Every quarter, I mail out a report to the Gramercy area with news and views on the neighborhood’s real estate market. This year, I’m making a digital version available to all! Click the cloud-shaped icon below to download to the whole report, including my market analysis for last quarter (4Q 2018) and predictions for this quarter (1Q 2018).
For those unable to download, I’m also sharing the interior text below:
THE OVERALL MARKET
The 4Q 2018 Manhattan real estate market faced familiar headwinds experienced earlier in the year as buyers hesitated to make decisions despite moderating prices and more availability. Market-wide closed sales declined as potential buyers grappled with a confluence of factors that created uncertainty in the market. Buyers’ concerns included rising mortgage interest rates, tax law reform, volatility in the financial markets, foreign capital restrictions, and political distractions. As a consequence, many prospective buyers are choosing to wait on the sidelines until prices adjust to a more accessible level and other market factors calm down.
THE DOWNTOWN MARKET
Downtown sales were flat compared to 2017; however, the downtown market performed better than any other submarket in Manhattan throughout 2018. Although prices of existing homes in cooperatives declined, they outperformed their counterparts in the condominium market. New developments struggled to gain traction across the board due to self-inflicted setbacks: unrealistic pricing.
THE MARKET & GRAMERCY
Properly-priced apartments that showed well in all price points on and around Gramercy Park went into contract within a few weeks of being listed. On the other hand, aspirationally-priced apartments continued to linger in prime buildings on and around the Park as with other sub-markets in Manhattan. Although the Downtown market in general and Gramercy Park in particular have fared better than any of the sub-markets, sellers must be aware of the market conditions and price their homes realistically.
INSIGHTS FOR THE NEXT QUARTER
Increasing inventory and lack of urgency among buyers will keep sales flat at least for the first quarter of 2019. Buyers still feel if they wait it out a little longer, prices will fall further. There is no logical rationale for this line of thinking; the overall economy and job market is stronger than it has been in more than a decade and Manhattan has a finite amount of homes available for sale at any given time. In order to achieve success sellers need to temper their expectations and buyers need to get realistic. Transactions are taking place at all price points with savvy buyers and sellers when expectations on both sides are realistic. This is a great market for buyers.