If you’re in the market to buy real estate, then you know that in order to get a sense of what’s a reasonable price for real estate in the area you’re considering, you have to pull the prices for similar homes in or near that area.
Real estate agents and brokers call this “comps”.
You look at comps by looking at the prices of recently sold homes, current homes on the market, and price per square foot, as close to the specifications of the place you’re considering (e.g. 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 500 square feet) that are in that neighborhood (preferably in the building).
There are a ton of other considerations too depending on where you’re buying and what you want (laundry in unit, walk-up, parking, swimming pool, etc.), but unless there’s a house across the street or a unit right across the hall that’s mirrors the one you want exactly, and it just sold yesterday, comps are the best way to to comparison shop houses, condos, and co-ops.
Yes, Official Price Per Square Foot Data in NYC!
And yes it’s a seller’s market (and yes, that means it’s expensive).
If you’re in New York, then your comparison shopping job just got a little bit easier (which is a nice respite because New York City has numerous obstacles, details and quirks than most cities).
In any case, the Real Estate Board of New York releases their Residential Sales Report every quarter with what the average and median price per square foot for houses, condos, and cooperatives sold in the previous quarter in each neighborood, across the boroughs.
Here’s REBNY’s most recent quarterly report for 2014 Q1. You’re welcome!