Key Highlights

  • According to report by Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman, signed contracts for Manhattan co-ops and condos dropped -57% in July
  • High end of market hardest hit with co-ops from $4M-$10M down more than –75%
  • Number of unsold apartments at highest level in nearly a decade

Manhattan sales contracts in July fell off a cliff in July. According to a new report by Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman, the number of signed contracts for co-ops and condos plummeted by -57% in July compared to one year ago. Apartment contracts fell by more than half while contracts in many New York suburbs more than doubled (see accompanying article “Urbanites Hasten Pace of Suburban and Rural Searches).

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The hardest hit, more than -75%, in terms of dried up deals were high-end co-ops priced at $4M-$10M.

The number of apartments listed for sale in Manhattan is skyrocketing. The number of unsold apartments is at nearly a decade high AND there is more than a 17-month supply at the current sales rate, according to Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel. (Usually, there is an eight-month supply of for sale apartments in Manhattan.)

Miller said, “The city is less of an anchor now. It’s going to take longer for the city to recover than the suburbs.”

Sales contracts in the Hamptons, Westchester County and New York doubled in July. Fairfield County CT has been a beneficiary of NYC’s hard times. It had more than 1,200 signed contracts in July while neighboring Greenwich saw an increase of +72%.

Scott Durkin, president and CEO with Douglas Elliman, said, “Anything within a two-hour radius of the city is as busy as it’s ever been. There’s just this fear of density right now,” but, as a whole, Durkin, however, is not pessimistic about the Manhattan market and believes that the city will come back quickly once there is a vaccine and companies begin bringing back their workers.

Durkin’s only hesitancy? The market segment of new condo developments. Already, the once sky-high prices of new condo buildings are being cut by as much as 50% or more on some units. Then, perhaps in five years, that full floor unit with more than 3,800 square feet that was originally priced +$20M and today listed for $10.5M will likely be considered a bargain at resale.


Thanks to CNBC, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman.

Also read: Coronavirus Effect on Volatility in Real Estate – So Far, Manhattan Now A Buyer’s Market, Big Bargains in the Hamptons

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