Watch Contract Activity to see if this active season is panning out

David Goldsmith

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Fannie Mae: Home sales will decline by 15% in 2020 due to coronavirus, but what will happen to property prices?

Meanwhile, low interest rates are expected to keep mortgage refinancing volumes high throughout the year

At the end of last year, economists expected that 2020 would be a strong year for housing. But now thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, home sales are poised to nose dive in the months ahead.

A new report from Fannie Mae FNMA, -1.81% projects that home sales will fall by nearly 15% in 2020. Driving that decline will be a downturn in existing home sales, which Fannie Mae expects will drop to an annual rate of 4.54 million units, down from 5.34 million in 2019.

Issues with both supply and demand are expected to contribute to the decline in home-buying activity. On the demand side, the rapid rise in unemployment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying stay-at-home orders will curtail many Americans’ ability to afford a purchase as big as a home.

Meanwhile, home sellers are pulling their homes from the market. “On the supply side, the number of listings is falling, as those with homes to offer may either be hesitant to allow strangers to tour their home or worry that the lack of demand is placing downward pressure on the sales price they might otherwise receive,” Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan said in the report.
While the housing industry was in a strong position at the start of the year, the one thing many economist agreed would curtail growth in sales was the supply of homes. In the years following the Great Recession, home-building activity did not keep pace with the creation of households, which has left a significant gap in the marketplace.

As a results, economists had expected that the low number of homes on the market would prevent buyers from finding a property to purchase that they could afford. Would-be home sellers pulling their listings may exacerbate this issue — though buyers in the market might have more luck as a result of the decrease in demand fueled by the flailing job market.
What will happen to house prices?
Sellers don’t necessarily need to worry about lower prices if they do put their home on the market, according to Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae is still projecting the median price for an existing home to rise to $275,000 in 2020 from $272,000 last year, while the median price for a new home is expected to increase to $326,000 from $321,000.

While the downturn in sales is expected to lead to a slower pace of mortgage lending for loans used to purchase homes, refinancing is expected to remain strong throughout the year thanks to the low rate environment. Fannie Mae projects there will be $1.41 trillion in refinance loans originated in 2020, up from $1.01 trillion last year.
The good news for prospective home buyers and sellers alike is that the situation in the real-estate market is expected to improve next year, according to Fannie Mae. The mortgage giant currently expects the U.S. economy and home sales both to rebound in 2021. But that rebound is contingent on the pandemic’s trajectory.

“The historically rapid decline in economic activity, the accompanying employment loss, and our limited, though improving, understanding of COVID-19 make this a particularly challenging forecast environment,” Duncan said. “The variability around this forecast is wide, and is dependent on the incidence, severity, and duration of the virus, as well as the response of the public and policy makers to new information.”
 

David Goldsmith

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Staff member
5 is a big uptick from the quad deuces, but still a far cry from YOY 25 and 2015s 41.


Report on Contracts Signed
Manhattan Residential Properties
$4 Million and Above
April 20-26, 2020
5 Contracts Signed

Five contracts were signed last week at $4 million and above, 3 more than the previous week, and the week before that, and the week before that, and the week before that. In other words, we have finally broken the spell of 2 signed contracts each week for 4 weeks in a row.
State Geek Alert: Only 1 co-op contract was signed in the last 5 weeks, something we haven’t seen since we started keeping track in 2010.
The No. 1 contract was 4/5 at 595 West End Avenue, asking $9.5 million, which has been on and off the market at various points since 2012, when it was asking $11.975 million. The prewar duplex condo is a combination of 7 units that total 5,859 square feet. In 2007, the owner paid a total $5,192,460 for 4ABCD and 5A, and then in 2010 purchased 5CD for $1.5 million. The apartment was renovated, and is configured as 5 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, a kitchen with a large island that opens onto the dining room, a media room, a gym with a kitchenette, a playroom, library, and office. The unit has central air conditioning and common charges and taxes total $13,873 per month. Amenities include a doorman and bike rom. Jennifer Kalish of Douglas Elliman represented the seller and buyer. When asked about further details, she emailed: “Unfortunately that's all I am at liberty to disclose, according to the DE PR DEPARTMENT.”

The No. 2 contract was the 2nd floor at 102 Prince Street, asking $8.5 million, reduced from $9.9 million when the unit was listed in July. This is a 4,500-square-foot condo in a prewar loft. It has 2 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 14-foot ceilings, and a living room with a fireplace. The seller was represented by Adam Modlin of Modlin Group and the buyer by Michael Lubin of Brown Harris Stevens. Both brokers declined to comment, but the circumstances of the sale are insightful.
The seller paid $13.8 million in February 2014, and was part of a US Department of Justice sale of seized property from the Malaysian fugitive financier, Jho Low. In October, the Justice Department reached a settlement with Low’s attorneys to recover $900 million out of the $2.7 billion in funds that the fugitive and his family had misappropriated from 2009-2015 from the Malaysian investment fund 1MDB. Mr. Low is believed to be living in China and the seized properties include high-end real estate in Beverly Hills, New York, and London, a $120-million yacht, jets, artwork, and other assets in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Money also helped finance the film The Wolf of Wall Street. Caught up in one of the largest multi-year international kleptocracy cases in the United States were officials in Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank.
Stay safe, folks!
 

David Goldsmith

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Staff member

New York’s New Developments Sell at Record Lows Amid Covid-19 Crisis
There were only 11 contracts signed last week, CORE NYC reports

New York’s new residential developments are struggling to find buyers amid the coronavirus lockdown.

There were only 11 contracts signed at new buildings across the city in the week ending April 26, the lowest level in the city’s history, according to New York-based brokerage CORE NYC, which began tracking the new development market on a weekly basis in late March, in addition to its quarterly reports.

“This is interesting but somehow to be expected,” said Shaun Osher, CEO and founder of CORE NYC. “People are not going to see new apartments since the shutdown.” The contracts signed were mostly because buyers had already seen the property and started negotiating before March, he said.

Three of the contracts were in Manhattan, and eight in Brooklyn. The 11 contracts had a total value of $15.3 million, compared to $35.5 million the week prior, which saw 24 contracts signed, according to the report released Monday.



“This is interesting but somehow to be expected,” said Shaun Osher, CEO and founder of CORE NYC. “People are not going to see new apartments since the shutdown.” The contracts signed were mostly because buyers had already seen the property and started negotiating before March, he said.

Three of the contracts were in Manhattan, and eight in Brooklyn. The 11 contracts had a total value of $15.3 million, compared to $35.5 million the week prior, which saw 24 contracts signed, according to the report released Monday.

The new apartments that do sell tend to be at the lower-tier of the high-priced new development market. The most expensive contract last week was a unit at 565 Broome SoHo in Manhattan, asking $4.5 million, according to the report.

Overall, there were 44 property contracts signed across Manhattan in the week ending April 26, according to a separate report released Tuesday by UrbanDigs, a Manhattan property market information provider. The number represented an 83% decline compared to the same period last year.
 

David Goldsmith

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Only on luxury contract in Manhattan!


Report on Contracts Signed
Manhattan Residential Properties
$4 Million and Above
April 27-May 3, 2020
1 Contracts Signed

And then there was One!
Only 1 contract was signed last week in Manhattan at $4 million and above. When was the last time that happened? The week of February 2-8, 2009.
Stat Geek Alert: In the last 6 weeks, only 14 contracts have been signed at $4 million and above totaling $111,745,000 compared to 135 contracts that totaled $1,029,844,699 in the same 6-week period last year.
The No.1 and only contract was 61BT at 146 West 57th Street, asking $9.25 million, reduced from $10.25 million when it was listed on October 1. The unit, in Metropolitan Tower condominium, has 3,632 square feet including 5 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms; it also has almost 80 feet of frontage overlooking Central Park. The condo is a combination of 2 apartments that were purchased separately for a total of $6.7 million between December and January of 2007-2008. Monthly common charges and taxes total $10,981. Amenities include a concierge, fitness center, pool, roof deck, and private restaurant.
The listing brokers were Matteo Saggese, Julianne Bond, and Pedro Crespo of Triplemint. The buyer’s broker was Daniel Chun of Compass. The buyer lives in the building in a smaller unit and saw 61BT only once. But the brokers described the deal as the result of a long and grueling negotiation that started in November and ended with an accepted offer in January. Subsequent months were dedicated to due diligence, closing a building permit, and contract negotiations. By March, a contract had been finalized--but the pandemic caused the market to fall apart and the following month was spent renegotiating the price. When Chun was asked why the buyers hung in, he said: “The need didn’t change…fortunately, both parties were able to adjust and move the deal forward.” A contract was signed on April 30.
Stay safe folks!!
 

David Goldsmith

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Staff member
4 luxury contracts in Brooklyn.


Brooklyn luxury market sees four contracts signed for second week in a row
Priciest deal was for a Brooklyn Heights co-op seeking $5.3M


Do four high-end contract signings in Brooklyn count as a busy week? At the moment, perhaps.
The four deals were for two condos, a co-op and a townhouse, according to the latest report from Compass. The report looks at homes in the borough asking $2 million or more based on the last publicly available asking prices. The previous week’s report also found four such deals.
In February, the weekly average was 18.

The priciest listing to go into contract last week was a co-op at 1 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights asking $5.3 million. The five-bedroom property spans about 3,000 square feet and spent 343 days on the market.

The second most expensive was a townhouse at 543 11th Street in Park Slope asking $2.6 million. The five-bedroom property spans 2,790 square feet and went into contract after 82 days on the market. It is legally designated as a three-family home but can be easily converted to a single-family, according to Compass.

The asking prices of the four deals was $12.3 million altogether. The properties spent an average of 119 days on the market and had reduced their asking prices by an average of 4 percent. The previous week’s four contracts were for homes asking $12.2 million in total.

The other two contracts signed in Brooklyn’s luxury market last week were a condo at 856 Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights and a condo at 341 Union Street in Carroll Gardens, both for $2.2 million.
 

David Goldsmith

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2019 May 6-12 had 23 Contracts Signed

May 4-10, 2020
6 Contracts Signed

Six contracts were signed last week at $4 million and above, five more than the previous week. It was the highest weekly total and dollar volume since the New York State shutdown on March 22.
Stat Geek Alert: In the last seven weeks, a total of 20 contracts were signed at $4 million and above compared to 158 during the same 7-week period last year. Price reductions from the original asking price to the last asking price averaged 14%. The average days on the market was 653.
The No. 1 contract was a brownstone at 326 West 87th Street, asking $7.995 million, reduced from $9.9 million when it went on the market almost 2 years ago. This 4-story, 20-foot-wide house was purchased for $2,925,000 in February 2004 and then underwent a 2-year gut renovation. It has 6,577 square feet including 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 powder rooms, a garden, 2 terraces, and a rooftop caged-in basketball court. The rear wall is constructed of glass and features a dramatic double-height ceiling in the dining room. It has central air conditioning and geothermal heating. Various Law and Order episodes have been filmed in the house.

The brownstone was sold directly by owner Jess Mogul to a buyer who was not represented by a broker. Mogul said he worked with a brokerage firm for a year, but had no luck; he then took over the marketing and reduced the price. Several potential buyers circled the property for months. According to Mogul, he ended up with two different buyers, who at various points were in and out of the deal, raising and lowering their offers, and changing terms as the pandemic hit. Mogul passed on a lower, all-cash offer from a buyer who was represented by a broker, and instead signed a contract at a higher price with a buyer who wasn’t represented by a broker. The buyer is getting a mortgage, but the contract is not contingent on financing.
At one point, Mogul considered not selling because his 4 children are back home riding out the pandemic. “I thought of pulling it off the market because I believed that a single-family house will be at a premium during this time,” he said. “People are freaked out about living in a high rise with elevators and common areas. You can’t find a better situation than this townhouse.”
The No. 2 contract was 56A at 30 Park Place, asking $7.95 million, reduced from $9.3 million when the building started marketing off of floorplans in 2014. The unit has 2,811 square feet including 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, and sweeping north and west views of the city and Hudson River.
Angeli Dahiya of Corcoran Sunshine represented the legendary developer Larry Silverstein, who lives in the building. Endre Boksay of Compass represented the buyer. The buyer had seen a smaller, lower-floor, 3-bedroom unit several times, but once the pandemic hit, the buyer backed away. The developer became more flexible about negotiating, so the brokers redirected the buyer to a higher-floor, 4-bedroom unit using a virtual tour. Soon negotiations started. Dahiya said, “ I always tell Silverstein to try to counter everything and give them transparency.”
Pandemic pricing on a larger apartment seemed to do the trick. Dahiya said, “They were very happy with the deal and so was Silverstein. They got a great deal, better than any other in the line, and we were really glad that we got to reel them back in. Silverstein just wanted to wrap it up.” Only 6 units are left out of 157 condos in the 80-story limestone building designed by Robert A.M. Stern. Prices have averaged around $3,053/sq.ft. The bottom 22 floors is occupied by The Four Seasons Hotel, which is now closed during the pandemic, making the marketing even more challenging. Amenities include a concierge, fitness center, 75-foot swimming pool, garage, restaurant, bar and lounge, ballroom facilities, meeting rooms, a children’s play room, and screening room.
 

David Goldsmith

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Brooklyn luxury market sees 3rd straight week with 4 contracts
Priciest deal was for a Park Slope townhouse seeking $2.5M

It’s starting to look like four luxury contracts per week is the new normal for Brooklyn.

The borough saw four high-end contract signings last week for the third week in a row, split between two townhouses, one condo and one co-op, according to the latest report from Compass. The report looks at homes in the borough asking $2 million or more based on the last publicly available asking prices.

A pair of Park Slope properties tied for the priciest listing last week. A townhouse at 617 11th Street and a condo at 423 3rd Street were both asking $2.5 million. The townhouse spans about 2,400 square feet and spent 101 days on the market, and the condo spans about 2,200 square feet with two bedrooms.

The asking prices of the four deals were about $9.3 million altogether. The properties spent an average of 42 days on the market and did not reduce their asking prices on average. The previous week’s four contracts were for properties asking $12.3 million in total.

The other two contracts signed in Brooklyn’s luxury market last week were for another townhouse in Park Slope at 341 13th Street, asking about $2.2 million, and for a co-op in Brooklyn Heights at 162 Columbia Heights, asking $2.1 million.
 

David Goldsmith

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I keep seeing brokers trying to put a positive spin on the market, but the actual numbers don't lie. Not only was April down 80% year over but so far this month contract volume is down an additional 28% since last month. So things are getting worse, not better. And as you will see from the following 2 posts the total number of "luxury" contracts fell to 3 for Manhattan and Brooklyn combined.
 

David Goldsmith

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Down 95% YOY.


Hope springs ephemeral: Brooklyn luxe market retreats
Only one deal last week, for a three-bedroom condo in Park Slope

The Brooklyn luxury market had its slowest week yet since the coronavirus began ravaging New York City: Only one contract was signed.
The deal was for a condo at 425 3rd Street in Park Slope, which was asking just under $2.5 million, according to the latest report from Compass. The report looks at homes in the borough asking $2 million or more.
The three-bedroom condo, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, spans 1,790 square feet and spent 71 days on the market. Its listed price was not lowered before it went into contract.

Luxury deals in Brooklyn started declining significantly the week of March 15, when six contracts were signed, down from 15 the week before, according to Compass.
Since then, the market has seen between two and five contracts signed each week. The week before last saw four luxury contracts signed for about $9.3 million overall.

One reason for last week’s drop-off could be the statewide moratorium on in-person home showings. Some contracts were signed after the ban by shoppers who had visited the homes beforehand, but now many deals require buyers to pull the trigger on a place they have only seen on video.

In 2019, the week of May 12 was the strongest week the Brooklyn luxury market had seen all year up to that point, with 20 contracts signed for about $79.6 million.
 

David Goldsmith

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May 11-17, 2020
2 Contracts Signed

Two contracts were signed last week at $4 million and above. TWO! That marked the 5th time in the last 8 pandemic weeks that exactly 2 contracts were signed. Talk about being in a rut.
Stat Geek Alert: In the exact same week in 2019, there were 27 contracts signed at $4 million and above totaling $291,215,000 compared to 2 contracts last week totaling a paltry $16.49 million.
The No. 1 contract was 7/8 at 27 East 79th Street, asking $11.995 million, only the fourth contract to top $10 million in the last 8 pandemic weeks. And get this---the unit was sold to a foreigner who never stepped foot into the unit but made a decision off of website photos, floorplans, and renderings. Pamela Johananoff of Corcoran represented both the developer, Adellco, and the buyer. The duplex has 3,006 square feet including 3 bedrooms, a media room, and 5.5 bathrooms. The apartment is in a new 15-story condo that has 7 units, and was built on a 24-foot-wide lot. Amenities include a 24-hour doorman and storage.

Johananoff said: “The contract happened fairly easily. The buyer knew what he wanted. He was referred by a group of friends who knew about the building. He took a leap of faith. We had a very complete fact sheet including floorplans and renderings. Every question was answered, and we gave him all the specifications down to the millwork.”
The No. 2 contract was the 4th floor at 43 West 13th Street, asking $4,495,000, reduced from $5.3 million when it was listed 2 years ago. It has 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms over approximately 5,000 square feet. The unit has 14-foot ceilings and cast iron columns, and needs to be renovated. It is in a 9-story, 12-unit co-op building that does not have a doorman.
The listing cycled through 3 different brokerage firms over a 2-year period. The seller was represented by Barak Dunayer and Jacky Teplitzky of Douglas Elliman. The buyer was represented by Scott Hamm of Compass. He said the buyer had been looking for a year, and he showed him the unit in an open house in February. By late March, the buyer started negotiating. It took about a month for the contract to be signed because due diligence was slow--particularly getting an electronic copy of the co-op board minutes, which was finally provided after the buyer and his attorney agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Typically, co-op board minutes are read at the managing agent’s office, but with offices closed, brokers and attorneys are reporting that managing agents and boards have been struggling with how to adapt to the new virtual landscape.
Dunayer said the deal was all cash, and described the buyer as “a savvy real estate person who wanted to live in the area. You can find the square footage in Soho and Tribeca but not in Greenwich Village.” Hamm said, “I think my buyer feels that everyone got a fair deal.”
 

MCR

Member
I would put a warning at the beginning of this thread that it contains disturbing information not suitable for all audiences, particularly anyone who might be on the cusp of depression!
 

David Goldsmith

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Staff member

Brooklyn luxury home sales remain 80% below last year
Only four deals last week, led by Bed-Stuy townhouse asking $2.6M

Activity in Brooklyn’s luxury market returned to its typical pandemic level last week after just one sale the week before. But it is still way down from a year ago.
The borough saw four deals last week for a total of about $9.4 million — two townhouses, one condo and one co-op, according to the latest report from Compass. The report looks at homes in the borough asking $2 million or more based on the last public asking prices.

The priciest deal, apparently, was for a townhouse at 84 Putnam Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which was seeking about $2.6 million. The five-bedroom property, built in 1901, stands four stories tall and is 20 feet wide.
A contract was also signed for a condo at 308 North 7th Street in Williamsburg, which was asking $2.5 million. The three-bedroom penthouse unit spans about 1,500 square feet and features two terraces.

The average asking price for the four properties was $2.3 million, and they went into contract with asking prices that were 14 percent lower on average than their original requested amount.

Last week was significantly busier than the week before, when just one contract was signed for a Park Slope condo listed at $2.5 million.
In four of the past five weeks, exactly four contracts for Brooklyn properties asking $2 million or more have been signed. A year ago last week, 20 contracts in that market were signed for properties asking about $64 million in total.
 

David Goldsmith

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Report on Contracts Signed
Manhattan Residential Properties
$4 Million and Above
May 18-24, 2020
3 Contracts Signed

Three contracts were signed last week at $4 million and above, one more than the previous week.
Stat Geek Alert: In the last 9 pandemic weeks, 25 contracts have been signed at $4 million and above totaling $182,245,000. In the same 9-week period last year, 207 contracts were signed totaling $1,748,949,699.
The No. 1 contract was 20E at 30 Riverside Boulevard, asking $5,515,000. The condo has 2,018 square feet including 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and a 1,149-square-foot terrace that wraps around most of the apartment. It has east and north views of the Hudson River. Representing the developer was Norma-Jean Callahan and Jose Alvarez of Corcoran Sunshine. The buyer was represented by Adam Widener of Douglas Elliman.

In September, the buyer came to see the unit in the building known as 2 Waterline Square, one of three new buildings that comprise the Waterline Square complex, which was developed on a 5-acre parcel on Riverside Boulevard between 59th and 61st Street.
The buyer returned in February, and in the beginning of March, he made an offer. Callahan said that the pandemic had made outdoor space even more desirable: “The terrace space is very coveted now for many people, and the terrace was the reason he bought this.” She said Waterline’s marketing shifted slightly and now emphasizes the building’s air and water filtration system that she said were “hospital-grade rated.”
The building has 160 units on 38 floors, and was designed by Kohn Pederson Fox. Owners have access to a 100,000-square-foot amenity package that includes a large fitness center. Other amenities include an indoor tennis court, a 25-meter lap pool with adjacent children’s pool and spa pool, full-court basketball, squash court, indoor soccer field, rock climbing wall, golf simulator, children’s room, game room, music and recording studio, art studio, screening room, dog playroom, and storage.
The No. 2 contract was 4N at 173 Perry Street, asking $4.595 million, reduced from $5.590 million when it was listed in June 2017. The condo has 1,817 square feet including 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The living room—with a balcony—and the master overlook the Hudson River. It is in one of a pair of glass box buildings designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Richard Meier around 1999-2000. There is one apartment per floor, and units were sold as raw spaces. The owner purchased 4N in 2003 for $2 million and then renovated. For the last decade or more, the unit has been rented out, at times for as high as $20,000 per month, and it is still occupied by a tenant.
The seller was represented by Brett Miles and Robin Lyon-Gardiner of Douglas Elliman. The buyer was represented by Lucila Werthein, also from Douglas Elliman. The buyer saw the unit only once—in the beginning of March. He waited until the middle of April to make an offer that stretched into a 2-week negotiation, prolonged by both parties being overseas. The contract was not contingent on financing, and the buyer planned on getting a mortgage. Miles said the mortgage rates are so low that “it’s almost free. Most of the all-cash buyers don’t want to pay cash anymore and are looking to get a mortgage.”
 

David Goldsmith

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Listings up, contract signed down.
Manhattan resi listings are up while contracts “limp along”
There were 147 properties brought to market last week, an 11% increase from the week prior
Manhattan sellers may have gotten ahead of themselves.

The number of new listings in Manhattan increased for the fourth consecutive week while contract signings fell, according to a weekly report from data firm UrbanDigs.

There were 147 homes brought to market last week, an 11 percent uptick from 133 the week before. Though the figures market an improvement since the coronavirus effectively shut down the city, last week’s listings were still down 54 percent compared to the same week in 2019, when 320 homes were listed.

Meanwhile, contract signings fell 21 percent to 37 properties. The prior week, which saw 47, was the first time in six weeks that the numbers of homes going into contract increased. Last week’s contract activity is down 82 percent annually.

There was also an increase in listings taken off the market, with 118 delistings last week. While an 11 percent increase from the week prior, it’s fewer than during the same week in 2019, when 150 homes were taken off the market.

Noah Rosenblatt, UrbanDigs’ CEO and author of the report, characterized it as a case where “supply outpaces demand.”

“While sellers have begun returning to the market, buyers, with no in-person viewing options, remain on the sidelines. As a result, the sales market continues to limp along with a de minimis activity,” he said in a statement.

Manhattan’s luxury market, tracked and defined by Olshan Realty as homes sales above $4 million, saw three contracts signed.

The sales market is Brooklyn isn’t doing any better. Last week, there were four contracts signed in the borough with an asking price of $2 million or more.
Share on LinkediShare via Emailanhattan sellers may have gotten ahead of themselveThe number of new listings in Manhattan increased for the fourth consecutive week while contract signings fell, according to a weekly report from data firm UrbanDigs.There were 147 homes brought to market last week, an 11 percent uptick from 133 the week before. Though the figures market an improvement since the coronavirus effectively shut down the city, last week’s listings were still down 54 percent compared to the same week in 2019, when 320 homes were listed MOR
 

David Goldsmith

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Only four Brooklyn lux deals for fifth time in six weeks
Market in holding pattern; sales led by $5M Cobble Hill townhouse

Brooklyn’s luxury-home market once again saw four deals last week, marking the fifth time in the past six weeks the sector has seen that many contracts signed. A year ago, a typical week would see 20 pricey Brooklyn homes go into contract.
Last week’s deals were split between two townhouses and two condos, according to the latest report from Compass. The report looks at homes in the borough asking $2 million or more based on the last public asking prices.
The most expensive listing to go into contract last week was for a townhouse asking $5.15 million at 198 Warren Street in Cobble Hill. The six-bedroom property spans 3,500 square feet and had been on the market for 62 days.

The second priciest was for a condo at 1 Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights seeking $3.2 million. The three-bedroom unit spans 1,981 square feet.
Overall, the four deals that went into contract had asking prices totaling about $13.8 million, or an average of $3.4 million. They spent an average of 226 days on the market and their listing prices had been discounted by an average of 2 percent.
The week before last saw four deals as well, although the total dollar volume was lower at about $9.4 million.
The other two deals last week were for a townhouse at 369 Bergen Street in Park Slope asking $3 million and for a condo at 1 Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights asking nearly $2.4 million.
 

David Goldsmith

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Staff member

Report on Contracts Signed
Manhattan Residential Properties
$4 Million and Above
May 25-31, 2020
5 Contracts Signed

Five contracts were signed last week at $4 million and above, two more than the previous week.
Stat Geek Alert I: In the month of May, only 16 contracts were signed at $4 million and above, totaling $100,480,000. This compared to May 2019, when 111 contracts were signed, totaling $1,054,710,000.
Stat Geek Alert II: In the month of May, only 1 contract was signed at $10 million and above compared to May 2019 when 27 contracts were signed.

The No. 1 contract last week was 5K at 155 West 11th Street, asking $7.25 million. The condo has 2,024 square feet including 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and a 205-square foot terrace off two of the bedrooms. The unit was never listed, and sold off-market by the estate of legendary real estate broker and philanthropist Robby Browne. He bought the property as an investment for $6,631,746 in January 2017, more than 4 years after signing a contract to buy it off of floorplans from the developer.
Robby’s listings were featured in this report many times over the years as the broker with the No.1 or No. 2 sale of the week. Sadly, he died in April of Covid-19 at the age of 72, after fighting a long battle with multiple myeloma. Representing the estate was Chris Kann and Maria Pashby of the Corcoran Group, who worked alongside Robby for the last 20 years. Cathy Franklin of Corcoran represented the buyer.
The apartment is in the Greenwich Lane, a 5-building complex comprised of 193 condos and 5 townhouses. Amenities include a concierge, doorman, parking, fitness center, a 25-meter swimming pool, golf simulator, garden, residents’ lounge, and children’s playroom.
Kann said the buyer bought the unit off of photos and floorplans. “The people had visited the building and were familiar with the apartments and were ready to move forward. The unit is the highest floor you can get in this section of the building before it becomes penthouses, and it has a clear view overlooking townhouses to the Freedom Tower.”
Kann said of Robby, “He bought in all the new developments he believed in. He was the first to sign a contract at 15 Central Park West. He bought in 150 Charles Street, and 122 Greenwich with a friend. He was the first to buy in the Greenwich Lane too. It stands to Robby’s ability to pick good apartments.”
The No. 2 contract was 16B at 1100 Park Avenue, asking $6.95 million, which was listed in the middle of May and sold almost immediately, reportedly close to the asking price. The 7-room co-op has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, and features a 60-foot terrace overlooking Park Avenue. The seller was represented by Mark David Fromm and Claudia Saez-Fromm of the Corcoran Group. The buyers were represented by Michele Kleier of Kleier Residential.
The owners purchased the apartment in February 2012 for $4 million and gut-renovated it. The apartment was originally listed a year ago, but the sellers took it off the market even though they had received a full-price offer in the Spring of 2019.
But Covid-19 changed everything. Fromm said the owner was living in his second residence in the Hamptons. “He has 3 boys and was loving it there, playing in the grass all day. He found a house in Scarsdale and bought it in the last few weeks.”
As for the buyers, Kleier said they had not stepped one foot inside the apartment but have numerous friends who live in the building. “I sent them pictures and floorplans. They very much wanted a terrace with what’s going on now, not being able to go anywhere and wanting fresh air.” In addition, she noted: “These clients were so happy and so thrilled that it happened so fast. It’s been a long time since I have seen clients so excited.”
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Of particular interest to me is that not only are Manhattan contract signings down 83.8% YOY, but 26.4% from last month when we were fully on lockdown. Also at the same time new listings grew 103.2% from April which would seem to indicate the continued drop in contract signings is not really a supply constraint issue.

I am imagining a huge flood of listings coming on the market when physical showings resume and can't see how demand will keep pace with it.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
The first week of June (6/1/2020 - 6/7/2020) saw a substantial pickup in activity in Manhattan with 179 new listings and 56 signed contracts, over May's first week 89 new listings and 35 singed contracts. However it is still a far cry from 2019 which saw 449 new listings and 199 contracts signed.
 
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