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Monday, April 27, 2009

March 2009 Real Estate Sales Snapshot of Manhattan

snaphot of the real estate marketCorcoran Manhattan market reportWow, it seems like just a moment ago I posted the first quarter market report of sold and closed properties. Today I'm posting a new set of metrics for last month's deals providing readers with an up-to-the-minute snapshot of the Manhattan marketplace now. Unlike the closed sales data which typically lags the market by 90 days or more, this data is based on Corcoran's proprietary data of deals which went to contract in arms length negotiations in the month of March.

I've personally been very busy with three deals being actively negotiated on behalf of buyers, and a number of new customers beginning searches in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The buyers have gotten the message that interest rates and negotiability are working in their favor right now and starting to jump in. What's different in my particular case is that I'm negotiating deals for larger, two to four bedroom, apartments and lofts, asking up to $3.25M, which has been a slow category recently. This may not be indicative of the overall market, but for me it feels like a changing tide. These customers are all in rentals or from overseas, and deciding that conditions are right for them to buy now. I have negotiated favorable terms for my customers in both new developments and re-sale properties over the past several weeks.

are buyers and sellers beginning to see eye to eye?
Well it would be premature to call it a trend yet, but the data are supporting my personal experience recently. The gap in the perception of marketplace valuations between sellers and buyers seems to be catching up with reality. Indeed the number of co-op signed contracts increased 27% from February, as buyers chose apartments that they could move into immediately, and which were more affordable. Concurrent with that, resales of existing condos also increased, but when new development sponsor units were factored in, condo sales were down by -11%. Listed apartments for sale are now at an eight year high of inventory.

manhattan condo snapshot of sales contracts signed
Manhattan March 2009 Condo Sales
manhattan co-op snapshot of sales contracts signed
Manhattan March 2009 Co-op Sales

Condominium average price fell versus last month and the year prior, declining -31% and -34% respectively. Average price per square foot declined 29% from March 2008. Average days on market for condos is now 229 days, which is four months longer than a year ago. The number of signed contacts fell -11% since February due to sluggish sales in new developments, and fell -67% since last year. Listed available inventory increased a flat 1% from February, but remains at a record, eight year high.

manhattan price per square foot snapshot of sales contracts signed
Manhattan March 2009 price per square foot of contracts signedAverage price per square foot for condominiums fell to $1036 per square foot in March 2009, the lowest level since 2005. Condo average price per square foot has decreased -36% since peaking at $1625 per square foot in December of 2007. Co-op average price per square foot has decreased -24% to $956 from its peak of $1262 per square foot in November 2007, and now sits at its October 2006 level.
manhattan price negotiability in march 2009

Manhattan March 2009 negotiability of sales contracts signedAlmost all buyers have been able to negotiate discounts on their purchases. This is illustrated in the bar graph showing the last asking price versus actual selling price. In March 2009, 95% of all contracts to purchase property signed were below the last asking price, as compared with only 64% a year earlier. This clearly indicates a highly favorable environment for buyers.

related post:
first quarter 2009 report on the manhattan marketplace