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Residential

Red hot market pushes condo prices to record highs

The spring inventory boost to the Manhattan condo market in April did not carry through to May, as condo inventory dropped by 2.8 percent from April and was down 7.4 percent from this same time last year.

With just 3,778 units on the market, May offered the lowest number of available condo units recorded during any May month over the last five years, according to the May 2015 StreetEasy Manhattan Condo Market Report.

Alan Lightfeldt
Alan Lightfeldt

In the face of shrinking inventory, condo buyers were eager to act and ready to pay high prices.
According to the StreetEasy Condo Price Index, condo prices are 11.6 percent above their previous peak in September 2007, but the pace of condo price growth continues to slow with prices remaining essentially flat from April to May.

The median sale-to-list price ratio in Manhattan was 99.4 percent in May, meaning the typical sale price among condos that closed was 99.4 percent of the initial asking price.

Midtown West and Lower East Side had sale-to-list price ratios of 100.1 percent and 104.9 percent, respectively, indicating that the vast majority of condo sales that closed in those neighborhoods sold at prices above the initial asking price.

Condos spent a median time of 43 days on the market in May, which is 6 days less than in April and 1 day less than this time last year. Lack of new inventory translated into an overall drop in contracts signed in May.

Pending sales, or condos that went into contract, fell 6.7 percent from April and were 9.4 percent below this same time last year.

“Constricted condo inventory helped sellers get a greater share of their initial asking price as buyers competed for an even smaller pool of available units. We’re looking at a market that is ripe for bidding wars,” said StreetEasy data scientist Alan Lightfeldt.

“As supply continues to shrink and sellers hold on to the bargaining power, condo buyers can expect competition to remain fierce.”

Prices are expected to stick around current levels as the market enters the slower summer months. The StreetEasy Condo Price Forecast predicts flat prices from May to June.

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