Manhattan pending sales jump 21 percent year-over-year, report says

Eric Barron and Noah Rosenblatt
Eric Barron and Noah Rosenblatt

Although many Manhattan home sellers rushed to close deals before the end of 2012 — when a package of tax rate hikes went into effect — it seems that a volume of closed sales are still heading down the pipeline. As of Jan. 1, 2013 there were 21 percent more pending sales of Manhattan condominiums, co-ops and townhouses than the same day last year, according to a report issued today by UrbanDigs and Keller Williams NYC.

The report — the second of its kind compiled by the real estate analytics firm and the residential brokerage — looks at homes marketed through the Real Estate Board of New York’s listing service. It tracks homes in 16 Manhattan neighborhoods that are listed for sale or are under contract at a specific point in time.

Out of all 16 areas, only two saw a year-over-year decrease in pending sales: the Financial District/Civic Center, where pending sales fell 21 percent to 44 units from 56 units, and Gramercy/Flatiron, where pending sales fell 7 percent, to 56 units from 60 units. In contrast, pending sales in the Harlem/Morningside Heights area jumped 117 percent year-over-year, to 117 units from 54 units.

Tribeca had a 54 percent increase in pending sales, to 128 units from 83, and Soho saw the figure rise 25 percent, to 110 from 88.

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As for why the Financial District and Garmercy/Flatiron lagged behind the rest, “the data doesn’t say why,” UrbanDigs founder Noah Rosenblatt said.

When it came to inventory, the report echoed others that have shown a sharp decline in inventory over the last year. Active listings fell 29 percent year-over-year in Manhattan, the report says, with a drop in all 16 neighborhoods tracked. Battery Park City saw the largest decline — a 63 percent drop, to 42 units from 115. Midtown East saw a 21 percent decrease, to 566 units from 719.

“With such tight supply, pricing leverage is clearly in the seller’s favor,” Keller Williams NYC CEO Eric Barron said in a statement. “Buyers, with limited inventory options to choose from, will continue to be forced to adapt more aggressive bidding strategies.”

Rosenblatt agreed: “There’s not nearly as much coming on the market” compared to past Januaries, he said. “As long as that continues, there will be bidding wars and rising price action.”