No-shows: Despite price cuts and new listings, Manhattan open houses draw few buyers

Attendance was scarce throughout spring

From top: Two luxury homes for sale at 158 Mercer Street #12M/PH and 212 West 18th Street #PH3
From top: Two luxury homes for sale at 158 Mercer Street #12M/PH and 212 West 18th Street #PH3

Manhattan sellers are slashing prices and the number of home sales have spiked, but buyers still aren’t showing up for open houses.

Frederick Peters of Warburg Realty told the Wall Street Journal that buyers were “both scarcer and slower” throughout spring when compared to previous years. “Week after week, they have few showing requests and no offers,” Peters told the newspaper. “Buyer velocity has slowed considerably.”

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Sellers have become more realistic in recent months,  and are more willing to bring down their prices to meet buyers. In second quarter of 2017, the overall listing discount was just over 6 percent, according to the most recent Douglas Elliman report. At the luxury end of the market, the listing discount was much steeper at more than 10 percent. That’s the highest it’s been since the fourth quarter of 2010.

Peters said buyers are showing far less urgency than they have in the past, and negotiations are stretching out over weeks. However, he added price cuts means deals are getting done and buyers in the market are serious about making offers.

“In today’s world, with both political anxiety and global safety concerns at high levels, our market cannot support aspirational pricing by sellers waiting for that ‘one buyer’ who will overpay for their home,” he told the Journal. “Buyers are as price conscious as I have ever seen them.” [WSJ]Miriam Hall