Days on market is one of my favorite metrics in this crazy business we call Manhattan real estate analytics. It is derived by taking the current pool of pending sales (all 4,400+ of “in-contract” apartments pending their closing), and then looking at the median days on market for that subset of data; scrubbing out all of the bad stuff of course. It is perhaps the best relative measure of the pace of contract activity that is happening in real-time.
Manhattan Days on Market has plunged to 49 today, that is down 4% from this time last year and a decline of 29% over the last 30 days. It allows me to say confidently that the active season is officially in full force. In the field, I’m feeling the same trend for our buyer clients. Here is the chart:
Buyers: Understand the seasonality of the Manhattan marketplace. This is the time of year that sees the highest level of contract activity, so you should expect to see buy side competition for quality well-priced product. In terms of price action, I would say today’s market has ticked up after a slight cool down in January & February. Inventory is at the tightest level since this time last year so leverage will continue to be swayed noticeably in sell side’s favor unless something drastic changes in the world.
Sellers: I can not think of a better time where “asking price” is the best guide towards your apartment’s value. If you are not selling, its one of 3 main problems: (i) a market problem, (ii) a product problem, or (iii) a price problem. Im here to tell you that it is definitely not a market problem. Demand is there, especially for high quality apartments in mid & low price points. By product problem, I am referring to low-floor apartments with no views that have not been renovated in 20 years. By no means are buyers ‘bidding up’ for apartments with those attributes. Which means, only price remains. Check your local neighborhood (in chart room) & building days on market trends (enter a building address on homepage ‘Building Sales Trends’ interface) on UrbanDigs.com. If you find your apartment on the market longer than those levels I would re-think your listing strategy and consider a price reduction — especially with market conditions as they are now.