Quantifying the rise and fall of NYC’s condo market

Nearly half of new condo units in Manhattan that came to market after 2015 remain unsold

Gary Barnett
Gary Barnett

The last decade saw the development of ultra-luxury condos that altered New York City’s skyline — and the rise of gentrification and need for affordable housing.

More than 54,000 condos were erected in the last decade in the five boroughs by firms including Extell Development, which built some of the priciest. But a slow market at the top and excess inventory has led developers to offer concessions to convince buyers to sign on the dotted line. A data analysis prepared by Nancy Packes Data Services for the New York Times showed that nearly half of new condo units in Manhattan that came to market after 2015 remain unsold — 3,695 out of 7,727.

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“You never had this kind of supply in these price ranges,” said Gary Barnett, the president and founder of Extell Development. “The $5 million to $10 million market is hammered — there’s way too much of it.”

Working class neighborhoods were also transformed by the influx of glassy towers: Williamsburg saw the most new condo units built, 3,201, between 2009 and 2019. The Queens neighborhoods of Flushing and Hunter’s Point added 3,075 and 2,484, respectively. In Manhattan, 23,204 units were delivered, concentrated in the Upper West Side, Midtown West, Tribeca, Lincoln Square and the Financial District.

The new towers coincided with the increase of median rents, especially in Brooklyn. Greenpoint and Williamsburg saw the greatest increase over the decade, where rents soared 54 percent, from $1,207 in 2010 to $1,854 in 2018, according to the Furman Center. [NYT] — Georgia Kromrei