Manhattan’s real estate market rebounds after lock-in

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In 2019, when Australian doctor Weng Yee Chin and her husband came to Manhattan to buy an apartment before moving out of Hong Kong, they were “traumatic” by this experience and rented out. With pandemic savings, they began to revisit at the beginning of the year. They may be excited about the lower prices-but that did not make the process easy, to be precise.

“Compared with 2019, I think there is a lot of value,” Chin said. The couple made three different proposals in early 2021. But all failed.

“If you are lucky, if you move on at the right time, there will be a lot of bargains [were] Willing to compromise,” she said. But the competition was getting fiercer. When they found the apartment they bought in the Upper East Side, the market had obviously changed and they were forced to increase their budget. In the end, the couple spent $3.7 million on the A three-bedroom apartment was purchased on the 30th floor of a building on East 90th Street, which had enough space for their two daughters and two dogs.

But she said that Chin is “watching very closely” the market these days, wondering: “How much did I overpay?”

In the past few months, given the desolation of the island when the pandemic began, Manhattan’s real estate market has experienced a rebound that almost no one expected. StreetEasy, a real estate portal, reported that sales in the second quarter of 2021 were 4,997, the highest level since records began in 2010.

“Since April, I don’t think we have completed so many transactions in such a tight time frame,” said Douglas Elliman’s agent Jeff Adler.

Demand in the leasing industry is also rising. “July [2021] When we really start to see rents in a few blocks begin to return to pre-pandemic levels,” said Nancy Wu, an economist at StreetEasy.

Olivia Anne, who declined to give her surname, and her partner moved to upstate New York for most of the pandemic, exposing their lease of a one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea in February. When the couple want to return to the city this year, they hope to find bargains. In the summer, they suspended their apartment search until the rental market cooled.

“Less than $4,000 [per month] We finally paid the price.Now i think one bedroom [our old] The construction cost is more than $5,000,” she said.

Marie Espinal, Douglas Elliman’s agent, said that some of her clients are renters who choose to buy rather than pay such high rents.

In the sales market, Wu said that the current rebound is in sharp contrast to what happened before the pandemic, when prices have fallen month by month since 2018. According to Douglas Elliman, the median house price in Manhattan in the second quarter of 2021 was $1.13 million, the highest level in eight quarters, an increase of 5% from the first quarter.

Wu cited the city’s reopening, low mortgage interest rates, and people’s greater certainty about where to work as a “perfect storm” to drive this new demand, especially for those who “have been in the window during the pandemic in the past year. “Shopping” people.

Residential and commercial buildings in downtown New York

View from the city to Midtown and the towers of “Billionaire” Street © Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

In general, as Americans move in suburban and small cities (e.g. Austin and PhoenixAccording to the Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index, real estate prices in the United States rose by nearly 17% in May from the previous year, the largest increase in data in more than 30 years. Wu said that due to the surplus of houses on the market, housing prices in Manhattan have risen slowly.

Serhant’s head of market intelligence, Garrett Derderian, said that despite recent increases, the median price in Manhattan is still lower than it was four years ago. He added that in the second quarter of 2017, the median sales price reached a peak of $1.2 million.

In the entire market, the so-called “Covid discount” is slowly disappearing. Serhant’s agent Chase Landow stated that a buyer purchased the 62B apartment at 157 West 57th Street (also known as “Billionaires’ Row”) in February 2021 for $16.5 million, which was lower than the final price of the apartment. The asking price is $19.9 million. One month later, 66B apartment signed a contract for 19 million US dollars.

According to StreetEasy, 12 apartments in the building have been sold since early June, while the previous 12 apartments took six months to sell.

People wearing masks play softball on the large lawn in Central Park

central Park. An apartment in Central Park West failed to sell for US$12.95 million before the pandemic, but it was sold for US$13.11 million in August after multiple bids © Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Corcoran Group agent Deanna Kory represents the owner of an apartment at 115 Central Park West, which was listed for $12.95 million before the pandemic, but failed to sell. It re-listed in April 2021 at a price of 10.95 million U.S. dollars and closed on August 4 at a price of 13.11 million U.S. dollars after competition from potential buyers.

“In my entire career, I have never lost in more bidding wars like the past six months,” Lando said.

Serhant’s agent Donna Strugatz said that one area of ​​Manhattan that is still sluggish is Midtown East. The community has many commercial buildings and luxury apartments, and as more companies postpone returning to the office due to the Covid-19 Delta variant, the community may continue to lag behind the rest of the island.

Like buyers across the country, many New Yorkers are looking for more space, especially home offices.

A line chart showing the average monthly asking rent price ($) showing that the rent prices in New York City are rising again

Douglas Elliman’s agent Jacqueline Teplitzky said that her clients have even begun to pay attention to the kitchen that has long been overlooked by New Yorkers because they pursue a new passion for cooking. “Covid really tells us that this apartment is not big enough, not when both [my husband and I] Working from home, my son works from home,” said Jennifer Tsao, who closed a three-bedroom apartment on West End Avenue for US$2.65 million two weeks ago — US$100,000 less than the asking price. However, Ms. Cao still feels it. The pressure from the market, she said, moved quickly, so no one else would flood in and provide more.

“If this doesn’t show up, I don’t know if we are still looking for it,” she said.

“I think the rebound we have seen since the beginning of the year is closely related to vaccine adoption,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal company.

He added that although the third quarter may exceed the second quarter, the surge in Delta versions may delay some buyers’ plans.

What can you buy

600,000 USD One-bedroom co-op apartment located in MacDougal St, SoHo. The maintenance fee is $796 per month.accessible Sotheby’s International Realty.


USD 3.01 million A two-bedroom apartment located on NoMad East 30th Street in Midtown Manhattan. The apartment has an area of ​​1,371 square feet and a monthly maintenance fee of US$1,914.accessible Douglas Elliman.

© Evan Joseph


13.1 million USD A five-bedroom apartment in Tribeca, Lower Manhattan.The property has an area of ​​3,708 square feet and is accessible through compass.

Steff Chavez is a reporter for MandateWire, an expert publication of the Financial Times.She is based in Chicago and New York

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