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Apartment Sales Plunged by One-Third in First Quarter

New York City

Apartment sales, coronavirus pandemic, REBNY, co-ops and condos.
May 14, 2020

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) reports that New York City’s total sales volume and total residential transactions decreased significantly to reach lowest points since the first quarter of 2014 and fourth quarter of 2011, respectively, according to its first-quarter 2020 Quarterly Residential Sales Report.

From January 1 to March 31, 2020, citywide total residential sales volume decreased 16% year-over-year, from $10.5 billion to $8.7 billion, with each of the five boroughs experiencing declines. Citywide, the number of residential transactions also decreased 16% year-over-year, from 10,382 to 8,702 sales, with all five boroughs seeing a decrease in the number of transactions. Manhattan condominium and cooperative total sales volume decreased 35% year-over-year, while Brooklyn’s condo and co-op total sales volume did not see significant changes.

The data does not reflect the expected significant decline in market activity as a result of the coronavirus public health crisis and subsequent executive orders, including the stay-at-home order that went into effect on March 22. “Market indicators have warned New Yorkers that the housing market was entering a downturn even before the coronavirus pandemic caused an unprecedented public health and economic crisis in New York City,” says REBNY President James Whelan. “As we expect to see residential sales again decrease next quarter, now more than ever, we must collaborate on effective and sensible policies at the city, state and federal levels to jumpstart New York City’s economy.”

The real estate industry generated more than half (53%) of the city’s total annual tax revenue in the last fiscal year.

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