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Title: Diminishing Middle Class in NYC

Total Pages: 17 Words: 4873 Bibliography: 13 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: Paper is on the diminishing middle class in NYC and how home prices and income inequality are major factors. This is a real estate economics class. At the end you need to draw conclusions and state future predictions and how developers can capitalize on this. I have written the majority of the paper that i will attach. I will also attach an outline and upload example papers and the teachers instructions. I also have charts and graphs that I will upload to be used. I will provide a source list but feel free to add sources.

New York City has established itself in people?s minds as the greatest city in the world. People of all types of races, social classes, etc. come to New York to visit and live. New York was hit hard by the financial crisis but weathered the storm much better than most places around the US and has started to make a very strong recovery. The recession has made the gap between the upper class and middle class grow even more. I think that in NYC this is very prevalent due to the city attracting the rich and famous as well as the middle class that come here to start and pursue careers. The rising real estate prices are another factor leading to the segregation of classes in different submarkets around New York.
I will look at the New York City market as a whole. At the same time I will break down two submarkets (Upper West Side, Upper East Side) in which I will explore the complexity of these markets and whether they have homogeneity of incomes or an admixture of incomes.
I will also research the sales and rental markets in these areas to see how the pricing of real estate is playing such a major roll in driving the class gap. Also, I will take a look at the new developments in these areas and how they will affect the market in the future.
Another factor that is having a huge impact on the class division in these areas is the rising amount of foreign investors. They are pouring a slew of money into the New York real estate market as safe investment opportunities. But what this is doing is raising the price of homes because they are willing to pay huge premiums to acquire these trophy properties.
With the New York Real Estate Industry and the national economy on the recovery track I only see the divide of the upper class and middle class growing even more, making NYC an impossible place to live for the middle class. Once I have explored all of these challenges and facts, I will discuss how a development firm could take advantage of the situation that is occurring in the New York.


I. Introduction

II. Over View of New York Rental and Sales Market

III. Overview of Submarkets Rental and Sales
a. Upper East side
b. Upper West Side

IV. Overview of Foreign Investment

V. Incomes
a. NYC as a whole
b. Break down in areas if possible

VI. Development
a. State some on going developments in the area
b. How they will affect these areas in the future

VII. Economic Profile of Areas
a. Predict their direction
b. Homogeneity or admixture

VIII. Opportunities
a. Competitors- List a Few there are obv a ton
b. Benefits
c. Drivers

IX. Conclusion

X. Graphs, Charts and Data

Source List:
2012 Manhattan October Rental Report
3Q Manhattan Sales Report
Manhattan Decade Report

New York City has established itself as one of the greatest cities in the world. People of all types of races, social classes, etc. come to New York to visit and live. During the recession that started in 2008 New York was hit hard, but weathered the storm much better than most places around the US and has started to make a strong recovery. One reason New York has been able to fair so well is the very strong and stable New York real estate market. A major topic of discussion in the United States that has been very relevant in this years? election is how the middle class has been diminishing. The gap between the lower/middle class and the upper class has been increasing especially since the financial collapse in 2008. The recession has steadily been widening this gap and it has become very prevalent around the nation but very much so in New York City. In New York City this is so prevalent due to the high concentration of the Upper class mixed with the huge middle class work force that is present. One of the main reasons the class gap has been widening in New York City is the high prices? of real estate. The extremely high prices of real estate in Manhattan make it very difficult for the middle class to live within the city. The high concentration of the upper class in New York City makes real estate a very valuable commodity and the demand for these properties is what keeps the prices so high. New York City is also considered a global city and attracts wealth from all over the world. Very wealthy foreigners have recently been buying and investing in New York City real estate more than ever due to the instability of global economies. This high demand from foreigners along with the demand from the concentration of the upper class makes the New York real estate market very stable, but also very expensive. Another reason that the class divide in New York City is so noticeable is the income inequality that exists. These high prices make the class gap very noticeable and especially in many of the districts through out New York City. Two districts that I will focus on in this paper will be the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side specifically because in my real estate experience I have found that these areas have a very high concentration of families and are very dense with residential buildings. I will explore whether or not there is homogeneity or an admixture of incomes in these areas.
In New York City the sales market is broken down into three home types, you have Condos, Co-ops and townhouses. When someone buys a condo they are buying the actual apartment itself, currently this is the most prominent way developers set up new buildings. On the other hand when you live in a co-op or purchase an apartment in a co-op you are buying shares in the building that come with the right to live your unit. Lastly you have townhomes, which are essential small buildings that you own as single-family homes. Pricing is varies from each category, but condos and co-ops tend to be closer in the pricing range. According to Miller Samuel 43% of the real estate sales market cost $1,000,000 and up (Miller Samuel Graph). The average price of an apartment in New York City in 2012 was $1,444,463 and the median price of an apartment in New York City was $890,000 according to Douglas Ellimans 2012 3Q sales report. These are by no means an affordable home price for a middle class individual and are way above the median price per home in the United States, which according to the US Census Bureau is $188,400. The Average sales price for a condo in New York City in the 3Q of 2012 was $1,766,485 and consisted of approximately 41.5% of all sales transactions in New York City in the 3Q of 2012. On the other hand the average sales price for Co-ops in the 3Q of 2012 was $1,216,364 and consisted of 58.5% of all apartment sales transactions. In 2011 there were 240 townhouse sales transactions, in which the average price was $4,959,565. There was a 116.3% increase from the 2002 prices, but the amount of transactions has decreased by 24.5%, in part due to the high prices. The average sales price per apartment in New York City has increased by 79.5% from $795,079 in 2002 to $1,457,255 in 2011.
The median sales price increased 88.9% from $450,000 in 2002 to $850,000 in 2011. The luxury market consisted of about 14% of all sales made in the 3Q of 2012 at an average price of $5,364,358 according Douglas Elliman. According to Stribling & Associates there are only 6,000 listings, which is the lowest inventory has been since the mid 2000?s. These figures solidify the fast pace of New York City rising home prices over the past decade and with the lack of inventory they and consumer confidence returning I believe the prices will increase even more. Another indicator of the strength of the New York City real estate market is that even after the collapse in 2008 prices are still extremely high.
On the other hand New York City rental prices have been increasing steadily since the recession started, for one because it has been so hard for people to get mortgages on their homes. Another reason rental prices have been increasing is the lack of new units coming to market. The recession basically brought construction in New York City to a halt. The mix of high demand for rental housing and low inventory has driven prices up and has also caused renters to get into biding wars and essential pay way above the asking price for their homes. The average price per rental unit has risen 4.7% in the last year from $3,658 to $3,856 and the median price per rental unit has risen 1.6% from $3,150 to $3,200. According to these figures people are spending on average $46,272 a year just on rent, that is not including utilities, which if you fall into the middle class income bracket is a huge part of your yearly income. (all from elliman rental report) According to analysts at Miller Samuels, rental prices will keep rising due to the lack of inventory and difficulty getting mortgages to buy homes. Another major driver that affects rental prices is the vacancy rate and as of October 2012 the average New York City rental vacancy rate was 1.33%. (Citi habits)
Two of the densest residential districts in New York City are the Upper East and West sides, which consist mostly of families. The Upper East Sides bounds are from 5th avenue to the east river and 59th street to 96th street. This area is hugely encompassed with residential buildings and has long been known as a great area in New York City to raise a family. The average sale price for a condo has increased 82.9% from $1,005,556 to $1,838,923 in 2011. The average sales price for a co-op from 2002-2011 has increased 83.2% from $891,895 to $1,633,556. The townhouse average sales price on the East Side in 2011 was $10,062,663, which was a 108% increase from the 2002 $4,838,306 average price (These statistics stretch further than parameters listed). These increases are huge and show just how expensive it has become to buy an apartment in one of the more desirable and what used to be a more affordable districts in New York City. The number of sales transactions has decreased 2.4% on the Upper East Side over the past decade, which I believe is largely due to the fact that after the crisis in 2008 it has become extremely difficult to obtain a mortgage and at the same time real estate prices are still very high. Within the Upper East Side district there are certain areas where the prices of homes are far above the average sale price per apartment. These facts support the theory that New York City is becoming unaffordable to the middle class.
The average rental price on the Upper East Side as of October 2012 is approximately $3,433 according to Citi habitats rental report. As of October 2012 the average rents for studios have stayed the same, one bedroom rents have increased by $370 a month, two bedroom rents have increased by $719 and three bedrooms rents have decreased by $152 since October 2008. I believe there is a decrease in the three-bedroom market because renters are opting to stay in their apartments longer so they do not have to move and pay higher rents, which in turn would cause landlords to drop prices to incentives people to move. The average vacancy rate on the Upper East Side as of October 2012 was 1.29%, which is extremely low and goes to show that inventory is low, which leads to price increases.
The Upper West Side is another major residential district in Manhattan. The boundaries of the Upper West Side are from Central Park West to the Hudson River and West 57th Street to West 116th Street. The Upper West Side over the past decade has become home to some of the most premier residential buildings in New York City and the World. Buildings like 15 Central Park West have shattered sales records previously set in the past in New York City. The average sales price for co-ops has increased 52.5% from $810,835 to $1,236,157 in the past decade and the median sales price has increased 65.2% from $460,000 to $760,000. On the other hand the condo market has had a 109.7% price jump in the past decade from $1,048,343 to $2,198,004. The median sales price for condos on the Upper West Side has increased by 79.3% over the past decade from $700,000 to $1,255,000. But from 2010 to 2011 the number of sales transactions decreased by 15.2%. The reason for the large price difference between the condos and co-ops is due to the fact that there was a lot of new ultra luxury development on the Upper West Side before 2008 and even after. Most of these new buildings are planned to be condos by their developers. Townhouse prices have also increased by 77.7% from $3,002,429 in 2002 to $5,336,380 in 2011 (These statistics stretch further than parameters listed). The number of sales has decreased by 10.7% from 2002 to 2011. The decrease in the number of sales in both the apartment and townhouse sales market is due to the tightening on lending as well as the huge price increases over the past decade.
The rental market on the Upper West Side has a vacancy rate of 1.57%, which is very low. The rental rates form 2008-2011 have decreased for studios by $60, one bedrooms have increased by $31, two bedrooms have decreased by $131 and three bedrooms have increased by $427. (city habitats) The rental prices have fluctuated some on the Upper West Side and the large increase in the three bedroom price is an indicator that there is a high demand for them from families, which I can draw them conclusion that this is because it is so expensive and hard to purchase a home. Also, the low vacancy rates and low inventory lead me to believe that prices will continue to go up in the coming years.
Another major factor that is fueling the increasing class gap in NYC is the huge amount of foreign investment in the New York City luxury and high-end residential real estate market. According to Stribling & Associates foreign buyers account for 15% of all sales in New York and 1/3 of all condo sales in New York. What sparked this trend was the 2008 financial crisis. The US dollar was weakened and foreign currencies became stronger, which made it cheaper for foreigners to purchase property in the US. Global financial markets became extremely volatile and foreigners were looking for a safe haven for their money, which was buying luxury homes in the US. New York City has seen an increase in buyers from Canada, Asia, South America, Russia and Europe. The top 1% of the New York City Ultra-Luxury market is defined as a $10+ million property, but the luxury market rests in the $2-10 million dollar range. This market has become supply driven because there aren?t enough of these luxury apartments available for the amount of foreign investors looking to buy them. What is also not factored into this is the 17.8% that new developments make up in the New York City market, where the average price is $2,136,881, which would also be included in the luxury market and is a huge chunk of the overall market (Douglas Elliman 3Q Report). This inflow of capital into New York City is driving prices up in districts all around the city. The top 1% of real estate in New York City may sound like a small number, but when you see how concentrated the 1% is (refer to exhibit ?Miller Samuel Map), you will see how this could lead to a major class gap in districts around Manhattan. These influxes in luxury prices also lead to price increases in the surrounding areas. If you live in a building across the street from 15 Central Park West, where a Russian billionaire purchase an apartment for $88 million and the average price per apartments in $17.3 million, you are going to raise the asking price of your apartment due to the rising prices around your home. Even these trophy properties that are in another stratosphere are making middle class housing prices in their areas increase. Foreign investors are willing to pay these premiums to keep their money safe, which in turn raise home prices and make these areas unaffordable for the middle class and even the lower echelon on the upper class in Manhattan to live.
Another factor that is fueling price increases in the real estate market and the growing gap between the lower/middle class and upper class in New York City is the inequality of income. Income inequality has been a major national issue lately, but is very apparent in New York City due to the concentration of wealth. Commentary by a fund economist stated, ?Some dismiss inequality and focus instead of overall growth-arguing, in effect, that a rising tide lifts all boats, but when a handful of yachts become ocean liners while the rest remain lowly canoes, something is seriously amiss.? (NYtimes Income Inequality) Some economist?s theories for the disparity in incomes are Globalization, the decline of labor unions, increased demand for specialized skills and higher education, the rise of a ?superstar? economy and changes in executive compensation(NYC Comproller Report). The outlook on Americas social class system is one of opinion. Everyone has different stats, facts, income levels, etc. that to them make up the lower, middle and upper class system. Based off of my research I think that it is fair to say that the middle class income range is from $30,000-100,000. That being said the upper middle class income range would be $75,000-$100,000 and the lower middle class income range would be $30,000-$74,000. The Upper class income range is $100,000+ and the lower class income range is $30,000 and less. According to the NYC Comptroller?s income inequality report in 2009 the middle class as a whole comprised of approximately 38.7% of people residing in New York City, the lower class comprised of 49.6% and the upper class 11.8%. That means that approximately 88.3% of people who filed taxes in Manhattan can barely afford 43% of all apartments that were sold in the 3Q of 2012. The upper class seems like they have a small hold on in the city but just the top 1%?s combined income accounts for 32.5% of all income filed in New York City, which is not including the rest of the upper class. This is largely due to the fact that in 2009 the top 1%?s average adjusted gross income was $2.2 million and the average adjusted gross income for the other 99% was $47k. This inequality in income is staggering and shows how purchasing a home in New York City is becoming unatainable for the middle class due to rising real estate prices. The 10th decile, which consists of people making approximately $100k+, accounts for 58.2% of income in New York City in 2009. (The City of NY Independent Budget office) According to the BLS the average annual pay in 2011 in New York County was $101,343. This figure lies just within the Upper class income bracket. I think that one major factor leading to this income inequality is the fact that the upper classes income is much more diversified and not solely based upon their wages. According to the comptroller?s report in 2009, the breakdown of the top 1%?s income was 40% wages, 32% other, 17% capital gains and 11% interest and dividends. On the flip side the breakdown of the other 99%?s income are 85% wages, 10% other, 2% capital gains and 4% interest and dividends. These facts support the phrase ?the rich keep getting richer, and the poor keep getting poorer?. The rich have other sources of income on top of their salaries, which allows them to save money and also spend money more freely, like on real estate. (Most of Paragraph NYC comptroller report)
The Upper East and West Sides are home too a high concentration of the upper class in New York City. These areas have homogeneity of incomes. If you take a look at these maps produced by the New York Times, you can see the homogeneity of incomes in these areas and the concentration of the upper class. The maps are based on samples from 2005-2009 Census Bureau.

You can see the Upper East and West Sides, which are the areas to the left and right of central park mainly on the lower half, are very heavily populated with people who earn $200,000 and those people make up of about 20% of all of the people who live in each area. The bottom map visually shows the growing class gap in New York City, and also shows how real estate supports this widening gap. All of the light blue and darker blue areas consist of the middle class, which as you can see they are getting pushed out to areas surrounding Manhattan. The cost of homes in these areas can only be afforded by the upper class, which is why developers continue building high-end luxury buildings in these two districts. I foresee the class gap in these two areas widening more and more each year over the next 5-8 years.
The majority of the construction going on in these two areas is high-end condos, which will put expensive apartments on the market that middle class people can?t afford. Since 2007 there are 24 high-end new developments that came to market on the Upper East Side. On the Upper West Side there are 20 high-end new developments that have come to market since 2007. This fall there are five new developments coming to market between the two districts. Two of the buildings on the east side are set to open in 2013 with prices starting at $5.6 million dollars and the other at $3 million according to their websites. Walking around these areas I have noticed some new developments that are not listed anywhere. There is a new building under construction that is owned by Extell Development on 60th and Madison Avenue that is set to be a high-end apartment building. On the Upper West Side a luxury rental building called the Windermere opened this summer and is asking very high prices. Below Street Easy has created a map that places where all of these developments are in the two districts.

The 57th Street corridor has become a hot spot for Ultra luxury apartments since Extell Development built its new building One57. As you can see below, on 57th Street there are eight sites that are planned to be super high-end properties. The two sites to the west are set to be mixed-use buildings with large residential portions. In the middle by Central Park One57 is already being built and has a huge portion of the building that is Ultra Luxury apartments. According to some publications the remaining sites are set to be mixed-use properties and while contain Ultra Luxury apartments.

Based upon my research and findings, there are two directions I would go in as a developer. The first would be to build luxury condos in Manhattan on the Upper East Side or Upper West Side. There is very high demand for these departments and there is a lack of inventory. I think that in that in the next 5-8 years you will see a lot of buildings coming to market and construction picking up.
Another direction that I would go in would be to move into Manhattans surrounding markets. There is a high concentration of the middle class in these areas. Manhattans home prices are already extremely high and according to my research the prices will start to rise again, and it has even been reported that prices in Manhattan increased .3% from last quarter. Some areas that I would focus on would be Harlem, Astoria, Elmhurst and Forest Hills. I think that there will be demand for new housing in these areas. In Astoria there are great plots of land along the river that could be turned into great mixed-use properties. These areas have not been completely gentrified and I think that as the middle class gets pushed out of Manhattan they will look to these areas because of their close proximity and access to transportation such as subways and major highways.

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Essay Instructions: **Note to OPP Final Thesis Composer**
This is considered a final Master's level thesis paper also referred to as a Capstone Initiative. It is imperative that the composer use the outline below as a guideline for researching the topic "The Shrinking Middle-Class America" and uses a variety of reference materials (15-20) such as books, articles, journals, and a few internet sources so long as the information cited can be proven based on gathered survey and research data in relation to the topic (The Shrinking Middle-Class America).
This paper needs to be at least 27-30 pages long, in APA FORMAT. Basically, this thesis paper has no absolute way it is supposed to be written and no real specific guidelines as to the style of writing. However as a suggestion, at the bottom of the page is an ?Intent Form? I had to submit to my University for approval of the thesis topic which provides an explanation that should help establish a small outline for the paper. For example, the section on ?Potential Solutions and Benefits to Restoring American Middle-Class? and the ?Description? Section are somewhat detailed but of course, this is just a suggestion. By all means, write about the things you find most important in your research. Lastly, just to give you a heads up, once you have completed the final paper, I will be preparing and presenting Powerpoint slides and will base my presentation on how you decide to structure the paper. I will then be presenting on final day of class, FYI.
Thanks again and Please not hesitate to send me a message if you have a question, suggestion, etc.
Final Thesis Paper
Proposed Title: The Shrinking Middle-Class America

The object of this research project is to gain an understanding and a perspective towards the recent issue of the rapidly declining American Middle Class System. The goal is to uncover the real reasons this has been happening, perhaps symbolic of rapidly shifting times or as a result of something far more sinister. The found research will focus on topics such as socioeconomic status, social groups, politics, and capitalism. Below are some detailed questions I had found interesting while researching for the project.
1. What are some reasons people were divided into differing classes?
2. What role does income, family and/or religious beliefs play in determining an individual?s social class?
3. Is it common for people to switch from one type of class to another?
4. If economics, politics, and society helped shape distinct classes of people from one another, how can one class disappear when they possess the same political and economic beliefs and conditions?
5. Did the 2008 Financial Crisis and the bailouts contribute or even cause the shrinking of middle class America?
6. Is this the beginning of the end for social class or might there be the classes of rich and poor people some day?
Personal Interest
When I had first heard of the ?vanishing of the middle-class? and how many American families were beginning to shift from the middle-class lifestyle, it was hard to believe since so much of the population fell somewhere within the parameters of middle-class. Soon however, I began to realize its meaning as it became more and more obvious within my own family that we had existed in a world where a typical American dream seemed more likely attainable through sheer luck than by being the hard working, loyal people of our parents and grandparents. I think having been exposed to this idea at a younger age has given me the interest and the time to pursue and enjoy a dream career with a broader outlook on life, both inside and outside of the workplace.
Potential Solutions and Benefits to Restoring American Middle-Class
The research analysis and conclusions conducted for this project begins with the direct involvement of government policy that can make a difference in income distribution, temporarily, and in job creation. Both are also incredibly important when it comes to the economic welfare. Also, The Center for American Progress has issued 16 recommendations to help Americans and create jobs. A couple of examples used highlights additional policies to help rebuild the middle class that should also become part of the national debate. For example, one suggestion would reward students who work their way through college with increased access to federal student aid. Federal work-study aid should be expanded through stand-alone legislation to help working students afford college. Benefits ($3,000 to $5,000) could be targeted to Pell Grant recipients by matching the aid to the size of their Pell Grant award. Another similar recommendation from The Center for American Progress is boosting the earnings of workers and provide a greater incentive for firms to hire new workers by making more workers eligible for overtime pay while currently there are too many modestly paid, white-collar workers are largely unable to collect overtime due to unreasonably low-income limits.
Methods of Gathering Information
Initially I had brainstormed a list of ideas for the project and decided ?American middle-class? was the most interesting topic to me. After using the internet for a quick way to determine the bulk and content of information available as a reference source, I was able to retrieve enough information to determine using a primary research source would not in my best interest due to the short length of the course and that I have no experience with primary research m
Secondary Data Research
Secondary data collection will be my method of research which will require using internal and external sources such as online search engines, newspapers, and various other types of literature. The data will be collected first, the research activities will then be planned and managed closely to ensure that they do not absorb significant amounts of time and cost. Again, the one and only method of research is secondary and will be conducted at the library to gather as much accurate data as possible through the use of search engines, directories, forums and so on.
Knowledge and Skills Need
Four areas of my MBA education that I will be applying towards the project include:
1. A comprehensive understanding of all subject areas within the human resources management discipline.
2. Analysis of the different types of social classes and structures that exist between Americans, internally and externally within the organization.
3. The ability to formulate, prepare and present an integrated approach to resolving the subject matters complex problems.
4. Demonstrate the ability to apply problem solving and decision making methodologies and develop appropriate recommendations.
Previous Research on this Topic
No prior research has been conducted on this subject so I will not be submitting any previous schoolwork that has been completed to the professor.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: The Rising Cost of Healtcare and the effects on the middle class

Total Pages: 6 Words: 1973 References: 0 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: The paper needs to include sources from newspapers, books and an internet source. 5 to 6 qoutes if possible, fewer would be fine. No less than 2. The Middle Class also needs to be defined (income levels and social levels)The Effects on the Middle Class would refer to financial hardships medications. Also the closure of hospitals in CA should need to be added in to show the lack of and increasing costs of health insurance.

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Essay Instructions: I request ?writingptb? if available, to do this paper. Thanks.

Course: Diversity Issues in Communication (Personal Action Plan)

Observe people moving and behaving in a space that you associate with a socioeconomic class different from your own.

Consider yourself a member of the lower-middle class and observe the lifestyles of the people in a wealthier part of your town.

Choose from the following suggestions:
? An expensive restaurant or store
? A resort, country club, playhouse, or concert hall
? An unemployment office
? A soup kitchen or free clinic

Consider the following questions in 1,050- to 1,400-word paper:

? What did you observe?
? Why was this situation out of your comfort zone?
? What did you learn?
? What perceptions changed or remained the same about the people observed?
? What types of things did you notice about the people? Did you witness any socially conscious individuals? What traits did you see?
? What type of social inequality did you observe or experience?
? Did your comfort level change from the time the observation began until it ended and if so how?
? How has this experience helped you to be more of a socially conscious individual?
? What traits will you need to exhibit?
? What areas need to be improved and what steps will you take to ensure there is growth in this area?

Develop a personal action plan while considering the above questions.

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