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Lower prices fuel record contract activity for Manhattan in March

This month, Manhattan has already seen more deals than any other March since 2007, according to a new report from UrbanDigs.

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With a few days left to go, March is already shaping up to be a record month for the Manhattan sales market.

So far, there have been 1,271 contracts signed in Manhattan as of March 26th—nearly double the amount in March 2020. This month, Manhattan has already seen more deals than any other March since 2007, when 1,624 contracts were signed, according to a new report from UrbanDigs.

Even with a week's worth of data not yet recorded, Manhattan appears on track to book “the highest deal volume month in recent history,” says John Walkup, co-founder of UrbanDigs and author of the report, which looks at new listings, contracts signed, and listings taken off the market.

On the supply side, Walkup says new listings keep arriving, and are being met with “intense demand.”

He notes that number of listings leaving the market dropped in the fourth week of March, which may suggest that “more sellers are eager to strike a deal in the current environment and are keeping their units for sale as demand continues to grow at a white-hot pace.”

While it may be hard to imagine, if this trend continues, Walkup says, “Manhattan could find itself facing a supply shortage in the near future.”

Top 5 fastest sales deals (excluding new developments)
1. 6 days, 14 Bogardus Pl., #4B
2. 14 days, 255 East 74th St., #8A
3. 14 days, 75th Wall St., #34L
4. 14 days, 24 West 45th St., #9
5. 14 days, 22 Leroy St., #21

Top 5 price sales cuts (excluding new developments)
1. -22 percent, -$1,000,000, 1 Sutton Place South, #12D
2. -22 percent, -$425,000, 114 East 72nd St., #1B
3. -20 percent, -$450,000, 480 Park Avenue, #21D
4. -15 percent, - $10,000,000, 8 East 62nd St.
5. -15 percent, - $60,000, 100 West 57th St., #7G
Source: UrbanDigs 

Noah Rosenblatt, founder of UrbanDigs, also notes in the report that the “clock is ticking on Manhattan’s buyer’s market.”

But Manhattan is not there just yet—demand is step one, and sales activity has risen dramatically from 2020’s pandemic lows. However, many buyers are still on the sidelines and NYC’s commercial real estate market needs to rebound before prices recover, Rosenblatt writes.

“While the pandemic may represent the bottom for prices and activity, the current recovery, as busy as it is, does not yet represent a new boom in prices,” he says.