|March 29, 2011||Posted by Sandie under Real Estate|
New York City’s Upper East Side, especially along Central Park, boasts the most expensive real estate in the city. According to the 2010 census, this area had the highest percentage of vacant housing units in the city this past year.
Over the last 10 years, vacancies have increased in the area by 26 percent. The increase in vacancies has occurred despite a 3.8 percent decrease in the number of housing units during the same time period, and has caused people to question whether the census data is in fact flawed.
There are relevant questions that must be taken into account that may have affected the census data. Is it possible that people were at their Hampton homes during the time of the survey? Or has the financial crisis forced people to move out of the area and into cheaper zip codes?
According to Jonathan Miller, a well-known real estate appraiser from Miller Samuel Inc., “In some strange way, the high vacancy rate suggests more affluence.” Miller says that despite the reported increase in vacancies, “It doesn’t mean these houses are empty.”
For the purposes of the census, a vacant housing unit is characterized as such “if no one is living in it at the time [of the count] unless its occupants are only temporarily absent.” The census website also notes, “Units temporarily occupied at the time of enumeration entirely by people who have a usual residence elsewhere are also classified as vacant.”
Questions still remain about the accuracy of the census data and what the results of the survey mean for the future of the real estate market in New York’s more affluent neighborhoods.
“The big question is what about the vacancies,” said Andrew Beveridge, professor of sociology and demographic expert at Queens College. “New York was growing, but after Lehman [brothers collapsed] it just stopped,” said Beveridge. “I think the census might have counted properly.”
Read more at DNAInfo.