Manhattan real estate has officially entered a buyer’s market, but buyers won’t feel like they’re in the driver’s seat until the coming weeks and months, when prices are likely to fall.
The latest weekly market update from real estate data site UrbanDigs shows that Manhattan has re-entered a buyer’s market for the first time since early 2021. Listings are increasing, but demand is falling—skewing the market in favor of buyers.
That doesn’t mean Manhattan buyers can expect bargains—this buyer’s market is pretty unfriendly to buyers, especially those who need financing, with mortgage rates that have doubled since the start of 2022 and prices that are still appear to be climbing as of the most recent quarter. (The median price for Manhattan co-ops and condos rose 3.6 percent in the third quarter to $1,154,625, according to the latest Elliman Report.)
“Prices are not crashing because sellers are not panicking,” says John Walkup, co-founder of UrbanDigs. “Both new listings and new contract signings are deflating in tandem, which helps balance out the market even if buyers, on paper, have the upper hand.”
Manhattan buyers get the upper hand
Buyers are gaining greater negotiability thanks to market conditions, Walkup says.
“What buyers have in their favor is the perception of declining prices,” he says, explaining that when looking at sales prices in the next three quarters, they will be compared to their year-ago counterparts, when the market was on fire. Those comparisons will appear to show price drops, with some double-digit declines possible, he says.
“While sellers on the ground are not panicking and prices are not crashing, buyers can count on the perceived hot potato notion of price declines to help them negotiate,” Walkup says.
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But low ball offers won’t work
Still, buyers shouldn't get cocky: Low ball offers will be laughed at because sellers are not freaking out, he says. What buyers can do is make sure your bid is fairly priced and you’ll beat out the bottom feeders, he advises.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy: If the place you want is the only one on the market like it—then for that seller, it is still a seller’s market.
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