Pricey home sales plummet, but not prices themselves

Pandemic brought global cities’ housing markets to near-standstills

New York Weekend Edition /
Jul.July 26, 2020 12:00 PM
The coronavirus pandemic hampered luxury residential deals in most major cities across the globe

The coronavirus pandemic hampered luxury residential deals in most major cities across the globe

High-end residential sales in the world’s most expensive cities dropped like a rock in the first half of the year.

Sales above $10 million dropped 53 percent year-over-year in 12 pricey cities tracked by Knight Frank. New York and London saw the most severe declines, according to Bloomberg.

Only 41 properties sold for more than $10 million in New York, down around 70 percent from the 137 in the first half of last year. The number of deals had been increasing and prices falling in New York before the coronavirus pandemic took hold in March.

London deals fell 68 percent year-over-year. Orange County, Hong Kong, Dubai and Miami all saw transactions fall by more than half.

“The impact of Covid-19 has been felt across all our international markets with most coming to all but a complete standstill for a number of months as various lockdown measures were put in place globally,” said Knight Frank’s global head of prime sales, Paddy Dring.

While fewer deals closed, those that did were for more money than last year. The global average transaction value for so-called super-prime properties that closed from March to June was $20.7 million, an increase from $18 million during that period last year.

London properties sold for $38 million on average, the highest of any market. Like many other cities, London saw demand plummet across the pricing spectrum in the early days of the pandemic. But prices did not collapse because supply fell as sellers refrained from listing properties in the teeth of the pandemic.

Sydney was the only major city to see an increase in deals. Transactions were up 15.4 percent year-over-year. [Bloomberg]Dennis Lynch


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