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New York City's most expensive homes now found downtown

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housing Photo Credit: Buildings along Prince Street in SoHo, New York, NY. (Photo by Kristy May)

When it comes to pricey real estate, downtown is boomtown.

Gotham’s priciest homes are now in SoHo and Tribeca — ranking 6th and 7th, respectively — overtaking the West Village, Upper East Side and Upper West Side, according to Forbes’ annual list of the country’s richest zip codes released Wednesday.

Those nabes bucked the nationwide trend of declining home sale prices, as did the Upper West Side, which saw a 55% hike in values, putting it 11th on the list.

Citi Habitats’ President Gary Malin said he expects home values in SoHo and TriBeCa — and also properties in the Financial District and Battery Park City — to continue to go up.

“The vast majority of customers who pick up the phone and call us, ask to live downtown if they can afford it,” Malin said. “That neighborhood speaks to people in certain ways, it’s got a lot of character.”

“The type of offering down there is distinct — like large, often loft spaces that don’t exist in other places,” he continued.

Alpine, N.J. was No. 1 in the U.S., with an average home going for $4.55 million.

Forbes reporter Morgan Brennan, who compiled the list, said she was surprised the downtown nabes overtook those traditionally at the top.

But she attributed the nabes’ high ranking to demand created by the dearth of buildings available combined with the number of those newly renovated. She added that many of the newer homes were old commercial properties converted into luxury units.

The average prices of homes in those areas went up, while the rest of the country saw an average drop of about 2%. West Village and Upper East Side residences have been going at a discount of 40 and 63%, respectively, according to the data compiled by Altos Research.

Despite that, Altos CEO Michael Simonsen said, “the housing market as a whole has seen a lot of stabilization,” noting that he had seen much larger decreases in home price tags in recent years.

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