2022 home sales of $7.3B in Manhattan were the strongest-ever start to a year.

Strongest-Ever Residential Real Estate Sales in Manhattan During Q1 2022

Manhattan home sales hit a record $7.3B from 3,585 sales in Q1 2022.  Both dollar totals from residential sales and total sales numbers accounted for the strongest-ever start to a year, according to a report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman.

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The total number of sales during Q1 2022 represented an increase of +46% y/y.  Total sales volume soared by +60% y/y as decreasing inventory drove continued price growth.

The average price of an apartment in Manhattan came in at $2,042,113, an increase of +19% y/y.

What’s Driving Sales Numbers and Prices?

Despite rising interest rates, falling stock prices and concerns about a potential recession, Manhattan’s residential market during Q1 was “stellar” in the words of Corcoran’s president and CEO Pamela Liebman.  Liebman said, “With robust sales and improving prices, barring any unexpected shocks, this stellar first quarter should have everyone feeling very optimistic about another momentous year ahead.”

With only some 36% of working New Yorkers working in their offices, according to data from Kastle Systems, it appears that the push to return to the workplace is not driving the increase in sales numbers and sales volume.  On the contrary, according to Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, the appraisal and research company, the city itself is driving sales numbers and sales volume.

Miller said, “You have a lot of people who are working remote but want to be in Manhattan.  They’re attracted to the cultural offerings, the restaurants, Broadway.  Remote doesn’t just mean the suburbs.  There could be as many people working remotely on the Upper East Side of Manhattan as there are in Westchester.”

Another reason for this “stellar” market during Q1 was Manhattan’s ample supply level.  There were nearly 5,000 listings hitting the for-sale market during Q1, the most of any Q1 on record, according to Corcoran. Of course, the 3,585 sales transactions during Q1 decreased that supply to less than 6,000 units, for the first time in five years.

Biggest Price Gains at Top of Market

The median price of an apartment in Manhattan hit $1,190,000 during Q1.  The median price of an apartment in a new development hit +$2.3M.  Prices for apartments with four or more bedrooms jumped to $6.5M, an increase of +31% y/y.

Only 20% of sold apartments had price tags under $1,200/square foot, the lowest percentage on record, according to Corcoran.

 More than 47% of all residential real estate transactions during Q1 were all-cash deals.  Even as prices climbed along with interest rates, wealthy buyers simply paid more cash.

The question now is, “How much higher can Manhattan prices go before buyers start to back down from deals?”  No one interviewed for this piece had an answer.

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