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As City Co-op and Condo Sales Regain Luster, Suburbs Are Looking So 2020

New York City

Co-op and condo sales, sales surge, suburbs decline, pandemic.
Aug. 6, 2021

Moving to the suburbs, as Crain's reports, is so last year. Co-op and condo sales in Manhattan have more than doubled since July 2020, and deal volume in Westchester County and on Long Island is waning after buyers flocked there last year, according to data from Douglas Elliman.

In Manhattan, nearly 700 contracts were signed for co-ops last month, almost triple the 276 that were signed in July 2020. More than 500 were signed for condos, compared with 192 last year. The most popular were co-ops selling for less than $2 million and condos for less than $4 million, according to the data. New listings in the borough are down 30% from a year ago, thanks to buyers scooping up apartments. In Brooklyn, sales grew more slowly, at a little more than 70%, while inventory fell by 14%.

With little Hamptons inventory left because of last year’s high demand, contracts signed for houses there are down more than 60% since July 2020 – 52% on the North Fork and 31% on other parts of the island.

Fewer homes are coming on the market. In Westchester, new listings for single-family homes amounted to half of the nearly 1,200 homes that came online a year ago, the report said. In the Hamptons and on the North Fork, that number was down more than 35%. 

“That’s because people have taken them all,” says Jonathan Miller, the report’s author. “Demand is being overheated by the unusually low mortgage rate environment. We are not seeing supply coming on the market fast enough to meet demand.”

Translation: It’s a good time for sellers.

“You have people that wanted to sell in 2020 and decided to wait; some people are trading up or downsizing,” Miller says. “When there’s robust activity and inventory declines, that’s an environment for sellers to come out and try their luck.” 

But inventory is still unusually booming. It’s about 22% above the 10-year second-quarter average in Manhattan, but 15% lower than October’s high. The recent boost in city sales isn't likely to slow down anytime soon. Low mortgage rates and another injection of pandemic-relief money in the hands of buyers will only keep demand growing, Miller predicts: “You’re looking at several years of potentially robust conditions."

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