Manhattan Residential Real Estate Sales Hit $7.3 Billion in Q1 2022.

Manhattan Residential Real Estate Sales Hit $7.3 Billion in Q1 2022.
A three-bedroom, three-bath apartment in Manhattan’s Lenox Hill section, that rented for $8,000 a month. (photo courtesy of Michael Shapot, Keller Williams, Manhattan)
Bryan Jung

High-end real estate sales in Manhattan reached $7.3 billion in the first quarter of 2022, a marked improvement after the industry was hit hard during the two-year pandemic, according to the latest sales reports.

The positive data is one of the strongest starts to a year on record as the NYC market accelerates upward, with no sign of a slowdown.

There were 3,585 sales in the first quarter of the year,  a 46 percent increase from the first quarter of 2021, according to Corcoran.

Total sales volume has surged by 60 percent, as an inventory shortage in Manhattan has led to a rise in housing prices.

Corcoran President & CEO, Pamela Liebman said that “2021 was a historic year in the Manhattan market, and the fervent activity that fueled last year’s sales has continued into 2022."

"With robust sales and improving prices, barring any unexpected shocks, this stellar first quarter should have everyone feeling very optimistic about another momentous year ahead,” said Liebman.

Meanwhile, the average price of a Manhattan apartment jumped 19 percent over the previous year’s period, to $2,042,113, with most of the major price gains remaining at the top of the market.

Despite rising interest rates, fears of a possible recession, and war, which makes the NYC real-estate market overly sensitive to the financial cycles on Wall Street, the housing market remains strong.

Rising interest rates tend to have less of an impact on the city's wealthier buyers, who predominate in the Manhattan real estate market, as they simply pay more in cash when rates go up.

More than 47 percent of total real estate sales in the first quarter were paid up-front in cash, an improvement from the pandemic low of 39 percent, close to the pre-pandemic average.

Manhattan—at the start of 2022—still has an ample supply, although with a declining number of spaces, while other parts of the country are dealing with a housing shortage.

The NY real estate market posted 5,000 new listings in the Manhattan market in the first quarter, while inventory fell to 5,961 units, the lowest number in five years.

Corcoran said inventory was down 9 percent versus last quarter, a significant 30 percent year-to-year average decline, and the lowest first-quarter reading since 2016.

Prices for apartments with four or more bedrooms jumped 31 percent over last year, to $6.5 million.

Only 20 percent of apartments sold over the last three months sold for less than $1,200 a square foot.

The median price of an already existing Manhattan apartment hit $1,190,000 according to the recent data, while the median price for new development topped $2.3 million.
According to analysts, the market is not being driven by employees returning to the workplace, as only 36 percent of New York office workers have returned to their desks, according to Kastle Systems, which manages office security.
“You have a lot of people who are working remote, but want to be in Manhattan,” Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, told CNBC.

“They’re attracted to the cultural offerings, the restaurants, Broadway. Remote work doesn’t just mean the suburbs. There could be as many people working remotely on the Upper East Side of Manhattan as there are in Westchester [County],” said Miller.

Bryan S. Jung is a native and resident of New York City with a background in politics and the legal industry. He graduated from Binghamton University.