The Real Deal New York

Manhattan inventory hits record low in February: report

Only 3,175 apartments were on the market last month, according to StreetEasy

March 27, 2015 08:00AM
By Claire Moses

Rendering of 400 Park Avenue South (credit: Christian de Portzamparc/ Handel)

Rendering of 400 Park Avenue South in NoMad  (credit: Christian de Portzamparc)

It’s hard to walk more than a block in Manhattan without stumbling across a residential condominium project in the works, but until all that spanking new product goes live, the market will continue to be defined by scarcity. The city’s condo inventory hit a record low last month with only 3,175 units on the market, according to StreetEasy’s latest Manhattan Condo Market Report.

Meanwhile, pending sales rebounded in February — as is the norm after slow winter months — jumping up 27.5 percent since January.

“February is typically a turning point between the declining slow season and the busy spring season,” Alan Lightfeld, a data scientist with StreetEasy, said. The condo market usually sees a boost in March, he added.

March is historically the best time to list apartments in Manhattan, according to another report StreetEasy released earlier this month.

Condo prices, compared to January, stayed basically flat — prices increased 0.7 percent in February— but were still 7.8 percent higher year-over-year. The median sales price for condos in February was $1.2 million, according to the report.

The result, Lightfeld said, is that it’s going to be hard for condo owners to move to a different apartment at the same price point in Manhattan. “It’s a great time to sell,” he said, “but it’s difficult to buy in Manhattan.”

While condos have always taken longer to enter contract than co-ops, that gap is closing due to dwindling inventory, according to StreetEasy. Since February last year, the median time spent on the market for condos and co-ops have been within five days of each other.

In February, condos spent a median time of 62 days on the market, while co-ops saw a median of 60 days.

Despite the record cold, February still proved to be a record month for contracts signed for $4 million or more. A total of 116 contracts in that price range were signed in February, the highest level since at least 2007 and a 23 percent increase since 2014, according to the Olshan Luxury Market Report.

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