The co-op and condo sales market in the Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood sections of Northern Manhattan has been on an upward trajectory for many years--at least the last six--with the market bottoming out from the Great Recession sometime in 2010. But that upward climb, which has seen values of many apartments more than double over that same period, has hit a blip.
According to Douglas Elliman’s survey of this year’s second quarter, median sales price in Northern Manhattan has dropped 7.9 percent to $580,500, compared to the same period a year ago. The encouraging news is that median sales price has dropped only 0.1 percent from first quarter 2018 to second quarter 2018, indicating that the slide may have ended and the market may have stabilized.
Additionally, the steepest slide involving the median sales price, 32.7 percent, was seen in the sale of newly developed units rather than resales. This may indicate that projected prices for new construction were too high, or that larger units selling at higher prices may have sold first and that the price drop represents the sale of smaller units having lower prices. The 5.9 percent decline in price per square foot (to $841) is more supportive of an overall drop in prices than a reflection of unit size in median sales price. The number of closed sales was 230, a 12.5 percent drop year-over-year, indicating a slow-down in the market, overall.
“It’s reflective of a general trend,” says Bruce Robertson, an associate broker with Corcoran who concentrates his sales efforts in the lower Washington Heights area. In his personal opinion, “people are being cautious.”
Section by Section
In Harlem, both co-op and condo sales and price trend indicators moved lower. The slide was more pronounced in the condo market than the co-op market. Average sales price per square foot for condominium sales in second quarter 2018 fell 12.3 percent (to $1,039) year-over-year for condominiums, as compared to 8.9 percent (to $481) for co-ops. Overall number of sales closed fell sharply also in this most recent quarter compared to the same period in 2017--with condo sales falling 34.9 percent (to 54) and co-op sales declining 20 percent (to 28)--again indicating that original offering prices for condominium units in particular, may have been too high.