Luxury, multi-million dollar condos have long been considered the epitome of luxury living in NYC – as seen in hit shows like Million Dollar Listing New York and Real Housewives of New York City – where buyers, mainly consisting of people who are at the height of their careers, can settle down and invest in a permanent piece of New York real estate. But what if you’re a millennial, who is rising in his or her career, looking for the full luxury living experience without the ties of a monthly mortgage, HOA fees, and other maintenance fees beyond the initial sale price of a luxury condo? Is there another option for luxury living that appeals more to the “millennial mindset” and love for amenities, community, flexibility and convenience? The answer is “yes” and it’s through the rising concept of “luxury rentals.” To better understand this “millennial mindset,” we must first look to the effects of the 2007-2009 recession and housing crisis. Millennials were greatly affected as they entered a limited job market and formed more conservative spending habits on things such as real estate. Today, although we are recovering from the recession and the U.S. job market continues to show signs of gradual strengthening, this mindset lives on. According to a CNBC.com article, homeownership rates amongst 25-34-year-olds are at 39 percent, meaning that over 60 percent of millennials choose to continue renting. Additionally, because of their interests referenced above, rentals are more appealing. Millennials are drawn to free amenities that would come at a greater cost for homeowners; the community and shared spaces in apartment buildings; the flexibility of leaving their living situation for any reason (i.e., changes in career paths or relationships); and the convenience of having a landlord or management group to alleviate the stress of home maintenance. For millennials who can afford to live a luxury lifestyle, there is also an ample supply of luxury rentals. According to Douglas Elliman’s October 2016 Rental Market Report, there’s an oversupply of luxury rentals in Manhattan, and developers and landlords are normalizing the market by offering more concessions than ever before. Perks – such as a free month’s rent and/or payment of the broker fee, along with extravagant amenities – are being offered to entice new tenants looking for the ultimate luxury experience. In Manhattan, rental buildings like Sky, developed by the Moinian Group and the largest rental building in the country with 1,175 apartments, feature luxury residences from studios to two bedrooms. Vast services and amenities include an exclusive 70,000-square-foot membership club with a multi-level athletic club, water club and spa, lap pool, NBA regulation-size basketball court, two zero-edge outdoor pools, café, kids’ club, Skydeck, and a Thomas Baisley-designed Skypark. Additionally, tenants at Sky have access to an in-house lifestyle and technology concierge, pet spa, and bike valet. Neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn are also experiencing a rise in luxury rentals. Most recently, there’s been a rental boom in Flatbush around Barclays Center, with 19 residential towers either under construction or recently completed. To appeal to tenants, luxury rentals such as The Ashland – The Gotham Organization’s 32-story tower near the Brooklyn Academy of Music – are offering one to two months “free rent,” with luxury amenities including complimentary bike storage, waived pet fees, gyms with yoga and movement studios, children’s playroom, and barbeque areas with a chef’s demonstration kitchen. Additionally, at The Ashland, tenants can enjoy special access, discount and home delivery privileges at Gotham Market, which is conveniently located at the base of the building and features eight dining and drinking venues, and a rotating pop-up space. Luxury rentals like Sky and The Ashland are on the rise, providing millennials with a taste of the ultimate living experience – all the extravagant amenities and perks without the commitment and ties of owning a luxury condo. And as we head into 2017 and more quality rental developments hit the market in other neighborhoods such as Long Island City, Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn, millennials will face an even wider selection to choose from that is sure to fit their mindset for flexible and convenient luxury living.
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