Manhattan Real Estate Market Report: 4Q 2021

“In what can only be described as a monumental comeback, Manhattan is experiencing one of the greatest real estate markets ever. With $30 billion in sales volume and over 16,000 contracts signed, it’s not a surprise to anyone that 2021 was the best year ever for Manhattan real estate. The fourth quarter alone was one of the strongest on record, with a 47% annual rise in contracts signed, an 89% increase in closings, and $8 billion in sales volume.

While the market continues to favor sellers with rising prices and diminishing inventory, we’re still seeing buyers take advantage of cheap money before any interest rate hikes in 2022. Confidence in Manhattan’s resiliency, largely led by the high percentage of vaccinated New Yorkers, is propelling us into 2022 with powerful momentum.”

-Pamela Liebman, Corcoran President & CEO

2021 was perhaps the best year ever for the Manhattan market.

  • 2021 saw over 16,600 contracts signed, the most inked in a single calendar year.
  • Overall, 2021 had over 15,600 closings—the most since 2008—with resale condos and luxury sales over $5M surpassing the previous high reached in 2013.
  • This year, reduced prices, low interest rates, the desire for more space, and resilient buyer confidence in New York City drove demand to historic highs.
  • In turn, supply and days on market declined; pricing finally stabilized, and seems to be rising again after a prolonged decline.

Sales volume hit new heights, culminating with the borough’s strongest fourth quarter on record.

  • Sales volume totaled $30 billion in 2021, a 6% rise from the previous all-time high in 2007.
  • Closings in 4Q 2021 rose 89% annually to 4,050 sales, totaling over $8 billion in volume and marking the best fourth quarter since 2007.
  • Signed contracts, a more-timely indicator of demand, grew 47% annually to 4,200 deals—by far the best fall season ever.

Manhattan fourth quarter inventory fell to its lowest level since 2016—its sharpest year-over-year drop ever.

  • Active listings declined significantly over the last year thanks to rapid absorption.
  • As of mid-December, nearly 6,300 units were actively listed for sale in Manhattan, down 37% annually. This is despite an all-time high of 4,100 new listings coming to market during 4Q 2021 as sellers look to take advantage of the hot market.

After a five-year decline, Manhattan prices finally appear to be improving due to historic demand, lower inventory, cooling negotiability, and a record-setting luxury market.

  • This quarter, market-wide price figures all rose between 5-9%, with median price matching its 2Q 2021 record high of $1.2M. Average price and price per square foot statistics also returned to 2018/2019 levels—excepting 2Q 2019, when price statistics spiked due to a flurry of high priced closings prior to the increase in mansion and transfer taxes.
  • 4Q 2021 was the first time since 1Q 2017 that market-wide price figures increased across the board in Manhattan.

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