Manhattan’s apartment market kicked off 2022 with hot, expensive streak

First quarter marked 30-year peak for condos and co-ops

(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Manhattan’s apartment market kicked off 2022 with its hottest start in over three decades.

Prices last quarter remained higher than their pre-pandemic levels and the portion of bidding wars rose for the fourth quarter in a row to a four-year peak, according to Miller Samuel’s quarterly report for Douglas Elliman.

Condos and co-ops saw a surge of deals totaling 3,585, the most since Miller Samuel began tracking sales in 1989 and 46 percent more than a year earlier.

The greatest growth came in the luxury market, which encompasses the top 10 percent of condo and co-op sales. The median sales price in the section is up more than 30 percent year over year, to just under $6.5 million.

As employers call workers back to offices and international buyers return, the borough’s relative availability of supply has fueled the new sales peaks.

While supply has fallen dramatically from the fall of 2020, it was higher than historical norms for the first quarter, according to Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel.

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“It’s sliding, but it’s not unusually low, which tells me that we’re still looking at elevated sales activity in the coming quarters, even with rising rates,” Miller said.

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Condos saw a greater yearly increase in sales price than co-ops, with the median condo price rising 14.8 percent to $1.7 million. The median sale price for co-ops was $825,000, a 5.8 percent increase over the same period last year.

Supply across all market sectors fell to 5.8 months from 8.8 months a year ago, though it rose slightly from 5.2 months in quarter four, according to the report.

Stephen Ferrara, co-founder of The Hudson Advisory Team at Compass, said “a continued flight for quality” is behind the competitive market.

“Smart buyers are moving quickly with the understanding that inventory is tight, and if the asking price is reasonable and in line with the market, it will be competitive and sell quickly, particularly in core downtown markets,” Ferrara said.