New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Despite Omicron, Apartment Sales Ending Year on High Note

New York City

Home sales rebound, Central Midtown slowdown, 53 W. 53rd St., COVID-19.

Stalled sales at the MoMa-adjacent 53 West 53 dragged down Central Midtown's sales figures.

Dec. 20, 2021

Even as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 descends on New York City, home sales continue their astonishing rebound from last year's pandemic-induced slowdown. Sales activity in 2021 surged 79% over last year’s figures, reaching 38,383 ACRIS-registered transactions between January 1 and December 8, suggesting that, by the end of the year, sales will have surpassed 40,000 unique deals, PropertyShark reports. The city's median sale price also rose significantly, climbing 14% to reach $750,000 for 2021. It was the most robust sales activity in 10 years.

Notably, the number of neighborhoods with medians of $1 million or more also rose — up from 29 last year to 35 this year. Consequently, the number of city neighborhoods with median sale prices above the $1 million threshold increased by 21% over last year. Of these, 17 are located in Manhattan, while 15 are in Brooklyn and three in Queens.

The news was not all good. Price declines were logged in 15 neighborhoods, including Central Midtown, which had the sharpest price contraction, dropping 52% from last year. In particular, this came as the result of sales drying up at the MoMa-adjacent 53 West 53 supertall skyscraper — which accounted for nearly one-quarter of the neighborhood’s 2020 sales — whereas, this year, the luxury condo project provided only 2% of Midtown’s sales total. Thus, Central Midtown crashed from the #7 priciest last year all the way down to #47 in 2021.

Hudson Yards remained the #1 most expensive NYC neighborhood in 2021 for the third consecutive year. Its median sale price ticked up 5% over last year's, closing the year at $4.75 million. Similarly, Tribeca retained its spot as the #2 priciest NYC neighborhood for the third consecutive year, coming in at a $3.49 million median in 2021. The Lower Manhattan neighborhood also saw major recovery throughout 2021: Its median sale price increased 11% over 2020 figures, while transactional activity shot up 83% for a total of 363 closed sales so far this year. And there are still 11 days left before the ball drops on Times Square.

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