Signed contracts to sell Manhattan homes hit seven-week low

New listings, however, continue upward trend

Here are the latest numbers on the Manhattan housing market’s “tepid attempt at recovery” (Credit: iStock)
Here are the latest numbers on the Manhattan housing market’s “tepid attempt at recovery” (Credit: iStock)

Manhattan home buyers and sellers are living in different worlds.

The number of contracts signed in the borough last week hit a new low for the pandemic while new listings ticked up for the second consecutive week, a report by data firm UrbanDigs shows.

The firm began a weekly report tracking contract signings, new listings and delistings after Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned in-person real estate showings and shuttered non-essential businesses on March 23.

Last week, seven weeks into the shutdown, only 31 contracts were signed in Manhattan, down 87 percent from the same week in 2019. It’s the lowest number since the shutdown order.

Noah Rosenblatt, CEO of UrbanDigs and author of the report, said, “Buyers, sidelined by stay-at-home orders, remain firmly in a wait-and-see mode.”

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But he also said, “I think we are seeing the bottom in terms of market activity.” He pointed to new listing activity, which has reversed course over the past seven weeks, as a positive indicator.

Initially, the number of newly listed homes plunged, but in the final week of April they began to rise for the first time during the pandemic. The trend continued last week with a 17 percent increase to 96 new listings, up from 82 the week before. The year-over-year comparison remains stark, however: During the same period in 2019, there were 442 new listings.

UrbanDigs found 128 home listings were pulled last week, a 20 percent drop from 161 the prior week. Annually, delistings are down about 22 percent, which Rosenblatt attributed to the initial rush among sellers to take their properties off the market as the shutdown began.

Overall, Rosenblatt characterized the first week of May as a continuation of Manhattan’s “tepid attempt at recovery.”

Write to Erin Hudson at