Uber and Lyft are changing where rich people buy homes in New York City

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“Time is the last luxury,” says NYC real estate broker Leonard Steinberg.
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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

  • Luxury real estate broker Leonard Steinberg has sold over $3 billion worth of New York real estate.
  • But Uber and Lyft, Steinberg says, are changing where wealthy people buy homes in the city.
  • He said it’s because luxury buyers can use ride-sharing to get from place to place without losing out on productivity.

Since 2001, Leonard Steinberg, real estate broker and a president at Compass, has been selling homes to New York City’s richest residents.

Steinberg has over $3 billion in transactions under his belt. His largest sale to date was on a Tribeca townhouse that sold for $43 million. In 2009, he worked on the $32 million deal for Dolce & Gabbana designer Domenico Dolce’s 11th Avenue penthouse.

We recently spent a day with Steinberg, and when we asked what New York City neighborhood was currently the most popular among buyers, he had a surprising answer.

“Buyers have become more and more neighborhood agnostic than at any other time in history,” he said. “[A buyer] will look at an apartment in SoHo, Hudson Yards, Upper East Side, and Tribeca.”

The reason? Steinberg accredits ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Lyft, and Juno for this shift in mindset.

“Today, in our Uber-tech world – I [can be] in the back of a car with my iPhone, and I’m not losing out on anything. That has changed [commutes] dramatically. Your commute time is not lost productivity,” he said.

“Time is the last luxury. If you can not lose time, you can live in many places,” he said.