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 (3Q 2018) and predictions for this quarter (4Q 2018).
For those unable to download, I’m also sharing the interior text below:
THE OVERALL MARKET
Despite a healthy economy and a robust stock market, Manhattan buyers remained cautious during 3Q of 2018 due to lingering concerns over the implications of the new tax law and the pervading belief that prices will eventually drop.
Buyers’ urgency to bid on properties has been diminished, although they will bid in some cases on properties that show clear value. Many buyers are taking a wait-and-see approach; as a result, sales have declined and inventory has spiked.
THE DOWNTOWN MARKET
After four consecutive quarters of declines in closed sales, the downtown market finally saw an increase in sales by 5% year-over-year. Downtown was the only submarket to experience a spike in sales and had the highest number of sold apartments: 1,078 sold downtown apartments compared to 548 on the UWS, 544 in Midtown, 294 in Upper Manhattan, 749 on the UES, and 122 in the Battery Park and FiDi in 3Q 2018.
There is so much uncertainty around us that it’s natural for people to be cautious. Sellers are slowly coming to grips with the reality that we’ve entered a market that heavily favors buyers; unless properties are priced well, buyers are in no rush to make an offer.
THE MARKET AND GRAMERCY
In the 17 years that I have been in the business and the 17 years that I’ve specialized in marketing apartments on and around Gramercy Park, I’ve found (based on actual experience) that Gramercy Park is insulated from market upheavals due to the desirability of the neighborhood and limited amount of inventory for sale at any given time.
Historically, during citywide market dips such as the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and the financial crisis of 2008, property prices on Gramercy Park were not as adversely affected as other parts of the city. When the real estate market slows down, it just takes a realistic price adjustment and a little patience to sell a home on the park.
INSIGHTS FOR THE NEXT QUARTER
Success in the market doesn’t always mean obtaining the highest price for what you currently own. Even the most sophisticated sellers can get hung up on their absolute selling price. Unless you are exiting the market, your selling price isn’t the most important number. Instead, the relevant number is the spread between what you sell for and at what price you buy.
As a smart buyer, you want that number to be as small as possible when you are trading up. As a smart seller, you want that difference to be as large as possible when you are trading down. You always want to trade up when the market is slow, and you always want trade down when the market is hot. This is a market which favors sellers and buyers trading up.