Potential contracts for Manhattan apartments have fallen by more than half this past July while deals in more suburban environments have doubled, proving that many individuals are trying to escape the reality of a close knit metropolitan area in the middle of a global health crisis.
Technically speaking, the number of signed contracts for apartments and condos in Manhattan has dropped by 57% in July when compared to the numbers one year ago. According to reports from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman, the higher end of the market is what’s being hit especially hard, as co-op properties that are priced between $4-$10 million are down over 75% when compared to 2019’s sale numbers.
While the number of actual signed listings is decreasing, the number of new apartment listings is continuing to increase. New listings in Manhattan jumped 8% when compared to last year, and the number of unsold apartments is at its highest level in nearly a decade. According to Samuel and Elliman, the market is currently in a position to have more than a 17-month supply of apartments to sell; the typical Manhattan average is an eight month supply.
Obviously the pandemic and lockdown procedures that come with it are impacting the industry. Metropolitan’s all over the world are being hit hard, but Manhattan is especially struggling, especially considering New York City was the initial epicenter for Covid-19 when it first began affecting individuals in America.
The lockdown is preventing all apartment showings to be done in person, making it difficult to get deals signed. Additionally, many native New Yorkers are fleeing the city for more suburban options to ride out the rest of the pandemic. The numbers in July are a reflection of individuals who either know someone, or have additional properties in more suburban settings; like on Long Island or Westchester even. CEO of Miller Samuel, Jonathan Miller, spoke with the media about these trends and why the city is the last place people want to be right now.
“The city is less of an anchor now, it’s going to take longer for the city to recover than the suburbs. Anything within a two-hour radius of the city is as busy as it’s ever been, there’s just a fear of density right now.”
Sales contracts in the Hampton’s nearly doubled with July with 267 signed deals. In Westchester County, deals also doubled when compared to last year with 987 signed deals. However, experienced real estate brokers working in the city aren’t too worried about these numbers. While this is the worst international crisis they may have ever experienced, it’s not the first time the city’s real estate industry has had to recover after mass tragedy.
Many use September 11th or the Great Recession as an example for the way in which the industry is able to recover along with its citizens. After both, deep discounts on properties in the city is what helped recover New York’s economy, and many are expecting the same results this time around especially among higher end properties.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.