While the majority of Manhattan apartments are co-ops (70%); the greater majority of new construction are condominiums. Many buildings have also decided to convert to condos. Here’s the difference:
If you are looking to have direct ownership over your property, than you should purchase a condo. You will in turn receive a deed, sole ownership, and a lovely place to call home. With your own condominium, you have the flexibility to do with your home whatever you wish. You will tend to pay a 15-20% premium, but condos are easier to buy and sell since the board approval process is not as onerous. Plus, if you want to rent the condo out, you usually do not have to worry strict rules, which often apply with co-ops.
If you are looking for a vertical socialist community, then search no further. In co-ops you know all of your neighbors and vice versa. Real estate corporations own co-op buildings and sell company shares that entitle buyers/shareholders to proprietary leases. Owners in these buildings have the rights to their apartments instead of owning the place outright. Co-op shareholders contribute monthly maintenance fees that cover building expenses, such as heat, water, insurance, staff, and taxes. A small part of the fees and real estate taxes are deductible. Co-ops are notorious for their restrictive policies enforced by the board. The board consists of elected residents, and they make decisions on building issues. Many of Manhattan’s oldest and most prestigious apartments are co-ops.