Sales of Manhattan condos and co-ops surge to highest fourth quarter total in 32 years

By Jennifer White Karp  |
January 4, 2022 - 9:30AM

A far cry from a year ago: More than seven out of 10 Manhattan sales saw no change in the asking price while the property was on the market in the fourth quarter, according to the Elliman Report.


Despite the spike in Omicron infections at the end of the year, the New York City sales market ended 2021 on a very high note thanks to surging demand.

Fourth quarter sales of Manhattan co-ops and condos rose to their highest annual fourth quarter total in 32 years, according to the Elliman Report. The number of Manhattan listings fell significantly, and the quarter saw more deals involving bidding wars than since early 2018. (Sales in the third quarter also hit a 32-year high.)

Prospective sellers will be encouraged: Prices for apartments are up to 2019 levels—and few sellers in the fourth quarter slashed prices. More than seven out of 10 sales saw no change in the asking price while the property was on the market, according to Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and the author of the report.

The number of sales of Manhattan apartments increased 86.4 percent over the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the report. The median sales price was up 11 percent to $1,165,000, beating both the fourth quarters of 2020 ($1,050,000) and 2019 ($999,000).

The number of people buying new condos nearly doubled from the same period two years ago—and it looks like they were grabbing deals. The median sales price for new development ($2,223,500) was down 19.4 percent to compared to the fourth quarter of 2020

The median sales price for Manhattan co-ops ($800,000) was up 6.4 percent, Miller says, a result of buyers going for larger, and therefore more expensive, apartments.

The number of Manhattan condos on the market fell at its highest rate in nine years, Miller says, with the median sales price rising 4.5 percent to $1,750,000.

Douglas Elliman also released its new signed contracts report for December, which covers Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Hamptons, North Fork, Westchester County, Fairfield County, and Greenwich, CT.

In Manhattan, the report notes, new signed contracts at or above the $4 million threshold for condos, co-ops, and townhouses more than doubled year over year in December for the 12th, straight, significant gain. Most of the areas saw declines in contract signing (Fairfield was the exception)—all were restrained by significant declines in new inventory, the report says.

Who said NYC is dead?

The city’s sales numbers are perhaps the final word to everyone who said NYC was over.

Coldwell Banker Warburg CEO Frederick Warburg Peters puts it bluntly in the company's fourth quarter report: “...Those pundits who predicted the demise of the city turned out to be wrong.”

The report highlights the strength of the luxury and ultra-luxury segments, including numerous deals for more than $30 million in Midtown, the West Village, and Tribeca.

Manhattan real estate’s best year ever

Call it a "monumental" comeback, Corcoran says in it its fourth quarter Manhattan market report.

“Manhattan is experiencing one of the greatest real estate markets ever,” says Pamela Liebman, president and CEO. That’s thanks to $30 billion in sales volume and over 16,000 contracts signed, she says.

Manhattan may be a seller’s market, but buyers are looking to advantage of cheap money before any interest rate hikes in 2022, Liebman says.

Luxury sales were booming

SERHANT released its fourth quarter reports for Manhattan sales and new development. Garrett Derderian, director of market intelligence for SERHANT, notes that the new opening threshold for the luxury sales market, which makes up the top 10 percent of sales, was $3,950,000, up from $3,900,000 in the fourth quarter of last 2020.

Another highlight: New development properties priced $10 million and above sold in the shortest amount of time, averaging just 97 days on the market.

Larger apartments skewed prices higher

The Manhattan fourth quarter report from Brown Harris Stevens points out how sales of larger apartments (two-bedroom co-ops and three-bedroom condos) shifted average prices for condo and co-ops higher.

Prime neighborhoods stay prime

According to new report from Bond: Prices were "at or nearing historic highs in prime neighborhoods, particularly Downtown and the Upper East and Upper West Sides. As a result, we expect the market to continue to pick up the pace as inventory comes onto market," the report says.

Townhouses go to town

The fourth quarter Manhattan market report from Compass included townhouses for the first time, finding that townhouse sales increased by a “startling” 58.6 percent, with the average sales price of $9.23 million, an increase of 6.1 percent compared to the third quarter. 



Jennifer White Karp

Managing Editor

Jennifer steers Brick Underground’s editorial coverage of New York City residential real estate and writes articles on market trends and strategies for buyers, sellers, and renters. Jennifer’s 15-year career in New York City real estate journalism includes stints as a writer and editor at The Real Deal and its spinoff publication, Luxury Listings NYC.

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