Almost-new: a new market segment in the property market of the United States

United States: Home buyers are increasingly heading for a new sector of the property market: almost-new condos.

They are attracted by this kind of properties because buildings finished a few years ago are viewed more favourably by banks and make the process to obtain a loan or a mortgage easier. Furthermore, prices are often lower than for comparable newly-built units.

Almost-new development is seen as an alternative by people who would like to buy a new construction, as it has all the amenities that were advertised during the boom, but all the problems have been solved.

Almost-new condos are three-to-five-year-old units. This segment has gained a larger share in the market. New-development units accounted for 57% of the apartments sold in Manhattan in 2006. Today they account for only 16% of sales.

Sometimes home buyers feel much more comfortable with the purchase of a resale property, as they expect that previous owners have already dealt with any possible problem. Furthermore, there are properties that are still in excellent conditions and their tax abatement has not run out yet.

Buyers are also choosing established buildings to avoid the possibility that the new development project will never get finished or not completed as promised.

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