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Manhattan's First-Quarter Sales Were Highest Since 1989


Manhattan co-op and condo sales, first quarter, seller's market, pandemic.
April 5, 2022

That pandemic buyer's market? Stick a fork in it, Crain's reports. Manhattan’s real estate sales market is continuing its record-breaking streak, notching the highest number of units ever sold during the first quarter of any year since at least 1989, according to a new report from Douglas Elliman.

“Even with rising interest rates, there is remaining optimism for fairly robust quarters ahead,” says the report’s author, Jonathan Miller, who adds that the share of homes sold to cash buyers has now risen to the market’s usual rate of 47%. “If you think about how much of the market is not dependent on mortgage rates and the number of sales for higher-end properties, which are also not mortgage-dependent, you start to see why the market is so strong."

The report states: "Co-op median sales price posted significant annual gains for the fifth consecutive quarter and was higher than pre-pandemic levels. Condo sales were up by more than 50% annually to reach the most first-quarter sales in 15 years of tracking."

Although the number of available units on the market has dropped significantly during the course of the pandemic, the number of listings rose 11% since the fourth quarter of 2021, to 6,906 units. That number is still 4.4% lower than inventory levels recorded a year ago. 

In the luxury market — which has been the most active sector during the pandemic — listing inventory is down more than 10% from the previous quarter and more than 23% lower than year-ago levels, according to the report. However, the average price in the luxury market grew 24%, to just over $8 million, compared to the first quarter of 2021. 

Strong demand continued to push up prices across the board. The average sale price for a Manhattan unit has climbed 19.3%, to just over $2 million, since the first quarter of 2021, and nearly 5% since the previous quarter. 

Overall, the data shows the highest price growth in apartments with four or more bedrooms, which have become 30% more expensive compared to year-ago levels and 16% pricier than the fourth quarter of 2021.

Buyers, beware. Your day has come and gone.

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