New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Flip Taxes Rebound as Apartment Sales Regain Pre-Pandemic Glow

New York City

Apartment sales, co-ops and condos, flip tax, COVID-19.
Sept. 3, 2021

For co-op and condo boards that rely on a flip tax to balance their budgets, the pandemic-induced slowdown in apartment sales was a major financial hit. Today, even with the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus threatening to stall the city's fledgling economic recovery, Brick Underground reports a heartening trend: apartment sales in Manhattan and Brooklyn began picking up in June, and they have now reached levels not seen since the pre-pandemic summer of 2019

The Eiliman Report has released its new signed contracts report, which covers Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, the Hamptons, North Fork and Westchester County in New York, plus Fairfield County and Greenwich in Connecticut. The August report finds that new signed contract volume for Manhattan condos, co-ops, and one-three family townhouses combined (1,003) is above the same period two years ago. If you look at each type of Manhattan housing separately, new signed contracts are also above August 2019 levels.

It's a pattern that started in June and has held steady since, and each month compared to the same period two years ago has shown higher new signed contract levels in Manhattan, Brooklyn and, increasingly, in the suburban areas around the city. For luxury Manhattan properties above the $4 million threshold, there were even greater gains in new contract volume in August: It doubled for condos from the same period two years ago. It was a similar picture for Brooklyn in August, according to the report. New signed contracts for all three kinds of housing combined rose by more than 300% (762) compared to the same period two years ago.

On the East End of Long Island and in several of the suburbs ringing New York City, new signed contracts are below the level seen two years ago, a result of a lack of listings, which is constraining sales. Fairfield County is the exception, here new signed contract volume was up sharply from the same period two years ago.

What a difference a year makes. Last summer people were fleeing the city for the suburbs. Today they're fleeing the suburbs for the city. And the winners are the bottom lines in city co-ops and condos that make money every time an apartment changes hands.

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