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

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Brooklyn luxury market has best week since Covid began
Borough saw seven contracts signed for about $22.5M
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New York City officially started reopening Monday, and it appears Brooklyn’s luxury market is on its way back as well.
Last week was the market’s strongest since the onset of the pandemic, with seven deals going into contract for about $22.5 million in total, according to the latest report from Compass.

The contract and dollar volume were the highest the borough has seen since the week of March 9, when there were 15 contracts signed for a total of about $45.3 million. Compass’ report looks at homes in the borough listed at $2 million or more.
The priciest deal last week was for a townhouse at 314 Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights asking about $6.8 million. The five-bedroom home was built in 2012 and went into contract after 239 days on the market.
The second most expensive deal was for a townhouse at 200 Berkeley Place in Park Slope asking $4.5 million. The home spans 4,000 square feet with six bedrooms and went into contract after 219 days.
The seven deals included three condos, two townhouses and two co-ops, and went into contract with an average asking price of about $3.2 million and an average discount of about 5 percent from their initial listings. The properties spent an average of 178 days on the market.
Other deals that went into contract last week included a condo at 243 4th Avenue in Park Slope for about $2.5 million and a co-op at 28 Old Fulton Street in Brooklyn Heights for $2.35 million.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Report on Contracts Signed
Manhattan Residential Properties
$4 Million and Above
June 1-7, 2020
4 Contracts Signed

Four contracts were signed last week at $4 million and above, one less than the previous week. Nevertheless, there were some noteworthy deals that offered new hope in the luxury market. Take a look:
Stat Geek Alert I: Three of the four contracts were on properties asking in excess of $10 million. To give perspective, only one contract signed in May was listed north of $10 million.
Stat Geek Alert II: The dollar volume of $46,895,000 was the highest weekly total in the last 11 pandemic weeks.

The No. 1 contract was PHB at 415 Greenwich Street, asking $18.995 million, reduced from $20 million when it was listed in September 2019. The duplex penthouse condo has 4,470 square feet including 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, and terraces totaling 2,000 square feet. It also has a 45-foot great room that opens onto a landscaped terrace with an outdoor kitchen. The unit was purchased for $11.5 million in December 2015 and then went through a 3-year renovation. By the time it was completed, the owners had moved to Colorado. The building is known as the Tribeca Summit, and amenities include a doorman, a fitness center, storage rooms, and parking.
The seller was represented by Danny Davis of the Corcoran Group and the buyers were represented by Josh Wesoky of Compass. The buyers saw the unit off of pictures, floorplans, and video. Wesoky had previewed the penthouse last July before it went on the market and before his clients, who were living in a Tribeca rental, were actually ready to buy. “We started the negotiations about 3 ½ weeks ago,” Davis said. “We first negotiated the price and terms, and once we had an accepted offer, then the buyers came to see the apartment on their own.” He said the seller was aghast at negotiating before the buyers saw the unit. “I had to explain to him that this is how business is done at this time. Once we came to an agreement on price, everything went thru very smoothly, and there was no re-trading. Both parties acted in good faith, and we were able to get it done.”
Davis said that the buyers had been sheltering outside the city. “They were a family, and they wanted something brand new, turn key, and some of the furniture was sold with the apartment. Hopefully they will move in in a few weeks.”
The No. 2 contract was 11A at 260 West Broadway, asking $11.5 million, reduced from $14.8 million when it was listed in February 2019. The condo has 3,777 square feet including 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It has a 33-foot great room with a wood-burning fireplace, and features a media room within a spectacular oak-paneled rotunda that measures 28 feet in diameter with a 25-foot-high ceiling. This dramatic apartment has appeared in Architectural Digest and was designed by Thomas O’Brien of Aero Studios. The condo, known as The American Thread building, has a doorman, gym, and roof deck.
Carrie Chiang and Loy Carlos of the Corcoran Group represented the sellers. Michelle Griffith, who at the time was at Corcoran, represented the buyers. (Griffith has since moved to Compass.) Carlos said the buyer saw the unit once in January. “The reality is that the apartment is one of a kind,” he said. “They loved the neighborhood, and the kind of space and things they could do with it. Under normal circumstances, we would have been a lot more firm on the price, but with what’s going on we were able to come to an agreeable price.”
The No. 3 contract was a townhouse at 29 Beekman Place, asking $11.45 million, reduced from $49.9 million when it was listed in 2014. It has cycled through six different brokerage firms over the listing period. The 12,260-square-foot house was purchased in 1980 by Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, the twin sister of the last Shah of Iran. The princess passed away in 2016 at the age of 96. The property has been tied up in complicated lawsuits with competing claims by heirs and by an employee claiming a pension. As a result, the property was thrown into bankruptcy court. The listing brokers are a co-exclusive between Charlie Attias of Compass and Greg Corbin of Rosewood Realty. Attias would not reveal any details of the sale because he said he was under a confidentiality agreement.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
In a reversal of recent trends, both new listings and contract signings fell this past week (6/7/2020 - 6/13/2020) to 193 and 53 from 219 and 60 respectively, almost 12% each vs the prior week (5/31/2020 - 6/6/2020).

For the second week of June in 2019 (6/9/2019 - 6/15/2019) those numbers were 324 new listings and 201 contracts signed.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Brooklyn’s luxury market slumped as in-person showings began
Four properties asking $2M+ found buyers last week

New York City’s first full week of in-person showings since March didn’t tempt many Brooklyn buyers.
Last week, four homes in the borough went into contract, according to Compass weekly luxury market report, which tracks contract activity among homes last asking $2 million or more. The properties’ combined value was $9.5 million.
The prior week saw six homes go into contract for a total of $17.4 million. The first and second weeks of June saw seven deals inked for weekly totals of $22.5 million and $17.5 million, respectively.

Last week marked the start of phase two of the city’s reopening, which allowed in-person showings to resume. Many in the brokerage community expected an uptick in contract activity to follow reopening.

The most expensive property to go into contract last week was a six-bedroom townhouse in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The four-story brownstone at 511 Macon Street has a large backyard, 10-foot ceilings and a wood-burning fireplace. The 3,550-square-foot home was last asking $2.75 million and was on the market for a total of 150 days.

The other properties included a three-bedroom penthouse at a five-unit condominium in Greenpoint last asking $2.4 million, a Park Slope co-op with a final ask of $2.1 million and a two-bedroom condo at 70 Washington Street in Dumbo at $2.3 million. The high-end Dumbo building made waves when sales launched for selling private rooftop cabanas for as much as $325,000 a piece.

On average, the four properties were on the market for 121 days and went into contract with a median asking price of $2.3 million.
The average listing discount, the amount final asking prices dropped compared to initial ask, was zero, signalling that the four homes that went into contract last week did not lower asking prices while they waited for a buyer to bite.

Among the brokerage community, many agree that a so-called Covid discount is warranted, though the degree of the markdown is a matter of fierce debate, ranging from 5 to 20 percent off.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
I'm not so sure how you explain away 5 and 9 year aged resales as "new construction discounts."

In June, Slower Sales and Price Reductions in New York City
The month’s biggest closing was an apartment on the 88th floor of One57 that was acquired for 41 percent below the original purchase price.

The pace of closings slowed in New York City during the month of June as the coronavirus took a toll on buying activity.
The most expensive recorded transaction was a full-floor aerie near the apex of One57, once the city’s priciest condominium. The apartment sold in a private deal linked to a Chinese conglomerate for $28 million, a 41 percent discount from the original purchase price.
A deep reduction also took place at Time Warner Center’s Residences at the Mandarin Oriental, where a penthouse sold for $23 million, 25 percent below its purchase price nine years ago.
While the volume of sales contracts has been plummeting, the market is expected to rebound now that restrictions on real estate activity, instituted to curb the spread of the virus, have been eased. “It will feel like a boom initially,” said Jonathan J. Miller, a Manhattan real estate appraiser. “But it’s really a release of pent-up demand. We’re going to have a busy summer.”
Already brokers see some movement. “Since the reopening, I’ve seen an uptick in activity with requests for showings as well as apartments coming on the market,” said Chris Kann, an agent with the Corcoran Group. “People want to move on with their lives.”

The month of June also saw several townhouse closings, which Mr. Kann and other real estate professionals attributed in part to demand for outdoor space. The most expensive, at $14.2 million, was a five-story, 25-foot-wide house at 125 East 92nd Street.
Among the other townhouse sales: the longtime Upper East Side home of Christopher B. Cerf, an author, composer and lyricist who wrote numerous songs for “Sesame Street”; and the West Village home of Harry A. Lawton III, the former president of Macy’s, and his wife, Joanne Lawton.

The apartment at One57 is on the 88th floor of the 90-story tower at 157 West 57th Street, on billionaires’ row in Midtown. It sits just below a duplex that sold for almost $100.5 million in 2015, reportedly to Michael Dell, the chief executive of Dell Technologies, and once held the record for the highest price paid for a single city residence.
Unit No. 88 was purchased brand-new, also in 2015, for nearly $47.4 million by Pac Wholly Own, an entity associated with the Pacific American Corporation, a New York subsidiary of the HNA Group of China. (Guoqing Chen, a founder of HNA’s Hainan Airlines, still owns a residence on the 86th floor.) Its buyer was the limited liability company OFS Property, whose managing partner is an executive at HNA.
The 6,231-square-foot apartment features four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a powder room, along with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide panoramic park, water and cityscape vistas.

The month’s runner-up sale — a penthouse on the 76th floor of the 80-story Mandarin Oriental, at 80 Columbus Circle — has four bedrooms and five and a half baths, and comes with a separate storage room. There’s also an 8-by-64-foot terrace off the living room and a master suite that looks out onto Central Park.

The seller, whose identity was shielded by the limited liability company 80 Columbus Circle (NYC), had paid $30.6 million for the apartment in 2011. The new owner was listed as Dempcat LLC.
The Mandarin Oriental, which opened in 2003, is situated in the north tower of Time Warner Center. It has 64 condo units directly above the hotel, starting on the 64th floor.

Mr. Cerf’s townhouse, at 146 East 62nd Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues, was sold for $7.8 million to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, whose headquarters abuts the property. (The foundation plans to expand its office space there, according to Michele Warman, the chief operating officer.)
The house, built in the early 1900s, stands five stories high and 20 feet wide with about 5,432 square feet of interior space and a rear garden.
Mr. Cerf, who won three Grammy Awards and one Emmy for children’s music and programing, had paid $248,000 for the building in 1968, a year before “Sesame Street” first aired.
He leaves behind myriad memories. It was at this house where he worked on projects for the likes of National Lampoon magazine and Random House, the publishing company that his father, Bennett Cerf, co-founded. In 2015, he was married there to the writer Katherine Vaz.

The Lawtons sold their townhouse, at 33 Charles Street, for nearly $9.8 million, about 7 percent off the $10.5 million they had paid for it less than three years ago.
The renovated four-story structure extends about 3,737 square feet, with three bedrooms and two and a half baths. There is also ample exterior space, including a terrace off the media room that overlooks a landscaped rear garden.
The house was once home to the actors Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe; they acquired it through a trust in 2002 and sold it almost three and a half years later. The new owner, under contract since late May, is the limited liability company Kousa Realty.
Mr. Lawton, who served as president of Macy’s from 2017 to 2019, is now the chief executive of the Tractor Supply Company, which is based in Brentwood, Tenn.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
As weather heats up, Brooklyn luxury market doesn’t
Just five deals over $2M inked last week, led by Fort Greene condo with deck

Christmas in July is not a good thing when it comes to home sales.
Once again, activity in Brooklyn’s luxury market was frigid last week, with just five deals signed for a combined value of $11.8 million, according to Compass’ weekly report tracking contract activity for homes asking $2 million or more.

The week prior, when in-person property showings restarted, saw four high-end homes go into contract for a total of $9.5 million. The previous weeks in June saw slightly more activity, even with the ban on showings being in place.

The priciest home to go into contract last week was a Fort Greene condo at 394 Vanderbilt Avenue with a final asking price of $2.6 million. The three-bedroom unit spans an entire floor of the renovated four-story row house and has a 440-square-foot roof deck.

It was on the market for just 21 days, perhaps because outdoor space has become more valued by buyers since the pandemic hit the city four months ago.

The other properties were two townhouses in Bed-Stuy and Prospect Heights, a Brooklyn Heights co-op and a condo in Carroll Gardens.

On average, the five properties were on the market for 111 days and went into contract with a median asking price of $2.25 million.
The average listing discount — the amount that final asking prices dropped from the initial ask — was 3 percent, indicating a slight adjustment to asking prices. The brokerage community pondered potential price drops as showings began on June 22 and residential market activity was expected to pick up.

During the week of June 22, the listing discount for Brooklyn luxury contracts was zero.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Brooklyn’s back: Luxury contract volume hits four-month high
Total sales volume for 11 contract signings in borough was $29.6M

Almost $30 million worth of luxury residential property went into contract last week in Brooklyn.
There were 11 homes — six townhouses, three condos and two co-ops — that found buyers last week, according to Compass’ weekly market report. It marked the strongest week in terms of contract volume since the week of March 9, before the city began to shut down to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The week of March 9 saw 15 properties go into contract for a combined sales volume of $45.3 million, according to the report, which tracks contract activity for Brooklyn homes asking $2 million or more.
The median asking price for the properties that went into contract last week was $2.4 million and the average days on market was 181. The average listing discount, the amount the asking price dropped before going into contract, was 3 percent.
The most expensive home was a six-bedroom townhouse at 356 Sackett Street in Carroll Gardens. The home is 22-feet wide, spans more than 4,500 square feet and was recently renovated. It was last asking $5.3 million.

The second priciest contract signed last week was for a Brooklyn Heights co-op. The three-bedroom unit at 160 Columbia Heights spans two levels and has a large terrace.
Last week’s activity was a stark improvement from previous weeks. The final week of June saw five deals inked for a total volume of $11.8 million. The week before, when in-person showings resumed, saw four deals signed for a total of $9.5 million.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
$20M worth of Brooklyn homes went into contract last week
Eight contracts at $2 million or more were signed

Nearly $20 million worth of luxury homes went into contract in Brooklyn last week.
There were eight contracts signed last week, according to Compass’ weekly report tracking contracts for homes asking $2 million or more in the borough. Four of the deals were townhouses, the other four condos.
The prior week saw 11 deals signed for a combined value of nearly $30 million, the strongest week in four months since the city began to shut down to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The median asking price for the properties that went into contract last week was $2.4 million. The homes spent an average of 135 days on the market and saw asking prices discounted by an average of 1 percent.
The most expensive contract was for a two-bedroom condo in Dumbo at 1 John Street. The unit spans 1,492 square feet and was last asking $2.9 million.

The second priciest deal was for a 20-foot wide townhouse in Park Slope. The four-bedroom home at 526 11th Street includes a garden, hardwood floors and marble fireplaces. It went into contract at $2.75 million.
In-person property showings resumed on June 22 and while some were predicting an immediate uptick in deals, many believed the market would be slow due to the uncertainty around pricing.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Luxury contracts fall again as Manhattan residents leave for the summer
Just four properties above $4M went into contract last week

New Yorkers — or at least those still in the city — are embracing summer.
As the weather warms, mask-clad residents are venturing out to parks and outdoor restaurants — or even setting up paddling pools on the side of the road.

But that enthusiasm has not made its way to the condo market, which is still limping along after a volatile few months marred by slow sales and the occasional rush of activity.

Last week, just four properties above $4 million went into contract in Manhattan — down from 12 the prior week, according to the latest market report from Olshan Realty.
“It’s summer; everyone is away,” said Donna Olshan, author of the report, noting that the pandemic had upended an already struggling market. “It’s very sobering,” she added.

The pricest deal was for a four-bedroom unit at 520 West 28th Street, designed by Zaha Hadid. The developer, Related Companies, originally listed the 3,840-square-foot unit for $12.5 million in 2016. It went into contract asking $8.95 million.

Corcoran Group brokers Julie Pham and Steve Gold represented the sponsor. They declined to provide any details about the buyer but Pham told Olshan that the building had attractive amenities.
“I think people finally are also appreciating Hadid’s style,” she said.

The second most expensive deal was for unit 24A at 53 West 53rd Street, a building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel.
The 3,131 square-foot unit features two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and city views. It was listed off floorplans in 2016 for $9.5 million.
 

Noah Rosenblatt

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
Looks like we are hovering in the 125-150 per week prange with this step up recently. So 600 per month pace, that would be like 60% of active season levels for the good months

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David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Bad to worse: Manhattan nabes where home sales fell most
Midtown, Upper East Side, Hudson Yards suffered the largest drops

Coronavirus has cost Manhattan’s residential market billions.
Sales of condos and co-ops last quarter declined by $2.4 billion from the first quarter, according to an analysis by The Real Deal of data from OLR. The drop from a year ago was over 70 percent, or $6.3 billion.

Of the $2.56 billion in sales that closed in the borough while the city was in Covid lockdown, the vast majority of transactions were under $1.5 million. Deals over $5 million saw the biggest drop — by nearly half from a year earlier.

To quantify where the selling season was most crippled by the pandemic, TRD broke down sales by neighborhood.

The steepest decline in sales volume from the first quarter to the second occurred in Midtown East: 92 percent. Hudson Yards was second worst with an 85 percent drop. Hamilton Heights and the Financial District were the only areas in the borough to enjoy a quarterly increase — 3.5 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

By dollar volume, the quarterly decline was more dramatic on the Upper East Side and in Greenwich Village and Midtown East.
The Upper East Side’s falloff was $432 million, from $852 million in the first quarter to $419 million in the second. In Greenwich Village, the drop was $235 million, and in Midtown East, $228 million.

The Financial District managed a $5.7 million increase in sales, while Hamilton Heights eked out a $325,000 quarter-over-quarter gain.

Comparing this spring’s sales volume to the same period in 2019 reveals a stark picture.
The Upper East Side sustained the biggest decline by dollar amount — $1.3 billion, or 75 percent, from $1.7 billion the year before.
Tribeca’s sales fell to a mere $172 million from about $780 million during the same period last year. The Upper West Side story was much the same: $160 million sales during Q2, compared with $763 million in 2019.

By percentage, however, Hudson Yards and Midtown East fared the worst.
Related Companies’ new district of glassy condos saw sales fall 97 percent to $7 million from $269 million the previous year. Midtown East sales volume of $19 million was down 93 percent.

Lincoln Square was the only neighborhood that saw year-over-year growth. Sales volume grew by 14 percent to about $360 million from $314 million last year. That appeared to be driven by closings at a spate of new developments, plus a handful of big deals at the Time Warner Center. They include the $23 million sale of accused Malaysian fraudster Jho Low’s former penthouse and cardiologist Dr. Joseph Levine’s sale of a $32 million unit.
 

Noah Rosenblatt

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
I think we are headed into the covid sales pipeline now as well, and that should last for months..we are redoing our chart systems so we can show recent months of sales price data, even tho acris files are delayed and recent months will be incomplete early on. I got a reverse check mark estimate of down 15-20% from high to covid low, mainly from deals signed during the shutdown period..so, very curious how this shakes out
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
I still think we are going to see downward pressure on pricing because from where I sit it looks like supply is outpacing demand. Overall supply is already greater than last year. In the last week we saw 609 new listings vs 145 contracts signed - "batting average" of 0.238. Back in July of 2015 there were 983 new listings vs 1030 contracts signed - "batting average" of 1.048.

More units being sold than listed put pressure on prices to continue rising. I'm not sure how 4 times the number of units being sold getting listed won't lead to prices continuing to fall.
 

Noah Rosenblatt

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
Yeah, so more i think about this, i think

1. first we got the shutdown covid low vol deals to get through - that will be sharp move down followed by bounce up a bit
2. Then we got the post shutdown market we are dealing with - I think that will bounce from shutdown lows (deals signed during shutdown) and then run into a ceiling and either fall a bit again or stay flat for a while and bounce up and down along the new reset level
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
One good week and then back to....

Luxury deals plummet in Manhattan — again
Dismal week follows strongest week since shutdown

One week, Manhattan is showing signs of a revival, with the highest number of luxury deals since the shutdown. The next week? Just three deals — tying for the lowest.
The contrast underscores the volatility the pandemic has created in an already soft market, as buyers flee to the suburbs and developers navigate price cuts, concessions and pressure from lenders.

“I think it’s hit and miss,” said Donna Olshan, who documents luxury sales in a weekly market report. “I think that’s what we’re going to be looking at for a while.”

“The market is in chaos. Making assumptions is not what you can do.”
The priciest deal was a full-floor unit at 817 Fifth Avenue, asking $10.9 million — down from $13.9 million when it was listed last June.

Daniella Schlisser of Brown Harris Stevens, who represented the seller, told Olshan the asking price was lowered this July from $12.5 million. The 3,450 square-foot condo has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a fireplace in the living room.

The buyers were overseas and viewed the property by FaceTime, and later flew to New York to view the apartment before they signed the contract, Schlisser said. The broker added that a higher bid came in after the deal was reached, but the seller chose to stick with the original buyers.

The second-most-expensive deal last week was for unit 6 at 111 Leroy Street. The 3,370-square-foot, four-bedroom unit had a final asking price of $9.7 million.
Listing agent Andrew Anderson of Douglas Elliman said the parties had negotiated a deal before Covid hit, but that the buyer then “took a break to see how things were going to shake out.”

He added: “One we re-opened, the buyer renegotiated, and it took a while to get to a place everyone was happy with.”
 

Noah Rosenblatt

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
yeah I agree with Donna and think Luxury sector is going to be volatile and illiquid with spurts of upswings here and there for a while. Also, if luxury is defined by top 10%, i wonder how that threshold will chg over time?
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Manhattan apartment deals plunge 57%, suburban real estate surges
Apartment contracts in Manhattan fell by more than half in July, while deals in many New York suburbs more than doubled, showing a continued flight from the city over the summer.

The number of signed contracts for co-ops and condos in Manhattan — the best real-time measure of activity — dropped 57% in July compared with a year ago, according to a report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. The high-end of the market is getting especially hard hit, with co-ops priced at $4 million to $10 million down over 75%.
As deals dry up, the number of apartments listed for sale is surging. New apartment listings jumped by 8% in July compared with a year ago. The number of unsold apartments is now at the highest level in almost a decade, according to Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel. At the current sales rate, there is more than a 17-month supply of apartments for sale — more than twice the typical Manhattan average of about eight months.
Miller said the lockdown in the city — which prevented brokers from showing apartments until late June — combined with hundreds of thousands of affluent New Yorkers fleeing the city for the suburbs during the coronavirus pandemic made for a tough July, and potentially the summer.

"The city is less of an anchor now," he said. "It's going to take longer for the city to recover than the suburbs."

Suburbs around New York had a banner July, as New Yorkers purchased second homes for escape — and possibly a new primary residence. Sales contracts in the Hamptons more than doubled in July, with 267 deals. Signed contracts in Westchester County, New York, also more than doubled to 987 deals.

Connecticut has been an especially large beneficiary of New York City's troubles. There were more than 1,200 signed contracts in July in Fairfield County, Connecticut, while Greenwich saw an increase of 72%.
"Anything within a two-hour radius of the city is as busy as it's ever been," said Scott Durkin, president and chief operating officer of Douglas Elliman. "There's just this fear of density right now."
Still, New York real estate brokers say the city will recover quickly, once there is a vaccine and companies start bringing workers back to the office. They point to Sept. 11 and the Great Recession as proof that the city always rebounds. And they say the deep discounts that many buyers are hoping for aren't likely to materialize since sellers have so far balked at big price cuts.
"We had price cuts before Covid," Durkin said. "With interest rates so low, prices may not be as negotiable as some buyers might hope. But there will be people in different situations, and some might need to sell."

One segment that will likely have to cut prices is new condo developments. Brokers say new developments, which listed with sky-high prices during the past few years, will have to adjust to the more competitive market.
On Wednesday, the Getty Residences — a glamorous new condo building in downtown Manhattan designed by Peter Marino — announced price cuts of more than 50% on some units. One full-floor unit, with more than 3,800 square feet, had once been offered for over $20 million and is now listed for $10.5 million. The penthouse of the building was sold in 2018 for $59 million to hedge fund billionaire Robert Smith.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Susan Sarandon’s Chelsea duplex among 6 luxury contracts last week
By deal volume it was slowest start to August in more than a decade

Just six properties in Manhattan above $4 million went into contract last week, the slowest start to August by deal volume in more than a decade.
One of those homes belonged to Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon. When she listed her Chelsea duplex in late July, the interest was immediate. But it may not have been all about star power.

Spanning more than 6,000 square feet, with five bedrooms and an outdoor terrace, the home’s ample space was enough of a draw to energize an otherwise sleepy market.

“There were five local families with school-age children who visited,” Mara Flash Blum of Sotheby’s International Realty told Donna Olshan in an interview for Olshan’s weekly market report. Blum, who had the listing with Nikki Field, said “young families all wanted space for the children to be home-schooled, and they also wanted space for home offices.”

The home was last asking $7.9 million.
“We are definitely in the dog days of summer; it’s August and it’s slow,” Olshan said. “Sprinkle on top of that, the pandemic [and] …. this is going to be a long slog out of this problem.”

Although Sarandon’s home went into contract just two weeks after it was listed, it was not the priciest deal last week. That distinction went to a butter-colored townhouse at 307 East 10th Street — last asking $8.9 million.
The 25-foot wide home, which had been divided into five rental units, has seven bedrooms and five bathrooms, according to a listing. The asking price was reduced from $9.4 million when it was listed in January.

Luxury sales in Manhattan have tumbled since March, and that volatility has persisted even after the toughest lockdown restrictions were loosened, and brokers resumed in-person showings.

In recent weeks, that unpredictability was put on full display when the lowest and the highest number of weekly pandemic deals were recorded back to back.
But while Manhattan’s luxury market has been struggling to gain ground, Brooklyn and the suburbs have been surging, according to a Douglas Elliman report into July contracts.

Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel said the suburbs were likely reaping the rewards of Manhattan’s decline, as wealthy buyers go in search of outdoor space and swimming pools.
“The pricing is so much higher in the city that its equivalent tends to be the upper ends of the suburban market,” he said, “and they seem to be benefiting.”
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
These Brooklyn neighborhoods saw the biggest drops in home sales
Second-quarter deals fell a stunning 52 percent but prices rose, TRD analysis shows

Call it the pandemic paradox: Brooklyn home sales plunged in the second quarter, yet the median price went up.
An analysis by The Real Deal of Brooklyn single-family and multifamily property sales shows that overall deals were down almost 52 percent year-over-year.
In raw numbers, 680 homes were sold in the quarter compared to 1,410 in the same period last year. Luxury deals were hit the hardest.

Normally such a massive drop in demand would trigger a price collapse, but that did not happen because some sellers pulled listings, reducing supply, and others did not slash prices, hoping the market would bounce back. The average price per square foot fell less than 1 percent, to $507.

Moreover, Brooklyn’s median home sale price went up 5.6 percent in the quarter to $950,000, TRD’s analysis showed. That’s because almost 60 percent of homes sold in the second quarter were in the $750,000-$2 million price range, versus under 51 percent last year.

At the same time, the average sale price dropped about 6 percent, to $1.124 million from $1.195 million, mostly because the percentage of sales above $3 million fell from 6 percent of all deals to just 2.5 percent, so there were relatively fewer luxury deals to bloat the average.

Broken down by neighborhood, the analysis shows that some areas were hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Clinton Hill saw a 73 percent year-over-year decline in deals last quarter, while in Bed-Stuy the drop was roughly 55 percent. In East New York, deals fell 65 percent to a total of 40 — down from 115 the year before.

There were some outliers: Prospect Heights and Madison saw slight upticks in sales. However, in both cases the gains amounted to only a handful of homes.

Pricing patterns also fluctuated, particularly as buyers opted for smaller homes. In Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, Bushwick and Prospect Heights, for example, the average size of properties that sold in the second quarter fell between 8 percent and 17 percent from the previous year.

The increase in median price was seen across the entire Brooklyn market last quarter — reaching a record high, according to a separate report from Douglas Elliman.
“What’s been happening in the market on a pricing basis is that the market has continued to flirt with records, no matter what the conditions,” said Jonathan Miller of appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

The second quarter was highly unusual in more ways than one. After the state shut down, wealthy buyers fled the city and brokers were banned from conducting in-person showings, a critical part of their business.
Compass broker Eric Sidman, who lives in Williamsburg and leads the Brooklyn division of the Hudson Advisory Team, said a lot of his work in that period involved fielding calls from buyers and sellers. “Everyone had questions about the market and we really didn’t know where anything was going to be at that time,” he said.

Since the state began reopening and showings resumed, the borough has seen a surge of activity. Just last week, new contracts above $2 million hit levels not seen since early March. Given the natural lag in contract data, the figures suggest the revival started several weeks before.

Sidman has also seen a shift in buyer appetite. A lot of shoppers are looking for townhouses or two- or three-bedroom properties with outdoor space, he said.
“I’m seeing a lot of buyers coming over from Tribeca and looking in Brooklyn Heights or other prime Brooklyn neighborhoods,” he said. “There’s a definite drive toward these smaller, more private properties right now.”

Although a lot of buyers are angling for hefty price cuts, and sellers are becoming more realistic about asking prices, Sidman said he was not seeing the major discounts many anticipated.
“There’s still only limited supply in Brooklyn,” he said. “If you want a townhouse, there’s only so many of them.”
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Contract signing recovery pulls up short:
With in person showings beginning on June 22 we saw some rebound in contract signings. There was a nice spike the week after the July 4th holiday and then another 3 weeks later. But this past week was the second week in a row where the number of signed contracts fell:

Moreover, looking at both new listings and contracts signed for the first three weeks in August (August 1st through August 21st) vs 2019 levels we see new listings up from 633 to 1,354 while number of contracts signed has dropped from 538 to 453.

Listing growth has slowed but is still well outpacing demand. We will learn a lot after Labor Day on September 7th, the day after which historically both buyers and sellers return from a Summer off and we see larger increases in both supply and demand.
 
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