The Real Deal New York

These new dev marketing firms have the most unsold inventory

Corcoran leads the pack with $17B in unsold condos
By Konrad Putzier | September 01, 2017 08:00AM

Source: TRD analysis of unsold units (active or in-contract listings and shadow inventory) in new development buildings as of June 29, 2017 in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. Only buildings with a price-on-acceptance of $20 million or MORE were considered. To qualify as a new development, the offering plan on the building must have been effective AS of Jan. 1, 2010. Any buildings that were effective before that date were not considered, unless a later amendment showed a new sponsor and sales offerings of at least $20 million. No re-sales were considered: Brokerages must have demonstrated that they were the sponsored agent on the building for their sales to count. TRD analyzed deeds recorded in ACRIS, listing credits in StreetEasy and OLR, and documentation from firms to assign credit. Each firm’s shadow inventory was estimated by taking the AG’s current sell-out of every building and subtracting the total volume of closed sales, crediting the difference to the current marketing firm.

Despite New York’s softening new development market, the brokerages that made the cut on our pipeline ranking, which includes all active listings, in-contract deals and so-called shadow inventory — units that have been assigned to firms but have not yet hit the market — have a combined $35.94 billion worth of condos to sell.

The divide is even more stark when looking at unsold inventory, where the two firms the Corcoran Group and Douglas Elliman snagged 80 percent of the total. As of June 29, they respectively had $17.23 billion and $11.32 billion in unsold units.

In a telling sign, Compass took the No. 3 spot for unsold inventory with $2.07 billion worth of units, suggesting that the young firm is making inroads into this rarefied sector of the residential market.
The upstart brokerage was followed by Stribling at No. 4 (with $1.79 billion worth of pipeline units) and Sotheby’s at No. 5 (with $800.2 million).

Sotheby’s International placed fifth with $800.2 million in revenue. It was followed by Modern Spaces ($746.8 million), Halstead Property ($579.9 million), Brown Harris Stevens ($430.1 million), Town Residential ($416.8 million), Nest Seekers International ($353.7 million) and CORE ($205.3 million).

It’s clear no new development marketing firm can get too comfortable in this market. That’s because more often than not, the firm hired at the outset doesn’t make it to the finish line.

Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats — which has the same parent company as Corcoran and did not make the ranking — said buyers “are more willing to take a wait-and-see approach” considering the surge in new supply.
Due to the “much more challenging market,” brokerages are locked in severe competition to sell condos in new and often uncompleted buildings, Compass’ Leonard Steinberg noted.

Susan de França, who heads Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, said, “the competition between new-development marketing firms has always been strong in New York, but when the market changes it does tend to narrow the field.”

— Research by Ashley McHugh-Chiappone, Harunobu Coryne and Yoryi De La Rosa