TRD Pro: Manhattan condo and co-op inventory over 12 years

Data reveals historical swings as condo glut came and went

(Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty Images)

The following is one of the hundreds of data sets available on TRD Pro — the one-stop real estate terminal for all the data and market information you need.

Snap quiz: Over the past 12 years in Manhattan, which has been more available, condos or co-ops?

Sorry, trick question. The answer has changed repeatedly as developers tried — sometimes in vain — to match their products to market demand.

Generally, buyers have gravitated away from co-ops in favor of condos, pushing the latter’s median sale price significantly higher. According to real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel, the median sale price of Manhattan condos in the third quarter was twice that of co-ops at $1.6 million versus $800,000. In 1994, they were virtually identical.

In October, the borough’s co-op inventory was 4,714 units while condo inventory was 4,414.

Manhattan condo and co-op inventory have swapped places over the past decade, with each outpacing the other for long periods.

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According to StreetEasy data, from September 2010 to November 2013, co-op inventory exceeded that of condos by an average of 603 units.

Then, condos began a seven-year run until June 2020, during which inventory was greater than for co-ops by an average of 558 units.

This, of course, was unwelcome by condo sellers, especially developers whose sales projections were thrown off by the glut of units on the market.

There was only one month during that streak, in October 2019, when condo and co-op inventory were nearly identical.

The two eventually swapped places again, and since July 2020, co-op inventory has been greater by an average of 326 units. July 2022 was the only month when condo availability exceeded co-ops’ — by a mere one unit.

Even since the condo glut abated, some sellers have struggled to unload their units for the prices they expected. High-profile sellers including Julie Koch, former treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain have all struggled to sell their trophy co-ops. Their properties have either spent years on the market, sold for deep discounts or both.

In the past 12 years, the median number of condo and co-op listings have been close: 4,142 condo units and 4,025 co-ops.

Condos remain desirable for investors, as buyers cannot only shield their identities behind LLCs but avoid extensive disclosure requirements and approval from hoity-toity if not outright discriminatory co-op boards.

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