New condo sales yet to rebound in New York

Deals fell below pre-pandemic levels for the second straight month

New York New Condo Sales Slump
Related Companies' Jeff Blau and 15 Hudson Yards; Extell Development's Gary Barnett and Central Park Tower; Zeckendorf Development's Arthur Zeckendorf and 1289 Lexington Avenue (Getty, Related Companies, Brown Harris Stevens, DS+R, Terra Holdings, Central Park Tower)

Once a beacon in New York’s residential market, sales of newly constructed condominium units fell to below pre-pandemic levels for the second consecutive month in October.

The 181 contracts signed last month totalled $454 million, with a median list price of $1.5 million and a price-per-square-foot of nearly $1,600, according to data firm Marketproof

“This is two months, back-to-back, when numbers have declined,” Marketproof’s Kael Goodman, said. “The numbers are definitely soft.”

While developers have more motivation to sell than homeowners who locked in historically low mortgage rates during the pandemic, limited inventory has buoyed new condo prices. 

Fewer than three years of inventory remain for condos priced $1.5 million to $4 million, according to Marketproof. Luxury condos priced up to $8 million have 3.7 years of inventory. 

Projects with the most contract signings included Related Companies’ 15 Hudson Yards which has struggled, Witkoff and Access Industries’ One High Line and Extell Development’s Central Park Tower, all asking $20 million or more. The priciest closing, just shy of $3,800 per square foot, was at SJP Properties’ 200 Amsterdam

Dollar volume for units priced north of $4 million fell 8 percent from September to $210 million. Top selling projects were GFI Capital and Elliot Management’s 111 West 56th Street, which put eight units into contract, and 1289 Lexington Avenue by Zeckendorf Development on the Upper East Side which put four units into contract. 

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In Brooklyn, a burgeoning locale for new condo inventory, top selling projects included Tishman Speyer and Vanke’s 11 Hoyt Street in Downtown Brooklyn and 171 Calyer Street in Greenpoint. Each project put four condos into contract. 

The median list price for new condos in Brooklyn rose 30 percent from September to $1.4 million, and dollar volume rose 8 percent to $89 million. Median price per square foot grew 10 percent to $1,400. The outer borough is on pace to eclipse Manhattan condo sales in five years.

Fortis Property Group closed Brooklyn’s priciest units last month, selling two condos at Olympia Dumbo for north of $2,600 per square foot. Douglas Elliman’s Barton Barrett Marshall team recently took over sales from the brokerage’s Eklund Gomes team at what may prove to be Brooklyn’s most expensive residential project ever.

In Queens, Chris Xu’s Skyline Tower put six units into contract last month, and Ampiera Group’s project in Woodside, at 40-22 61st Street, notched ten signings. Total dollar volume rose 16 percent to $37 million, the median price dropped by 27 percent to $855,000 and median price per square foot fell 10 percent to $1,200.

Whether the baseline for new condo sales was reset during the last two months may depend on macroeconomic conditions, but dramatic changes in supply or demand seem unlikely.

“If mortgage rates tick down a little, that would be a positive,” Goodman said. “But the percentage of cash buyers is already at an all-time high,” accounting for 72 percent of new development sales in Manhattan last month.

CORRECTION: A prior version of this report mistakenly identified 111 East 56th Street. It has been updated to 111 West 56th Street.

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