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Navigating Manhattan’s CONDO Market Posted by Noah Rosenblatt in Uncategorized

Wanted to dig into the trends of the Manhattan Condo market as a few dynamics are at play that may cause some confusion when interpreting the data; mainly the impact from a surge of Luxury New Development closings that hit in the first quarter. 

One of the cool things about this journey with UrbanDigs is all the great colleagues I have met over the years and keep in contact with to discuss what they are seeing in the fields of Manhattan real estate. This article was born out of one of those discussions, so a quick shout out to Brian Morgan at Citi-Habitats for bringing this topic up.

Ok, right to it. The combination of  Q3-2015 weakness combined with a surge in Luxury New Development closings in Q1-2016 is causing volatility in Median Sale Price figures for the Manhattan Condo market.

Here is a chart showing 5 YR MANHATTAN CONDO MEDIAN SALE PRICE trends and as you review try to focus on the 1-2-3 points noted (YoY format):

Now lets go over each point.

1. NOV 2015 | $1,753,946 – This will be more relevant as you read on to the next chart! If we stripped out new development closings that would occur 4-6 months after this point in time, this would be the actual sales PEAK of the Manhattan Condo Existing Resale marketplace. Read on to see.

2. FEB 2016 | $1,856,411 – If we keep all the data in as the above chart does, this marks the PEAK of the Manhattan Condo market. However, when you parse out the data you will find that a bump up in closings from New Developments are artificially ‘pulling’ prices higher. Many new dev properties were signed into contract over a year ago, making this subset of the market useful and interesting, but very ‘untimely’

 3. CURRENT | $1,565,500 – With the surge of Luxury New Development closings waning, Median Sales prices gravitated back towards more realistic levels. However, the damage from any interpretations point of view is done as it appears the Condo market surged in Feb, March & April, and then shot back down 12% or so to where we are today. When looking at the more stable resale marketplace, this trend did NOT happen.

The following  are a sample of NEW DEVELOPMENTS that contributed to the higher Median Sale figures reported in Feb – March – April 2016:

1. 150 Charles Street – 14 sales | $14.1M Median Sale Price

2. 432 Park Ave – 23 sales | $13.7M Median Sale Price

3. 151 East 78 Street – 13 sales | $11.3M Median Sale Price

4. 140-160 West 12 Street – 55 sales | $6.3M Median Sale Price

5. 200 E 62 Conversion – 13 sales | $3.5M Median Sale Price

6. 235 West 75 Street – 12 sales | $3.4M Median Sale Price

7 . 135 West 52 Street – 32 sales | $3.2M Median Sale Price

8. 5 Franklin Place – 22 sales | $3.1M Median Sale Price

9. 15 Renwick Street – 15 sales | $2.7M Median Sale Price

10.261 West 25 Street – 55 sales | $2.6M Median Sale Price

Lets now strip out New Developments from the data and see how the Manhattan Condo Existing Resale (linear format showing trend over time) market performed to validate whether the peak of the market was in Feb 2016 or Nov 2015:

As suspected, when you strip out new developments from the data this is the trendline that results. It clearly shows the PEAK of the Condo Resale Market in November 2015 at $1,320,000, whereas the latest reading came in at $1,135,000; down about 14% in a continuous path over the past 7 months. 


If you want to track New Development, do it on its own relative to itself. This is a feature that UrbanDigs will soon offer our users. Buyers of new development products sign contracts months to years in advance, making it a very untimely indicator of current conditions when those sales eventually close in bulk down the road.

When we focus solely on the Manhattan Condo marketplace, the story becomes much clearer and something we could feel more comfortable about discussing with our clients. That is, it seems the market hit its peak performance sometime last summer, around June/July of 2015, and those transactions closed 3-4 months later to close out 2015 at record sales levels. Weakness hit the sector in Fall of 2015 which lasted until March or so when we began to recover. It seems sales stats are only now starting to reflect that recovery.

Its important for existing resale coop + condo sellers to understand this dynamic and set expectations properly. Focus on the resale condo trend chart I published when guiding clients. We are working hard to finish our final vision here, which will include tabs for our chart room to separate Marketwide from Existing Resale from New Developments. So the tools to let you dissect the data properly and guide clients properly is coming!