Gregory J. Heym
Executive Vice President, Chief Economist
There are some discrepancies in the numbers, but the first-quarter Manhattan market reports released by the major brokerages today all agree on one thing: Nobody is buying anything. According to the Prudential Douglas Elliman report, sales plummeted 48% from this time last year. According to Corcoran, Manhattan sales declined 52%, and the Brown Harris Stevens/Halstead report had condo and co-op activity down 58%. In a report put out by StreetEasy, the web geeks say contract signings in the quarter were down 40% from Q1 2008, to 1,324 (not closed deals, and therefore perhaps a better indicator of current market activity). The luxury market, which BHS/Halstead puts at apartments priced north of $10 million, saw an 87% drop in sales. With fewer apartments trading hands and closings continuing at big-ticket new buildings—though Corcoran reports a staggering 67% drop in closed sales in new developments—price data came out a bit wacky.
According to Elliman, the average sale price was $1,825,847 and the median sales price was $975,000, both increases over last quarter and last year. Corcoran says the average was $1.56M and the median $925k, both slight decreases from 2008. Take out the new stuff, and the signs of a battered economy start to show. The median resale price reported by Elliman was $675,000, down nearly 8% from last quarter and 21% from last year. Corcoran turned up a $749,000 median for resales, down 11% from last year. The market appears to be in a holding pattern, with buyers waiting on huge discounts, sellers reluctant to massacre prices, and no deals getting done as a result. Something's gotta give. But first, some favorite charts and graphs!
Above, via the Halstead/Brown Harris Stevens report, we see that apartments are hanging around on the market longer, and commanding less cash than desired.
The brokerages' reports aren't yet online.
Thursday, April 02, 2009