Sales plunge in FiDi but surge 32% in Battery Park City

Rental markets in both neighborhoods sink from year-ago levels

Jan.January 08, 2020 03:15 PM
(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Battery Park City has been a bright spot lately in Lower Manhattan’s otherwise down market.

The final quarter of 2019 saw 25 deals in the enclave, a 32 percent jump from the same period a year ago, according to a report by Platinum Properties. The final quarter of 2018 had 19 sales.

The average sales price, meanwhile, ticked town 8.5 percent to $1.38 million from the same quarter of 2018. But that was 20 percent higher than the third quarter’s average of $1.15 million.

It’s a small sample size, but to Teresa Stephenson, president of Platinum Properties, the jump in transactions signals that “Battery Park City could potentially be turning a corner.”

The neighborhood’s rental market, however, tanked in the final three months of 2019. The number of units rented dropped 60 percent to 176 from the previous quarter’s 438, but just 4 percent from the year-ago period.

One-bedroom apartments in Battery Park City were something of an outlier. Rentals of one-bedrooms also fell from the previous quarter, by 56 percent, but were up nearly 37 percent year-over-year.

Average monthly rent in the area is hovering around $5,740, a 1.9 percent decrease from last year.

For the Financial District, the quarter saw the area “fall in line” with the rest of Manhattan’s soft residential market, Stephenson noted.

Sales in FiDi had “been bucking the trend” for the previous two quarters, but then sank nearly 45 percent quarter over quarter to just 26 deals. In the final quarter a year ago, there were 32.

The average sales price of $1.15 million was down 10 percent from the previous year’s $1.28 million.

The rental market, meanwhile, nosedived from the previous quarter.

Winter blues saw the number of rentals drop 64 percent to 427 from the third quarter’s 1,180 deals. When compared to the final quarter of 2018, which saw 527 deals, the number of units rented was only down about 19 percent.

At the same time, however, average rents picked up to $4,653. That’s a roughly
3 percent jump from the third quarter and nearly 6 percent higher than the fourth quarter a year ago.

The gain came even as the number of rental listings that saw price drops surged 18 percent to 768, compared with 649 in the same period of 2018.

Stephenson said the drop may be attributable to less new rental inventory in the area. She noted that a paucity of desirable homes on the market could also be affecting FiDi’s sales.

“The lower-priced bargains” — which Stephenson pegs at $1 million or lower — “[are] not in the market in the same way that it was in the previous two quarters,” she said.

Write to Erin Hudson at [email protected]

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