February Manhattan Market Report

Posted by urbandigs

Wed Mar 6th, 2013 09:26 AM

A: And the deals just keep on coming! If it feels like its very active out there, your right, and the data shows it. This February saw another high in 'deal volume' (contract activity) as we booked 1,099 new contracts signed -- the previous high was February 2008 which booked 1,041 new deals signed. This blows past previous February production levels that averaged in the mid-800's. All of this is coming as inventory remain at very low levels. Add in how equity markets are reaching record highs, and there are no forces out there to get in the way of this Manhattan run. Until something changes, buyers will have to deal with competition for well priced property that has desired features (views/renovations/outdoor space). Lets go to the real-time data.

First, lets take a look at Manhattan Monthly Contract Activity to see how February performed compared to past years:



+26% over FEBRUARY 2012
+28% over PRIOR MONTH

Conclusion - We are putting more active listings into contract than we have in any other February since we started collecting data in 2008. This is all coming at a time when Active Supply in Manhattan is 29% lower that it was this time last year. The gap between the # of listings coming onto the market & the # of listings going into contract continues to narrow. This shifts the leverage to the sell side as buyers continue to be frustrated with the lack of options and the competition when a good new listing does pop up.

The only way sellers can mess up in this market is by pricing too high and testing the market; if you are testing the market I would not be so quick to discount a low, but realistic offer that comes in.

Here are a few general conclusions I can pass on after reviewing all the real-time data on UrbanDigs.com:

-- The higher price points are outperforming the low end. Specifically, the $2M-$5M price point is very hot right now. The under $1M market continues to be the laggard, but is still on an upward trajectory over the past month

-- 1,436, the # of new active listings to hit the market in February. This is the lowest February of new supply to hit the market since we started keeping records in 2008. This total is also down 3% from the total # of new listings that came to market last February and down 7% from the total that came to market in January.

-- The 3 Hottest Neighborhoods (contract activity) in February are: Midtown West +32%, Soho/Noho/WVillage +30%, and Chelsea at +29%

-- Tribeca & Midtown West saw the biggest drop in supply over the past month; down 11% and down 12% respectively. This at a time when supply is supposed to be rising.

-- The pace of Active listings coming OFF-MKT is at the lowest levels since the peak. This is further confirmation of market strength as sellers are either (a) keeping their listings on the market longer or, (b) are seeing their listings go to contract. In weak markets, sellers tend to pull their listings off market in droves to wait for better times; something that happened in September & October of 2008 after Lehman failed and the market shifted down.

In a few weeks I will start to post articles with the new chart system and should be able to delve into much more detail on what segments of Manhattan are hot and which are underperforming.