The pandemic did some major damage to Manhattan’s office condominium market.
A comparison of sales during the pandemic to pre-Covid deals in the same buildings showed a 32 percent drop in price per square foot, from $909 to $616, according to an analysis by Rudder Property Group.
Bargain hunters have begun to see opportunity and some are taking action, said Michael Rudder, the principal of the firm, a commercial real estate brokerage specializing in office condos in the metropolitan area.
“We have signed more contracts and have more closings in the first quarter of 2021 than we did in all of 2020,” he said Wednesday. “So there will be an increase in sales, but pricing is still low.”
Only 13 sales were completed in the second half of 2020 and just 30 for the year — 10 fewer than the five-year average, according to Rudder’s market report.
The second-half sales were of much larger units, on average. In total, 194,255 square feet of office condos were sold from July to December, about twice as much as in the first half of the year, but a third less than in the second half of 2019.
The dollar volume in the second half was about $140 million, up 73 percent from the first half of the year but down 46 percent from the year-ago period.
Notable sales during the second half of 2020 included Rafael Viñoly Architects’ $35.8 million purchase of 36,550 square feet at 375 Pearl Street from Sabey Corporation, and American Guild of Musical Artists’ $7.5 million purchase of 9,476 square feet at 305 Seventh Avenue from Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services.