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April Market Update 2018

After a considerably more brisk April than was expected, it seems that we are finally going to enjoy some well-deserved spring weather here in New York City. Meanwhile, the sales market moved at a hotter pace than 2018’s first quarter, which was notably slow moving. While there is still an underlying hesitation in the market, buyers were more active than any other month so far this year. Due to rising interest rates, unease surrounding the new federal tax law, and bloated inventory in certain segments of the market it appears that buyers have been reassessing where value exists. Sellers that have not nimbly adjusted to this changing marketplace have found their properties languishing on the market and chasing after an educated buyer pool with price cuts and other incentives. There are certainly notable exceptions; entry-level properties across Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn are still experiencing competition and several of our lower priced listings have seen bidding wars throughout April. Multi-family houses in Brooklyn and single-family houses in many Queens’ neighborhoods are also seeing the same. We have also had quick sales on properties that were priced well and positioned strategically among the competitive listing inventory. According to first quarter market report, compiled by Miller Samuel’s Jonathan Miller, Manhattan’s median sales price slipped two percent from last year and an ever greater drop when we look at price per square foot. However, Manhattan co-ops sold at a median sales price 4.5% higher than the same period last year. We saw inventory increase in almost every segment, approximately 10% across the market. The luxury market saw an increase of approximately 15% over the same period. Brooklyn saw the sharpest rise in inventory, due predominantly to the release of many new development condo units.

An interactive look at where the biggest deals were struck, plus total overall sales and average prices for the week.

April did offer some high profile luxury sales. However, luxury sales have been occurring, on average, at a 16% discount from original asking price, with a median asking price of $6.9 million and an average of 364 days on the market. 157 West 57th claimed last week’s priciest deal at $59 million, which was 15% off the original asking price of $70 million. Almost 50% of all luxury sales in the city have been for units in new developments as developers are looking to clear inventory by offering hefty price cuts and additional concessions.

In general, what we are seeing is opportunity for shrewd buyers and investors to take advantage of a buildup of inventory and patient buyers causing many sellers to offer significant discounts. Sellers in certain areas of the city, i.e. Brooklyn, Queens and Downtown Manhattan, and owners of lower priced properties, in contrast, can take advantage of stronger demand in their area of the market. Now is certainly a time to be strategic, deliberate, and well informed in order to best take advantage of market volatility. We will continue to keep you up to date on recent happenings and trends in the market. We hope that you find this informative and useful and, please, as always, reach out with any questions on how you can take advantage of these current trends or how to protect your real estate assets. Also, feel free to reach out with any questions regarding a specific trend or segment of the market. The LevinKong Team is available to serve all your New York City real estate needs and those of your friends, family and colleagues.