Manhattan Real Estate Update: The Market Is Starting To Thaw…It’s Not So Cold Out There, After All.


Regardless of perception and sentiment, virtually all the market metrics are aligned for buyers to capitalize…a rare and unique state of affairs for Manhattan, where sellers have always reigned supreme. The best deals and relative value are in the luxury sector.

Apartment choices are stacking the shelves with the best inventory we have seen in years, providing buyers the opportunity to buy what they once only dreamed of. Extremely low interest rates have further provided buyers with unforeseen purchasing power. This, coupled with increasing numbers of sellers embracing the new pricing norms, has empowered the buyer to leverage more aggressive offers. Consequently, the marketplace has begun to resuscitate itself and is stabilizing. The market activity is more robust in the lower price ranges where competition is still strong. That momentum will eventually carry up into the luxury sector. There has been such a backlog of inactivity that it’s beginning to release. It will be choppy waters, but I anticipate gains over time. Meaning those who are actually looking in the luxury sector now, regardless of whether they are successful in striking a deal…or not, will remember this window of opportunity.

Generally, since the peak of 2014-2015, we have seen a gradual drop in prices between 15-25% depending upon which sector and/or micro-market you analyze. The reasons for the declines are varied. Aside from the trade war, the overwhelming causes have been policy driven: higher mansion taxes and transfer taxes, the limitation on the SALT deductions (state and local taxes), the LLC restrictions, revised rental laws etc. The list is long. Also playing into the drama are international buyers, who are more scarce than before. The stronger US$ has forced many foreign investors to look elsewhere for value, places like London and Australia. Likewise, currency restrictions on money exiting countries such as China, Russia and even India have had a substantial effect on Manhattan’s results up to this point.

What an amazing opportunity to upgrade!

As I always ask:

Are you prepared to dive in? You should always know what you are in a position to buy or sell at all times. If you don’t know, reacquaint yourself with the marketplace. What is your property worth? What can you afford to buy? Anyone interested in buying or selling, should be rolling up their sleeves to determine whether the time is right to sell or if there’s a home or investment property out there for them.

Roberto Cabrera
Licensed Real Estate Broker
Brown Harris Stevens


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