This may not come as a surprise to those who have been watching the NYC real estate market, but 2014 is off to a strong start, at least when it comes to Manhattan real estate. Both Douglas Elliman and Brown Harris Stevens released their first quarter market reports for the year, revealing double-digit price gains that are breaking records left and right. The high numbers are due to a high volume of closings in the luxury market, which is a continuation of the high-end demand seen in 2013. If these numbers are any indication, the ever-rising prices on luxury properties aren’t crashing anytime soon.
Let’s get to the numbers: The average sales price for a Manhattan property came in $1,773,532 — a 30.9 percent increase from the first quarter average in 2013 ($1,354,766). The number sets a new record high, but if we’re looking at median sales price (to eliminate any sales outliers) the number drops. Douglas Elliman found the median sales price to be $972,428, which is 18.5 percent higher than last year but still below the record median sales price set in 2008. This quarter we also saw a total of 3,307 sales, the highest first quarter total in seven years. Days on the market fell from 132 last year to 115 this year. Listing discounts dropped from 4.3 percent to 2.6 percent — the lowest level in more than six years. In short, Manhattan listings are in demand, spending less time on the market and selling for more.
And we’re not even done setting records! The price per square foot for Manhattan properties reached its highest level in 25 years, $1,363. This quarter brought new records for price per square foot in condo, co-op, new development and luxury development sales. This price per square foot for a luxury development property is now $2,706 as opposed to $1,925 one year ago. This surge in square footage price is due to new super-luxury products now on the market.
So what’s all this mean for the future of NYC real estate? More record setting. Although these numbers are somewhat exaggerated, since the first quarter of 2013 was only “OK” compared to this one, there aren’t many signs of sales slowing down. With more luxury developments hitting the market this year (we’re also waiting for the closing of this $90 million penthouse), expect more eyebrow-raising price tags to come.