Manhattan condos and co-ops see record inventory shortage

Resales also stagnating out of fear of not being able to find a new apartment in the borough
May 11, 2015 09:00AM

Don’t let the new construction fool you: buying an apartment in Manhattan is much harder than it looks.

While there are 850,000 condos and co-ops on the island, Crain’s reported, less than one percent of them were for sale during the first quarter of the year. The available inventory — 5,200 units or .6 percent — is 26 percent lower than the historical average. It’s only 25 percent above the low of 4,164 in 2013, according to the publication.

The high percentage of renters in Manhattan contributes to these figures. More than three quarters of the borough’s apartments are rental units.

Due to the low inventory, owners of Manhattan apartments are also reluctant to put their units on the market out of fear of not finding a new pad, even though the borough’s median sales price is catching up to 2008’s high of $1 million.

“Resale inventory is stagnating,” Jonathan Miller of appraisal firm Miller Samuel told Crain’s. “And going forward, that is probably going to keep pressure on prices.”

Meanwhile, Manhattan’s new supply is only further increasing the price of new apartments, due to more than $100 million listings in new developments such as One57 and 220 Central Park South. [Crain’s] — Claire Moses