Key Highlights

  • Pending sales contracts in Manhattan jumped +73% in February
  • February marked third consecutive month of y/y gains

Sales Contracts in Manhattan Exploding

Pending sales contracts in Manhattan for residential real estate exploded in February.  Pending sales skyrocketed +73%, according to the latest report by Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel.

February’s pending sales volume was the third straight month of y/y gains.

“Remarkable Recovery from 2020”

Sales contracts in Manhattan real estate so far this year have topped $5B, the highest level of signed contracts since Manhattan’s market peak in 2015, according to Garrett Derderian, director of market intelligence for the Serhantbrokerage firm.

Derderian said, “This is a remarkable recovery from 2020, and a trend we began to see emerge from the time Biden was elected in November to the announcement of the first viable vaccines for COVID.”

Much of Sales Activity Driven by Discounted Sales Prices

On average, according to Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, Manhattan’s sales prices have dropped an average of 10%.  Many condo buildings have cut prices by -20% or more and resales of some luxury apartments in Midtown have been selling for less than 50% of their 2015 peak prices.

Manhattan’s unsold apartments that blew up to more than 9,400 units last fall have dropped to 7,500, much closer to historical averages.

Such Discounts and Deals May Soon Evaporate

According to Miller of Miller Samuel, “The bigger narrative (beyond this sales surge) is the inbound migration to Manhattan.  I think the youth renaissance we are going to see in Manhattan is a big part of this story.”

Miller is not alone in his thinking.  Steven James, president and CEO with Douglas Elliman’s New York City brokerage, said that the days of big price cuts in Manhattan may be ending sooner rather than later.  “It looks like it (discounted pricing) is going to be a short window.”


Thanks to Douglas Elliman/Miller Samuel, Serhant and CNBC.


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