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« previous: leaner times call for leaner brokers   |  next: Sohoho Nohoho (replay) »

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A snapshot of the Manhattan Real Estate Market today

Corcoran Manhattan market report» download snapshot (544kb) I'm presenting some data published here by Corcoran based on November contracts signed, which leads the sold and closed metrics by 60 to 90 days. This is telling if you are thinking about bringing a home onto the market, or buying one in the first half of 2010. I've met several new customers who will be spending bonus money in the first quarter, but others have been sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what was going to happen before plunking down hard earned, and recently recovered savings. I can feel the momentum to a busy first quarter of the year starting already. It was not unusual to see multiple bids on properly priced homes this December.

In truth, we've seen good activity in the final quarter of 2009. A year ago, amid the uncertainty of the financial crisis, sales activity had slowed to a trickle. This chart shows the number of Manhattan contracts signed market-wide since November of 2007 for some context. Today they are up 193% since January, largely because of improved opportunities for buyers, and consumer sentiment generally feeling better.

click on the chart to enlarge

Manhattan number of signed contracts per month in 2009

The sales activity has a roughly inverse relationship to the chart below, which shows the supply side. A year ago we began to see peaking inventories of apartments. It has today decreased by 25% since November 2008. While there is some "shadow inventory" of new developments (unlisted/unsold) unaccounted for in these metrics; the pipeline of newly developed units, has virtually been turned off. Developers accepted the new market reality and began improving prices as the year continued.

click on the chart to enlarge

Manhattan for sale housing inventory per month in 2009

november 2009 manhattan condo and coop prices

Condos gained in pricing in November compared to a month earlier, amidst strengthening demand for larger homes. The number of contracts signed was roughly consistent with October and about double a year earlier. Coops sales activity was also up a significant 173% over November 2008. Median sale prices increased 18% over the month prior and 12% year over year. They are selling quicker too. The increased activity is due to pent up demand from people needing to trade up to larger units and improved pricing that brings them in line with demand.

If we continue to see the inventory of available apartments going down, and buyer activity remain as strong, I believe that we will be hitting real price equilibrium soon. On a micro scale I know that I've seen pricing in some larger coop buildings actually increasing already off their lows of the year.

click on the charts below to enlarge

Manhattan condo prices in November 2009

Manhattan coop prices in November 2009

» download the manhattan november real estate market snapshot (544 kb)
» download the Q3 2009 manhattan market report (3.9 mb)

reader comments:

Thanks for the info regarding the real estate market in that unique place. Good info for the work I'm doing for a client that might be interesting in ivesting an that safe market.


Mr. Comitini,

Do you have any advice about investing in real estate in the Newark area? I understand it's the most dangerous city in NJ, but figure there must be nice suburbs nearby that are safer... Your comments would be appreciated as my family and I will be relocating to the greater NYC area this Fall... Or do you just deal with Manhattan? Thanks!


I work in Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY. I'm not licensed in NJ and don't know Newark at all. Oh, yes, they have an airport come to think of it :-)


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