Manhattan apartment sales hit lowest level since 2009

Only 2,281 units sold in second quarter: report

A rendering of luxury condo towers on 57th Street (credit: New York YIMBY)
A rendering of luxury condo towers on 57th Street (credit: New York YIMBY)

The number of Manhattan apartments sales fell to the second-lowest level in a decade in the second quarter, according to NYC department of finance data analyzed by the Wall Street Journal. A mere 2,281 units traded hands amid a softening condo market and uncertainty over the global economy, down more than 10 percent over the second quarter of 2015.

“I think it is a correction, a serious correction,” Brown Harris Stevens president Hall Willkie told the Journal, adding that the U.S. presidential election and Britain’s vote to leave the E.U. could put a further damper on sales.

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“The luxury market has been choking on quite a bit of overpriced inventory,” Olshan Realty’s Donna Olshan said, noting that the average luxury pad in Q2 languished on the market for 277 days, up 19 percent over last year. “Fantasy and aspirational pricing just doesn’t cut it.”

Meanwhile, Corcoran Group president Pamela Liebman said that sales activity has picked up since May, as The Real Deal recently reported. “There are clearly a lot of buyers who feel they have the ability to negotiate more, and overpriced sellers are coming around,” she said.

Manhattan’s median apartment sales price actually edged up by 13.7 percent in the quarter, to $1.12 million. But that number could be misleading because in a market correction prices tend to adjust down more slowly than sales volume. [WSJ]Konrad Putzier