With an eye toward attracting more Millennial buyers, some New York City co-op boards are loosening long-standing restrictions, says Warburg Realty agent Lisa Larson

Warburg Realty

In New York City, where 80 percent of the housing inventory is comprised of co-ops, some co-op boards appear to be growing more lenient and loosening their grip on regulations in place for generations. Some believe this new softer stance, along with greater affordability than condos, should make co-ops magnets for Millennial home buyers.

In 2017, Habitat reported Millennials were struggling to buy co-ops. Factors at that time included the younger buyers’ inability to raise down payments, as well the vast number of buyers then flooding the market. So has that reality changed, and if it has — why?

Only 10 years ago, the choice was to rent or to buy a co-op, with just a few exceptions, notes agent Lisa Larson of Manhattan’s Warburg Realty.

“I’ve found that my Millennial buyers, facing the huge hoops they see as a barrier to co-op entry, are turning to condos as an alternative,” he says. “The co-op boards that have accepted this new reality and recognize the value of their buildings depends upon adapting to it are slowly beginning to change decades-old rules . . . I am on my co-op board, where we just started doing a few of these things. I’m finding that board members with Millennial-aged children are more open to changing. They are listening to their children, perhaps.”

Larson reported her board just chose to require only the first two pages of tax returns, without the tax schedules that generate an additional…