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Manhattan’s sales, rental markets hit new highs

Busiest March for home-sale contracts since 2007

One year ago this month, New York’s real estate industry — and the city as a whole — effectively shut down with few deals being made as Covid-19 cases skyrocketed.

But a lot can change in a year.

The week ending March 25 saw 341 contracts signed in Manhattan, according to UrbanDigs’ weekly look at the borough’s real estate market. That’s a 400 percent increase from the same time last year — not a surprise, as the city was in lockdown at the time.

But the number of contracts signed in Manhattan this month is the most of any March since 2007, and there are still a few days to go. As of March 25, some 1,224 contracts were signed. If that pace keeps up, the number would be nearly 1,300 by the end of the month.

While the number of new listings was slightly below last week’s levels (383 last week versus 455 the week before), it was also a significant increase from the same time last year — 471 percent.

Fewer listings were also removed from the market, suggesting that sellers are willing to keep their properties listed if it means they can make a deal. If demand continues at the current levels, the borough’s years-long trend of a supply glut could reverse itself.

“As unbelievable as it sounds, if this trend continues, Manhattan could find itself facing a supply shortage in the near future,” John Walkup, the co-founder of UrbanDigs, wrote in this week’s report.

Demand is also up in the rental market, which has seen a surge in the number of leases signed in March. According to the report, more than 1,000 lease deals were made last week, the first time that’s happened since 2019.

“While landlords still have many units to lease, the general decrease in inventory, due to more leases signed versus new listings, suggests that the worst market conditions for landlords in recent years may be coming to an end,” Walkup said.

Source: The Real Deal


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“We are recovering”: Manhattan home sales finally increase

First quarter sees first year-over-year gain since pandemic hit

“It’s the first time in the past four quarters that sales have exceeded year levels.”

Manhattan’s residential market appears to be on the rebound.

The borough saw 2,457 home sales close in the first quarter, a 2.1 percent increase from the same period a year ago and a 28.7 percent jump from the previous quarter, according to a Douglas Elliman report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

The small year-over-year increase isn’t one to glance over: It’s the first in the past four quarters, noted Jonathan Miller, the report’s author.

The other boroughs have boomed since the summer, but Manhattanites’ wealth and mobility made the island a “laggard,” Miller said. This quarter’s report shows that sales in the borough are now moving — or moved, at least — in the right direction.

The median sale price was $1,075,000, up by 2.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2020 and by 1.4 percent from a year earlier. But condos and co-ops lagged the broader market as their median sale price decreased by 4.7 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.

Listing inventory is up 18.2 percent year-over-year. “That’s important,” Miller said, “because inventory was the third-highest in history last summer, but because of the gradual increase in sales and reduction of inventory from panic sellers who pulled their listings from the market, inventory is now relatively consistent with history norms.”

The spike last summer was attributable in part to pent-up demand following the spring lockdowns and ban on home showings.

Co-ops and condominiums that sold from January through March spent an average of 138 days on the market, up by 13.1 percent from the previous quarter and by 20 percent from a year ago.

New-development units that sold spent an average of 261 days on the market and traded an average discount of 8.6 percent from the final asking price. The number of closed sales fell by 2.1 percent from the previous quarter, but rose by 9.2 percent from the first quarter of 2020.

“We haven’t recovered, but we are recovering,” Miller said. As sales rise and inventory falls, the quarter’s results are a big step in that direction and better than expected at this point in the post-Covid rebound, he said.

Source: The Real Deal

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