June 25, 2022

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Manhattan residential real estate sales hit record $7.3 billion in first quarter

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Luxury high-rise apartments are viewed across Central Park South near Columbus Circle in the Manhattan borough of New York.

Robert Nickelsberg | Getty Images

Manhattan residential real estate sales topped $7 billion in the first quarter, marking the strongest-ever start to a year as the market shows no signs of slowing, according to new sales data.

There were 3,585 sales in the first quarter, the highest number ever for a first quarter, according to a report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. That’s up 46% from the first quarter of 2021. Total sales volume surged by 60% to over $7.3 billion, as falling inventory also led to continued growth in prices.

The average price of a Manhattan apartment jumped 19% over the previous year’s period, to $2,042,113.

The strength came despite rising interest rates, concerns about a possible recession and falling stocks, which tend to have an outsize impact on the Manhattan real-estate market given the city’s dependence on the financial industry.

It doesn’t look like a push for a return to the workplace is driving the increase, either. Only about 36% of New York workers have returned to the office, according to data from Kastle Systems.

Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, the appraisal and research company, said the assumption that people live in Manhattan because of their jobs is now being challenged.

“You have a lot of people who are working remote, but want to be in Manhattan,” he said. “They’re attracted to the cultural offerings, the restaurants, Broadway. Remote work doesn’t just mean the suburbs. There could be as many people working remotely on the Upper East Side of Manhattan as there are in Westchester.”

Rising interest rates also have less impact on wealthy buyers, who dominate the Manhattan market. As rates go up, they simply pay more cash. More than 47% of all real-estate purchases in the quarter were all-cash, up from the pandemic low of 39%, and closer to the historical norm.

Another reason for Manhattan’s strength…

2022-04-05 00:01:01

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