Manhattan Market Report Q4 2019


As we enter the new decade, it’s important to reflect on the 2010s by reviewing our predictions and how expectations compared to reality. After Lehman crashed, the bar for real estate was low. Many were selling, few were buying. 2010 and 2011 had some of the highest inventory counts on record, but were two of the slowest sales years in Manhattan.

Despite the slump, sellers in the city weren’t especially motivated. Prices remained relatively steady until 2013. Around this time, a significant amount of new developments hit the market, which, coupled with a seemingly resolved economy, led to sales and price growth. This trend continued until 2019, which has been a year ripe with controversy and implied economic strife. As such, buyers re-evaluated their purchasing power and prices dropped.

Many saw this as evidence of an impending economic downturn. Our data paints a different picture, however. Even at the lowest point this year, prices stayed nearly 15% higher than ten years ago. This quarter, sales are up 1%, prices bounced back, inventory is lower, and mortgage rates are steady. While the future still holds economic uncertainty from shifts in trade, alliances, taxes, and more, it appears the real estate market in Manhattan is stabilizing. After the complicated start to 2019, buyers are wielding their finances confidently again and moving ahead, albeit cautiously. The increased average sales price and time on market support this.

Investment and market strength has brought more buyers to the table, and has allowed them to stretch their purchase prices. Accordingly, we expect the real estate market to continue stabilizing with mild growth as long as the markets continue their climb. 

Read the entire report here.