Resi sales are slow in Battery Park City, while FiDi sees uptick

Average discounts have doubled as prices continue a gradual decline and buyers sit it out in the rental market
By Erin Hudson | July 18, 2019 03:00PM

Fearless Girl and Charging Bull statues, and an aerial view of Battery Park (Credit: Getty Images)

FiDi’s Fearless Girl and Charging Bull statues, and an aerial view of Battery Park (Credit: Getty Images)

The Financial District’s sales market is seeing an uptick amid bigger price discounts.

Sales were up 33 percent in the second quarter, according to Platinum Properties’ Q2 report, compared to the previous quarter. That’s up nearly 17 percent compared to the same period last year.

Platinum’s managing partner Teresa Stephenson said the drive behind the increased numbers wasn’t the rush to close before the new taxes went into effect; instead, it was the fact the average price per square foot dropped more than 4 percent year over year to $1,231. Average discounts in the neighborhood also doubled compared to Q2 in 2018.

“I think the biggest effect on the sales market right now is that people think it still hasn’t bottomed out,” she said, explaining that instead they’re choosing to rent and mull over their “many options.”

The reported numbers show a strong rental market in the neighborhood with average rents climbing 15 percent year over year to $4,326 — about 8 percent since Q1. That comes in spite of a surge in price drops quarter over quarter of 23 percent and a small year-over-year increase in inventory of about 4 percent. Stephenson said the numbers indicate to her that landlords were forced to drop rents to land tenants, and they finally bit the bullet this quarter.

Meanwhile, at the tip of Manhattan in Battery Park City sales are slower, even amid hefty price cuts.

Units sold dropped 17 percent year over year, Platinum’s report for BPC found. Average prices declined to $1.55 million, nearly 12 percent compared to Q1. That’s a less than 2 percent haircut from average prices in BPC as of Q2 of 2018.

“I think people are just waiting it out,” Stephenson said. “The sellers have just not dropped their prices yet.”

Average discounts actually decreased in Q2 by 31 percent compared to the first quarter’s deeper cuts. But discounts have nearly doubled compared to the same time period last year.

The average rent in BPC dialed up a notch year over year to $5,122, even a significant increase in price drops ballooned by 267 percent. Tenants seem to feel they’re getting a deal with the number of units rented in Q2 up nearly 44 percent quarter over quarter and almost 64 percent year of year.