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Will Manhattan condos continue to offer incentives this year?

Sales improved in the fourth quarter, easing pressure on developers to offer incentives.

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Question:

Are developers likely to continue to offer incentives for new Manhattan condos in 2021? What sort of deals are likely to remain available, and how can I take advantage of them?

Answer:

Though it varies by building, it's very likely developers will continue to offer incentives to lure buyers this year, our experts say.

"Everything that was on the table for 2020 is still on the table for 2021," says Andrew Gerringer, managing director of The Marketing Directors. Buyer should not be embarrassed to ask for deals they heard about, he says.

Last year, the pandemic sent many New Yorkers fleeing for the suburbs or second-home destinations in search of more space. Manhattan developers—who already had a glut of new condos to sell—piled on the incentives to entice buyers, including free parking, waived monthly fees, discounted storage space and more. 

Sales are starting to bounce back, however there are still discounts to be found. 

"It will vary greatly building to building, because some buildings are strongly in demand and others either were or are overpriced, or are not as desirable," says Deanna Kory, a broker with Corcoran. "Remember one thing: Developers like to keep the prices high, so the most common incentives that will remain would likely be that the developer picks up the city and state transfer taxes." 

Other incentives to look out for are free storage or even a year of waived common charges, she adds. On some occasions, developers will also offer to cover some of a buyer's closing costs. 

Developers won't just offer these discounts up front, so strong negotiation is key. Work with a broker who has a good sense of the desirability of new developments and can therefore gauge your chances of persuading the developer to throw in some freebies. 

You'll also want to act soon, because as the market continues to pick up speed, your chances of getting these deals will diminish. 

"Over the past three to four months, the number of sales has been increasing in new development buildings, and if that trajectory continues you will see some buildings dropping some of these concessions or holding more firm on sales prices," Kory says. "So my recommendation would be to consider a purchase sooner rather than later."  


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