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Report Pegs the Added Value of Private Outdoor Space

New York City

Outdoor space, apartment values, co-op and condo boards, COVID-19.
Nov. 29, 2021

Outdoor space, whether private or communal, has always been a prized amenity in New York co-ops and condos. The coronavirus pandemic has made those spaces more valuable than ever. Now someone has figured out just how much value a private outdoor space adds to an apartment.

A new report from Garrett Derderian, director of market intelligence for SERHANT, reveals that prior to the pandemic, the median sales price of a Manhattan apartment with private outdoor space ($1.4 million) was 31% higher than a unit without private outdoor space ($1.1 million). After the lockdown ended in July 2020 and in-person showings were allowed to resume, the premium outdoor space commanded in Manhattan increased from 31% to 39%—even as prices fell for Manhattan apartments in general, Brick Underground reports.

Derderian compared sales from July 2018 to November 2019 (pre-lockdown) with July 2020 to November 2021 (post-lockdown). Only apartments with private outdoor space connected to the unit were considered; townhouses were excluded from the report. 

Derderian believes outdoor space will continue to command greater prices going forward, even as apartments without outdoor space start to recover with the return of international buyers to the New York market. Co-op and condo boards in buildings with unused roof or other outdoor space might want to think about turning those spaces into user-friendly communal amenities. 

It makes sense that buyers would rethink the importance of outdoor space, considering the dramatic experience of living in New York City during the height of the pandemic, when going out in public areas felt unsafe and private outdoor space became something like an escape valve. And with a new variant on the horizon and COVID-19 cases rising again, it doesn't seem likely the city—or the rest of the world—will return to the pre-pandemic way of life anytime soon.

“While prices dropped and discounts increased in the immediate aftermath following the resumption of in-person showings, homes with private outdoor space appreciated in value, and have continued to do so while the broader market has recovered,” Derderian says.

Similarly, Brooklyn condos and co-ops with outdoor space sold for more than units without. Prior to the lockdown, the median sales price of a Brooklyn apartment with outdoor space was 14% higher than a place without. In the post-lockdown period, these units appreciated more compared to units without outdoor space, but not by the same amount as Manhattan apartments.

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