I often hear buyers say to me "no coops, only condos." I understand where they are coming from, having lived in two coop building, one small and one big and often it seems it would be easier to just own your apartment outright. It's clearly a more fungible commodity, easier to rent, no coop approval when you sell. But my feeling is it's not that black and white.
Practically speaking, if you like pre-war, your condo options are very limited. And since most condominiums are new construction, and some of these buildings have not been that well-constructed, there is a concern you would not have with an established well-maintained coop building. Also, if you have an owner that has rented to noisy or difficult tenants, you may less options for re-dress in a condominium building, rather than a cooperative. From a practical point of view, one of the reasons the housing market in New York City remained more stable than many other places, is that, except for a sponsor apartment, it was highly unlikely a subprime mortgage buyer would get accepted by a coop, keeping these buyers out of the market. And since coops remain the predominant form of apartment ownership, this reality kept the market more stable.
My thought is either is a good form of ownership in New York City-look at the apartment, the building, the financials, and the location. Whatever you own, New York City remains a great place to live and great investment for the future.