The number of Manhattan apartment listings keeps ticking up. During the fourth week of May, 166 new listings were added to the market, according to the latest weekly sales market report from UrbanDigs. This is the fifth consecutive weekly increase in new listings and represents a 13 percent increase compared to the prior week. However, with buyers unable to view listings physically due to social-distancing restrictions and many buildings’ house rules, deal activity is practically nil. During the last week of May, two fewer contracts were signed compared to the week before, when 37 contracts were signed, Brick Underground reports.
“Until buyers and agents are given the all-clear to physically tour and view properties, deal activity is not likely to increase above the current de minimis amount,” says Noah Rosenblatt, founder and CEO of UrbanDigs, a Manhattan real estate analytics platform that looks at new listings, new contracts signed and listings taken off the market each week. “Buyers willing to brave today’s uncertainty will be rewarded with advantageous pricing in the short term,” Rosenblatt says.
Compared to the same time a year ago, market activity during the week of May 25-31 is way off. New listings are down 61 percent and contracts signed declined 83 percent. The number of listings being taken off market fell by 65 percent. The end result is a build up of supply as the real estate market remains largely on hold.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that real estate is part of Phase 2 of New York State's reopening plan. Under Phase 1, which went into effect June 8 in New York City, nonessential stores were allowed to open for curbside pick up, and nonessential manufacturing construction could restart. Under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the city needs to see a downward trajectory of documented COVID-19 cases for at least 14 days after entering Phase 1, among other requirements, in order to enter Phase 2.
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