New York City's co-op and condo sales market was hit hard at the beginning of the pandemic. Prices dropped and sales activity slowed. But Manhattan came back strong in 2021, with the most sales of co-ops and condos in 32 years, almost double that of 2020, according to a report from brokerage firm Douglas Elliman and appraiser Miller Samuel, as reported by CNN.
The median sales price for a condo or co-op in 2021 rose 7% from the year before to $1,125,000, the second-highest price in the report's 32-year history. Manhattan prices peaked in 2017 at $1,140,000.
The strong performance is a sign people are feeling better about living in the city, according to Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel. "2021 began with vaccine adoption rates being high, that sent a signal that it was safe to be in the city and sales took off," Miller says, adding that the city's housing market is about six to nine months behind what has happened in the suburbs. "The city is now doing what the suburbs did ahead of it – which is boom."
But unlike markets across the country which have record low inventory, Manhattan's inventory, is consistent with historical norms, with a 5.3 months' supply of homes. Miller does not expect that level of supply to last, however. The high sales activity in Manhattan is being fueled by buyers racing against the clock to lock in a low mortgage rate before they rise further.
"2021 set a lot of sales records and yet office towers are still two-thirds empty," Miller says. "The market is expected to tighten up and that's before we see more office workers returning. 2022 is going to be a year of heavy sales volume, a higher share of bidding wars, a sharp decline in listing inventory and higher prices."
Co-op and condo board business broken down into bite-sized bits - 2 stories each week. Read now on all digital devices.