Manhattan apartment sellers still think they’ll make a 40% return in 5 years

Their aspirations don't quite confer with the reality of the market

New York /
Dec.December 01, 2016 01:41 PM

Despite all evidence pointing to a cooling property market in Manhattan, reality hasn’t quite sunk in for some sellers in the borough. Many still expect to make at least a 40 percent return on apartments they bought just over five years ago.

Through September of this year, sellers of homes listed for less than $3 million sought a median price 47 percent higher than what they paid in 2010, Bloomberg reported. Based on data from StreetEasy, sellers who bought homes in 2011 listed them for a median 42 percent markup, and those who bought in 2012 listed for a 35 percent increase.

The aggressive pricing and high expectations, however, don’t match with reality. “In my experience, it takes sellers a good one to two and a half years to believe in the new market,” said Jonathan Miller, the CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel. “The buyers are with the program immediately.”

In the third quarter of 2016, fewer properties were sold above the initial asking price and discounts were on the rise. Only 17.4 percent of residential sales were above the listing price — compared to 31 percent at the same time in 2015, as The Real Deal reported in October.  Landlords in the borough are also offering concessions to renters at record levels. Just under 24 percent of all Manhattan leases signed in October had some type of landlord concession, which marks a high of at least six years.

Brokers told Bloomberg that while buyers do not feel the urgency of previous years, there are some properties types that continue to sell well. One-bedroom homes for less than $1.2 million are very popular, according to the publication, as well as apartments that don’t need to renovated. [Bloomberg]Miriam Hall


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