After reviewing the Elliman Report on the New York City Real Estate market at the end of 3Q 2016, we concluded that sellers had simply refused to accept the fact that the Manhattan real estate bubble had burst and rather than dropping prices had decided to simply let their apartments sit on the market unsold while hoping for a miracle. Here was our conclusion (see “NYC Real Estate Bubble Bursts As Apartment Sales Crash 20%“):
In conclusion, the lesson seems to be that the marginal New York City buyer has been priced out of the market (volume down 20%) while sellers have not yet accepted that the bubble has burst deciding instead to maintain listing prices while letting their apartments sit on the market longer amid growing inventory levels. Meanwhile, the luxury market is the only segment that seems to be holding up which only serves to prove that Chinese billionaires still have cash they would like to hide in the U.S.
Alas, with the release of Elliman’s 4Q 2016 report, it has become apparent that that miracle never materialized for New York’s hedgies and i-bankers. In fact, the data from Manhattan real estate sales was almost universally bad with median pricing down 8.7% YoY, volume down 3.7%, listing days up 14.6% and discounts up to 5.5%.
Meanwhile, a view of the longer term sales and pricing trends for Manhattan seems to suggest that the 2013-2015 expansionary period has officially turned.
As was the case last quarter, the re-sale market was among the hardest hit segments with median prices down 6.3% YoY and volume down 1.5%.
Also like previous quarters, the luxury market, despite sinking volumes, is the only segment to continue to show growth in median sales prices.
And while buyers are abandoning Manhattan en masse, Brooklyn seems to be the key beneficiary with purchases there soaring 22% YoY and median prices climbing 15%. Per Bloomberg:
Home buyers in Brooklyn competed for a record-low number of listings in the fourth quarter, driving up prices in the New York borough that’s historically been seen as a refuge from Manhattan’s high costs.
Purchases in Brooklyn rose 22 percent from a year earlier to 2,582, while the median price of those deals climbed 15 percent to a record $750,000, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The number of homes for sale at the end of December tumbled 31 percent to 2,232, the fewest since the firms started keeping the data in 2008.
The sales market in Brooklyn, the city’s most populous borough, is moving in the opposite direction to Manhattan’s, where rising supply is offering buyers more choices and the option to walk away from listings they view as overpriced. Manhattan’s median home price dropped 8.7 percent in the fourth quarter to $1.05 million as sellers awakened to a slowdown after years of holding out for all they could get, the firms said last week.
“You have a disconnect with sellers in Manhattan, and Brooklyn is poaching some of that demand,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “Overall, it’s generally a lower price point, and affordability has been a big issue the last couple of years.”
Seems that “Bridge & Tunnel” is starting to have a nice ring to it.