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8 New York City Trends That We UK Investors Should Look Out For

Estimated Read Time: 15 minutes

Editor: Shaun Callacher

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8 NYC Trends That We UK Investors Should Look Out For

I write this post as I sit on the plane heading back to Manchester airport from a short break to the big apple. Like any property obsessed investor and developer I couldn't help but mentally note down the ways in which the city utilises the real estate space it has.

New York is a world trade capital With a U.S. Census Bureau-estimated 2015 population of 8,550,405 distributed over a land area of just 305 square miles, New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. A global power city, New York City exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment.

The sheer size of its population has forced it to become a world leader in utilising space through innovation and ingenuity to cater for its demand. This has created the thriving concrete jungle and transformed it into the mega city it is today.

Seeing what our American cousins are already doing can open our eyes to see what can be done back home (This is just one reason I love to travel; because it gives you new ideas!).

In this post I share 8 ways NYC has utilised its space and if we follow their footsteps, how we can utilise space too, ultimately creating more profits back home, Often just by being a little more creative.

So let's get started:

1/ Vertical Car Parking

The cost of parking in central New York is from $60 (£48) per day. An amount that will make anyone think twice about driving their car to work. Obviously the more car spaces the land owner can fit onto a piece of land, the higher the profit margins. Adapting the Japanese style of parking, many car park landlords have utilised their space with vertical parking, the practice of stacking cars above cars.

2/ Airspace

The space above us is virtually unlimited and New York seems to grasp this, building upwards rather than out. What seems to be a more relaxed approached from New York planning department has led to an inconsistent height of buildings throughout New York. 50 story buildings stand next to 3 story buildings.

Back in the U.K, in major cities like London and Manchester, will our planning department relax its approach about building upwards to cater for growing demand?

3/ Rented Airspace

People pay a premium for a view. Restaurants, hotels, offices and apartment blocks can charge more when they have a view worth paying for. To secure their view for the foreseeable future these companies are willing to pay their neighbours for their air space, to ensure prevention against any future development in front of their building. This can make great business sense for the company with the good view but also for the neighbour making a financial return literally out of thin air!

4/ Telecommunication Mast

‘Generation technology’ demands a strong signal to their mobiles and computers. Telecommunication companies pay to ensure their customers are receiving the best service. Throughout New York you see the scale of telecommunication mast needed, in some cases having more than one mast per property.

Telecommunication companies have now even started paying homeowners thousands of pounds to conceal masts in their chimney stacks, drainpipes or alarm boxes in the UK! See link:

5/ Roof Space

Every flat roof I saw in NYC has been utilised, whether it has been converted with a roof top Jacuzzi or just an open area to socialise. Utilising the roof space creates more sqft to the building and can offer the wow factor to attract residences.

6/ Smaller Living Space But With A Community Vibe

Being curious, I googled the price of a 1 bedroom studio I was standing outside of. The studio was no more than 25m2 and had a rental asking price of $3550 (£2850!). See link:

At that price you could rent a 5 bedroom detached property with a swimming pool in the North of England! But ultimately its location people pay for, smaller often doesn't mean cheaper! Small living space seems to be the norm in NYC but often included in the price is communal areas such as bars, swimming pools, gyms etc. often provided on the roof space or in the basement.

7/ Smaller Office Space

Similarly to the above, big prices come in small packages. Rent a desk and small office spaces are prominent in parts of New York as companies/people compete for space, not only to increase productivity but also for the associated prestigious ‘Zip code’.

8/ Advertising Space

Time Square is the pinnacle of advertising on the side of buildings. Billboards ranging in all different sizes to fill every space. Selling your exterior building space to companies to advertise can be very lucrative. The higher the footfall the higher amount you can charge.


The population in the UK is increasing and the upward trend of population in city's suggest large cities will soon become mega cities, see link:

When doing your appraisal on your next property opportunity perhaps you should consider if you can add value in any of the above ways? Although planning permission maybe different here in the UK, the above 8 ways is something I am sure we will see more and more of in order to meet demand. It might just add increased profits to your bottom line.

My Final Thought:

Finally, just a quick reminder for you guys who believe there isn't any good opportunities out there in your area, regardless of where you live in the UK just remember the size of New York, where there is still plenty of opportunities! & how your city has a long, long way to go to catch up!

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