NYC Housing Market Pulse Check: January 2019
January 2019 has proven to already have started with a bang- the market is hot with buyers turning out en masse to visit new inventory as well as revisit apartments that have been languishing on the market- but have been reduced in price. My own inventory of exclusive listings is as active as ever, including a breathtaking riverfront full floor home at the iconic Richard Meier 173 Perry Street and a stunning, newly-renovated coop at 815 Park Avenue:
Manhattan’s median apartment price experienced a 5% decline from a year ago. While the average price was up over the past year, this was due to a pickup in new development closings that included 520 Park Avenue and 220 Central Park South. Many of the contracts for these apartments were signed more than a year ago, making them not reflective of current conditions.
High levels of supply, stock market volatility, and rising interest rates have kept many buyers on the sidelines, causing 2018 to be the most disappointing year for apartment sales since 2009 and Realtors and sellers are excited to see this trend turn around.
We need to remember that the Manhattan housing market hasn’t had any real correction in a decade, making apartment prices either unaffordable or undesirable to prospective buyers.
We have shifted to a Buyer’s from a Seller’s market- but activity is strong and both sides have reason to feel positive about the new year. Interest rates are the most competitive as they’ve been in months and many savvy buyers are locking in 90 day rate locks at very attractive levels.
There’s perceptible change in the air- instability prompts us to want to settle into the comforts of home...
The gap between the selling and last asking price for apartments indicates that sellers are adjusting to today’s market. Sellers received 96.7% of their last asking price in the fourth quarter, the most negotiability in over five years.
Smart sellers are open to offers lower than they might hope for- but realize that in a declining market with high inventory- all offers are worth serious consideration. And- opening offers are often low in markets such as this and buyers leave significant room to increase their bids.
More price cuts will be needed to absorb today’s supply of apartments, which at the current pace of sales will take over seven months to sell. We are seeing more price cuts across all price points and buyers are taking notice!
Billionaire investor and art collector Steve Cohen modernist One Beacon Court penthouse returns with $70M discount.
The apartment, designed by Charles Gwathmey, was originally asking $115 million is now listed for $45 million.
For more about the current state of the market- please see BHS’ Chief Economist Gregory Heym’s latest market report.
Wishing you a strong 2019.