New condo sales fell like a brick during the first quarter

Overall pace of sales was the slowest in five years

53 West 53rd Street #65 (StreetEasy)
53 West 53rd Street #65 (StreetEasy)

The number of listings went up and the sales market slowed down in Manhattan during the first quarter of the year.

Sales of apartments in the borough hit their slowest pace in five years due in part to slower closings at new luxury buildings and condo buyers refusing to pay high asking prices, according to the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, developers dealing with constraints from lenders and equity partners are not eager to drop prices on their new units.

Sales dropped more than 10 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017. Co-op sales dropped by just 2.3 percent, but new condo sales dropped by more than 35 percent, according to the Journal’s analysis. The median sales price for apartments dropped slightly by 1.5 percent to about $1.1 million, roughly 8 percent below the peak price from 2017’s second quarter.

Condo median prices dropped 4.6 percent year-over-year to about $1.6 million, while co-op median prices rose 7.3 percent to $810,000.

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So far, the first quarter’s top sale was Libet Johnson’s Vanderbilt mansion on East 69th Street that was listed for $55 million in 2016 but ultimately sold for $39 million.

“We have plenty of good stories where there are still bidding wars,” Corcoran Group president Pamela Liebman told the Journal, “and stories where things don’t sell because they are just overpriced.” [WSJ]Eddie Small