What Are Your Housing Options in Manhattan, and Which Is Ideal for You?

What Are Your Housing Options in Manhattan, and Which Is Ideal for You?

Housing options in New York City are endless, not so much in Manhattan. The borough’s dense population and metropolitan style limit the types of real estate available to Manhattan homebuyers. And while home styles abound – Tudor, Gothic, Mediterranean, etc. – there are primarily three property types in the upscale borough. Homebuyers have the option of co-ops, condos, or townhouses, with very few single-unit homes available. If you are planning to invest in Manhattan real estate, here is a review of these homes and what they have to offer.

Co-Op Apartments

Co-op apartments, commonly known as co-ops, make up 65 percent of residential real estate in Manhattan. The name refers not to the style of the homes but to the ownership model. Typically, co-ops are managed by a Condominium Board, which charges a percentage of the price of a unit when it is sold. Homebuyers buy these apartments by purchasing shares in the company that owns the co-op building, which allows them the right to lease a certain apartment.

As you look at co-op apartments with your Manhattan real estate agent, it is important to note that these buildings often have strict rules. Co-ops, for instance, have a ban on using an apartment as rental housing or subletting it. These strict guidelines tend to discourage investors and buyers, especially since many co-ops are dated and lack modern amenities.  


Condominiums, or condos, provide more freedom than co-ops. These homes, which make up 25 percent of residential real estate in Manhattan, are usually set on large tracts of land subdivided for sale. Condo units are individually owned, but they are usually set in one building or complex comprising similar units. The owners share common spaces, such as the elevator, lobby, and swimming pool, and often pay fees to maintain these spaces and other shared amenities.

Because of their ownership model, buying a condo is very similar to buying a single-family home. You have full ownership of the property and can sell your unit at will. And while there is a management board, its role is to manage the building, not collect taxes or impose rules. Manhattan condos also offer the option of owning a Manhattan penthouse, a luxurious home on the top floor of a condo complex.


Homebuyers in Manhattan can also get townhouses on the market, although these are very rare. Townhouses make up 5 percent of active listings in Manhattan at any given time. This, and their size and privacy, makes them very pricey.

Manhattan townhouses are large buildings similar to detached homes. They often span several floors and provide ample moving space, including, sometimes, a yard. Depending on when it was built, a townhouse can be predominantly brownstone, vinyl, brick, or clapboard. Most townhouses are historic homes with a rich background and elegant construction.  

Explore Manhattan Homes with Leading Brokers, Noble Black

Whether you fit better into a co-op, townhouse, or condo will depend on several factors, including your budget, family size, and lifestyle. If you want to enjoy the amenities of a modern home without the hassle of maintaining a house, you are better suited to Manhattan luxury condos. The best way to make this decision is to consult leading brokers, Noble Black. With over $3 billion in sales, Noble Black has completed enough sales to be more than familiar with the Manhattan market. Call the office to learn more today.