New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Co-op and Condo Sellers Are Returning to the Driver's Seat

New York City

Co-op and condo sales, seller's market, sales increase, co-op prices are up.
Oct. 5, 2021

Co-op and condo sellers, accustomed to bad news during the pandemic-induced sales slump, are sliding back into the driver's seat. In the third quarter, sales of Manhattan apartments more than tripled compared to last year, marking the highest quarterly total in more than 32 years, according to the latest Elliman Report for sales of Manhattan co-ops and condos, as reported by Brick Underground.

Even more surprising: in a reversal of the norm, co-op prices were up while condo prices were down. The median sales price for co-ops was $820,000, representing an increase of 2.5% over the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, the median price for condos was falling to $1.6 million, a drop of 8.8% from the year-ago quarter.

Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report, describes the Manhattan sales market as “in the middle of transition from a year-ago stall to something much more robust.” 

Last year in the third quarter, sales were down 46% compared to the third quarter of 2019. In contrast to that same pre-pandemic period, sales in the third quarter of 2021 are up 76%. It suggests “that we still have several quarters of robust sales activity in front of us – if not much changes in terms of listing inventory” Miller says.

In addition, the market is moving significantly faster because sellers are being more realistic in their asking prices, which he determined by comparing listings on the market that sold with and without price cuts. According to Miller's analysis, listings that were correctly priced with no price correction spent an average of just 72 days on the market during the third quarter, while listings with at least one discount spend 89 days. Bidding wars are on the rise as well. In the third quarter, the market share of bidding wars rose to its highest level in three years to 8.3%. 

The third quarter market report from BOND New York points out that with a return to normalcy comes a return to seasonality, and with that the firm expects to see a slowdown into the fourth quarter in the number of contracts signed. The report adds: "We also anticipate the overall health of the market to continue on this path of resilience.”

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