in Manhattan. Each has its upside and downside, its little quirks, and its own unique vibe. But, no matter where you choose, you’re bound to find a vibrant, thriving community brimming with bustle and life.

Wondering what neighborhood might be best for you? Below is a list of some of the best neighborhoods to consider when you’re looking for an apartment for sale in Manhattan.



The Bowery was once a neighborhood for those who were termed at the time the “down and out.” The area was known for decades for its bars and flophouses. Since 1990, the area has been reviving and is now home to luxury high-rise condo buildings. Median price: $2 million*.


A primarily residential neighborhood, Chelsea was named after a neighborhood of the same name in London. Chelsea is a diverse neighborhood known as one of the city’s key art centers. The area’s homes consist of pre-war co-ops, historic townhomes, and luxury condo buildings. The High Line, an abandoned elevated railway that was transformed into a park, runs through this neighborhood. Median price: $1.4 million*.


First settled in the 1870s and housing the largest number of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, Chinatown is a vibrant neighborhood with restaurants serving fresh, authentic Chinese food. New loft-style apartments are being built on the edge of the area. Median price: $688,000*.

East Village

The success of this neighborhood’s art scene led to its popularity. East Village was home to artists and musicians in the 1950s and is filled with galleries, bars, and small museums. Median home price: $1.9 million*.

Financial District

Popular with those who work on Wall Street, Manhattan’s Financial District has a mix of walk-ups above stores, luxury high rises, and historic buildings. Most of New York City’s historical sites are located in this neighborhood. Median price: $800,000*.


Flatiron, named for the iconic Flatiron Building, is predominantly a commercial area. Housing consists of mostly newer luxury buildings with all the key amenities along with a few walk-ups. Median price: $947,000*.


Famous for its ivy-covered brownstones, Gramercy is an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Its most famous attraction, Gramercy Park, is open only to members. There is some new construction, consisting mostly of older walk-ups and doorman buildings. Median price: $985,000*.

Greenwich Village

Known as a home for artists and bohemians, Greenwich Village was the birthplace of the counterculture movement on the East Coast. This historic neighborhood contains walk-ups, brownstones, and high-rises on Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Median price: $2 million*.

Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards is Manhattan’s newest neighborhood, and also the largest private development in the US. It boasts 18 million square feet of commercial and residential spaces with more than 4,000 homes. Median price: $6.8 million*.

Little Italy

The streets of Little Italy are lined with Italian eateries with their traditional red and white checked tablecloths. Most of the housing in this neighborhood are walk-ups over stores and restaurants, along with co-op buildings. Median price: $1.6 million*.

Lower East Side

One of the oldest neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Lower East Side is known for its immigrant working class past. This affordable neighborhood is filled with mostly pre-war walk-ups and a few luxury high rises. Median price: $1.2 million*.


NoHo (North of Houston) was a manufacturing area in the late 1800s. New luxury high-rises are mixed with walk-ups on side streets. NoHo is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Manhattan. Median price: $3.8 million*.


Like many neighborhoods in Manhattan, this one was named for its location―North of Little Italy. This four-block neighborhood is home to high-end chain stores, charming boutiques, and vintage shops. Historically Italian, NoLIta is now a diverse, trendy area with well-kept, pre-war walk-ups. Median price: $2 million*.


NoMad (North of Madison Square Park) was named in 1996, but the area is much older. Europeans first occupied the area in 1686. Its housing stock includes historic brownstones, walk-ups, and new luxury high rises. Median price: $3.2 million*.


SoHo (South of Houston) is one of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods. Known for its cast-iron architecture, it’s home to artists and trendsetters. SoHo was once a powerful manufacturing center, and its former factories now house studios and art galleries. Living spaces are small and consist mainly of walk-ups and luxury co-ops. Median price: $5.4 million*.


TriBeCa stands for Triangle Below Canal Street and features large lofts in converted warehouses and luxury mid-rise condo buildings along its quiet cobblestone streets. The neighborhood is known for its architecture and beautiful outdoor spaces. Median price: $5.6 million*.

Two Bridges

Another historically immigrant neighborhood, Two Bridges is located between the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge. Until recently considered a part of the Lower East Side, its housing stock is a mix of tenement-style walk-ups and high-rise mixed-income and affordable rental housing. Median price: $2 million*.

Upper East Side

Among the most affluent neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Upper East Side is a cultural center with some of the most famous museums in the world—the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Area housing includes luxury high-rise condo buildings, townhomes, and brownstones. Median price: $1.6 million*.

Upper West Side

Known for the American Museum of Natural History and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Upper West Side is one of the greenest areas of Manhattan. It boasts both Central Park and Riverside Park. The current housing stock is made up of townhomes, co-op and condo buildings, and high-rise luxury buildings. Median price: $1.8 million*.

West Village

Once part of Greenwich Village, West Village was home to the American bohemian culture in the 20th century. Now a laid-back neighborhood with winding streets and cobblestone, it sometimes feels like a small European town. The streets are lined with historic brownstones in styles from Romanesque Revival to Greek Revival. Median price: $1.6 million*.

*Data from PropertyShark

The rise of Manhattan real estate

Real estate prices were near record highs in 2021, and it looks like that upward trajectory will continue. If you want to buy an apartment in Manhattan, now is the time. There is pent-up demand and only about five months of housing supply. The median sale price for a condo was $1.7 million in July 2022, up 4.4% higher than the same period in 2021.

If you’re looking for something a little less expensive, think about buying a co-op in Manhattan. Co-ops tend to be less costly and typically offer more space than condos, but the purchase process is a little more complicated. So take a look at both options and decide which is right for you and your situation, and contact BARNES New York when you feel ready to buy an apartment in Manhattan.

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