NYC’s condo market enjoyed the dog days of summer

Sales up 26 percent compared to pre-pandemic averages

New York’s condo market ends summer on a high note
Witkoff's Steve Witkoff, Access Industries' Len Blavatnik, Extell’s Gary Barnett and CIM Group’s Shaul Kuba (Witkoff, Getty)

Despite a sales dip in July, New York City’s new condo market heated up in August.

The number of new condo sales across the city rose by 5 percent from July, according to a Marketproof report. The drive bucked the trending summer downshift, which saw condo sales fall by 22 percent from June to July.

Yet overall, new condo sales are still high when compared to their pre-pandemic averages, with 262 contracts signed in the market’s summer finale. Sales are up by 26 percent, driven by a 6 percent decrease in median price for a unit compared to before the pandemic. Price-per-square-foot, meanwhile, fell 9 percent to $1,522.

So far this year, 2,341 contracts have been signed across the city with a median price of $1.4 million, and those low prices are fueling demand at a time when the city is relying on recycling its existing housing stock.

“The amount of new products launching is low compared to historical launches,” said Marketproof CEO Kael Goodman. “Because there’s less new stuff coming on the market, they’re continuing to sell what’s on the market. The overall amount of unsold inventory is heading lower.”

Demand is uneven, however. After a spring season filled with buzz around luxury condos, data shows buyers seeking units priced upwards of $4 million have been dwindling since May. 32 luxury deals were inked in August, 29 of which were in Manhattan and the remaining three contracts in Brooklyn.

One High Line stood out in that crowd, signing five contracts totalling $47 million and making it the highest performer in deal closings in Manhattan for a fourth month in a row. The Witkoff Group and Access Industries’ reimagined, twisted tower Chelsea project, formerly known as Xi, has sold nearly a quarter of its 235 units in just a year — a huge turnaround for a development that faced significant construction delays and financial woes under the helm of its previous developer, HFZ Capital Group.

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Still, One High Line is trailing Extell’s 50 West 66th Street in gross earnings in Manhattan, which recorded three contracts for a combined price of nearly $54 million in August.

Across the East River, Brooklyn’s deal volume fell to 93 penned contracts, continuing on a steady decline from May when the borough locked in 133 deals. However, all other metrics were up, with median price growing by 15 percent to $1.05 million, and the median price-per-square-foot climbing by 5 percent to $1,274.

The borough’s biggest wins were in line with a growing small condo success story in Brooklyn.  490 Lorimer Street in East Williamsburg closed deals on five of its nine one- and two-bedroom units just two months after sales launched, with prices ranging from $985k to $1.55 million.

Along Prospect Park, CIM Group and LIVWRK’s 12-story condo in Crown Heights signed four contracts priced from $522,000 to $1.215 million.

Meanwhile, Queens continued on an upward trajectory, seeing more deals signed month over month since the beginning of the year, and a 147 percent increase in signed contracts when compared to pre-pandemic levels for the same January-August period.

While median prices fell, The World’s Borough saw 54 contracts signed, an increase by 42 percent, with contracts across Queens pulling in $57 million with a median price-per-square-foot growth of 3 percent to $1,376.

ZD Jasper Realty’s The Greene in Long Island City outshone the rest of the borough for total contracts signed, reporting 11 closed deals on studio and two-bedroom apartments priced between $730,000 and $1.7 million. So far, the building has closed on 103 units in the 25-story complex, just 10 months since sales started.

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