If you’re willing to apartment hunt now, Manhattan is a ‘buyer’s market on steroids’​​​​​​​

If you’re willing to apartment hunt now, Manhattan is a ‘buyer’s market on steroids’​​​​​​​

By Brick Underground  | August 25, 2020 - 2:00PM

The amount of listings available is double what you normally see for August, notes a report from UrbanDigs.


In some regards, the Manhattan sales market is showing signs typical of late August—weekly declines in both new listings and contracts signed.

But the market’s late June opening and the amount of listings available—double what you normally see for August—is contributing to what a new weekly snapshot from UrbanDigs calls a “buyer’s market on steroids.” That’s one of the findings from a pair of new market reports that pinpoints the NYC real estate market’s recovery so far.

New listings and contract activity are winding down, however “the number of new listings remains double the usually languid pace of August,” according to the report by John Walkup, UrbanDigs COO. “For those willing to brave the heat, humidity, and macroeconomic conditions, it is, as one Manhattan agent notes, ‘a buyer’s market on steroids.’”

There were 424 new Manhattan listings added during the third week of August, compared to 198 in 2019, an increase of 114 percent, and 140 contracts signed, compared to 177 a year ago, a decrease of 21 percent.

A monthly snapshot from PropertyShark

For a monthly perspective on the city’s real estate market, PropertyShark found that sales activity rebounded in New York City in July to the highest level during the pandemic so far with 2,000 deals—an increase of 40 percent over the previous month. (The report looked at data from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.)

However, while transactions are strengthening, prices are slipping, in some case hitting new lows, according to the report.

Year over year, sales activity for Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx is still depressed, showing a month-over-month decline of 33 percent.

In July, prices saw the sharpest decrease so far. The median sales price for the four boroughs was $680,000, down from $780,000 in July 2019—which was fed by buyers looking to avoid the start date of the new mansion tax. However, the report notes, “this was not the sole cause of the 13 percent year-over-year drop that was recorded in July 2020. Rather, at $680,000, July 2020 featured the lowest median sale price since March, bringing down the year-to-date median for the four boroughs.”

The median sales price for Manhattan in July was $1.15 million, down 26 percent compared to July 2019—a comparison “most influenced by the spike in sales of higher-priced assets prior to the mansion tax,” the report says. Manhattan was the only borough to see record month-over-month growth in July, gaining 19 percent.

Brooklyn’s median sales price for July was $742,500, down 9 percent compared to July 2019. Sales activity for this borough did not see the same boost as the others—it was down 41 percent for the month compared to a year ago, but up 19 percent over the previous month.


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