History of New York Real Estate


The historical background of New York real estate will amaze you!

The compelling beginnings of New York City’s real estate market begin in the early 17th century. In 1609, the first European settlement was established, but by 1626, the Dutch set their eyes on the island of Manhattan, formally known as New Amsterdam. After negotiations with the native Lenape tribe, the Dutch purchased the island using precious Venetian beads and buttons worth 60 guilders – an estimated $24 in today’s currency. 
Manhattan was largely unsuited for farming or living at the time, as the grounds comprised salty marshes and granite bedrock. However, this did not slow development over the next three centuries. By the 1900s, the city was experiencing a surge in population growth and housing demand. As the area moved from agriculture to white-collar careers, the need for office space prompted the creation of the iconic skyscrapers synonymous with the Big Apple lifestyle. 
The resiliency of New York City’s housing market is impressive, consistently bouncing back from significant events, including the Great Depression and 9/11. Likewise, the city’s land space limits how far buildings can be built out until they must go up, creating scarcity and enhancing property values.

Architectural styles in New York City 


Condominiums vs. cooperatives

New York City has two main types of residential properties: condominiums and cooperatives. Cooperatives are buildings owned by their residents. Each resident owns a building share, entitling them to a portion of its profits. Co-op owners can't rent out their apartments or sublet them. They must also keep up their apartments and abide by regulations set by the board of directors.
Condominiums are buildings owned by one entity — like a bank or real estate agency — and rented out to tenants who live in individual apartments that they own. Condos are more common today than co-ops because they're cheaper to finance than co-op shares and don't have many rules or regulations.

Pre-war cooperatives 

Pre-war cooperatives are multiunit buildings that were built before the Second World War. These properties are typically less expensive than newer condominiums and are characterized by original molding, wooden floors, high ceilings, and sometimes fireplaces. 

Post-war cooperatives 

Post-war multiunit structures were constructed after the Second World War between 1947 and 1990. They tend to have a more contemporary architectural design, but styles vary depending on the decade in which they were built. 

Art Deco

Art Deco architecture, recognizable in the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Plaza, emerged in the 1920s and was popular through the mid-1940s. The style was popularized by European architects inspired by ancient Egyptian and Mayan architecture. Art Deco design emphasizes clean lines and geometric shapes, often uses metal or chrome accents, and features bright colors.


Brownstone architecture is a quintessential part of New York City's history. The term "brownstone" refers to a style of building that was popular in the 19th century, and today, it's still a common sight around the city. Today, the term "brownstone" refers to a wide variety of buildings assembled using brownstone rock or its derivatives. 

Gothic Revival 

Gothic Revival architecture was a popular style in New York during the mid-1800s and was most commonly seen in religious buildings and academic institutions. The style was used to convey a sense of strength, power, and authority, which is why it was often used in churches and universities. The Gothic Revival style typically consists of pointed arches, flying buttresses, pointed windows with tracery, a nave and chancel (or sanctuary), and vaulted ceilings.
New York real estate is a fascinating topic. From the early days of the Dutch colony to the rise of the skyscraper in the Roaring Twenties to the current boom that has seen so many families relocate to New York City and its surrounding areas, there's no better place to invest in your future than this city.  Tom Muldoon is happy to provide information and answer your questions about homes for sale in New York City.

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