New York City’s surprising real estate comeback continues

Report: Doomsayers were wrong when they counted out NYC


The city is back — and so is the cost of living in it.

The New York Times is reporting that rumors of New York City’s demise were greatly exaggerated, and despite a drop in rents and sale prices at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Manhattan’s (and Brooklyn’s and Queens’) real estate markets have made a remarkable turnaround — with the luxury homes leading the way.

Even as the Omnicron variant bears down, sales and rental markets are sometimes exceeding prices from before the pandemic. In fact, there were more apartments sold in Manhattan during the third quarter of 2021 than at any other time in more than three decades.

Sales in Brooklyn and Queens have also reached record levels, but renters who were able to get discounted rates in 2020 are getting hit with rent increases of 30 to 40 percent.

And with the statewide moratorium on evictions scheduled to end later this month, many who can’t afford the increases could be on the move.

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Spurred on by the return of affluent renters and buyers who abandoned the city at the start of the pandemic, the median sale price of a Manhattan apartment in the third quarter was $1,115,000 — nine percent higher than it was during the same time in 2019, according to the Douglas Elliman brokerage firm.

The paper predicts that 2022 could bring even more gains, as international investors begin to make their return, as the most recent uptick in sales has come thanks to local buyers. Add in the possibility of a bigger cap on state, local, and property tax deductions, and the recipe for a supercharged market seems to be complete.

Evidence appears to bear that out: 8.3 percent of sales in Manhattan came after bidding wars, which tops the usual range of 5 to 7 percent, according to the Gray Lady.

[New York Times] — Vince DiMiceli