As COVID-19 continues to spread, many of the city population started to leave, joining families outside the city, or retiring to country homes. Although some persisted in the city with masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes, the pace continued to decrease each day.
Both sellers and buyers were anxious about the risk of infection; agents were gradually thinking the same. By the time New Yorkers are advised to remain at home, almost all real estate operations in Manhattan had slowed to a crawl.
By the end of the first quarter, new inventory and contract signings of commercial real estate companies in Manhattan continued to plummet. Manhattan residential real estate market had 52 new listings in the market, an 89% drop from last year’s 476 listings. From March 22 to April 14, only 209 new listings hit the market, an 87% drop from last year’s 1,603 listings in the same period.
Contract signings and selling prices followed the same drop. In the second week of April last year, Manhattan signed 243 contracts, with a 77% decrease to 55 signings this year. The average asking price also fell from more than $1 million in 2019 to $850,000 this year.
Sellers have started to take their houses off the market, with 157 properties dropping, a 17 percent spike from last year’s 134. Even, the downturn is much smaller than in mid-March, when nearly 450 homes were taken offline as commercial real estate companies in Manhattan started to shut down.
Moreover, sellers are waiting for longer to find takers as bidders attempt to hold out for the best deal. In the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, where the average selling price was $3.1 million during the first quarter, properties lasted a total of 142 days on the market before entering into the deal. On average, Manhattan homes are sold on the market after 320 days. The median-day trading trend in has risen since March, and slightly up from last year.
No one knows what the future holds. In the meantime, Manhattan residential and commercial brokers are attempting to handle the transactions that they have in the queue. Several customers are postponing the closures to see where things are a month from now. Others are seeking to re-negotiate their contract rates to reflect the overall volatility and declining value of their stock holdings. For more market information and an analysis on the best next steps for your property, contact Virtuoso Realty Group at 212-374-1425 or [email protected]!
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