The major brokerages' first-quarter sales reports were released this week, and one of the biggest headlines was the drop in number of sales over Q1 of last year. Most of the press coverage seized on that stat, with the point being, sure, prices are at record highs, but those numbers are inflated by the super-luxury market, and the outlook is much more grim. Prudential Douglas Elliman reported the sharpest drop in sales volume by far, claiming a 34% fall in Manhattan deals. This apparently caught Elliman Vice Chairman Dolly Lenz?perhaps the city's biggest superbroker?off-guard. In a company-wide e-mail, she wrote:
I do not agree with the assessment of "our" report but that being said, two major financial institutions which I spoke with today requested an explanation to today's New York Sun's story about Corcoran being up 5% in sales volume while we are down 34% for the same period. How can that be possible?
Even Halstead reported that they were down only 1%. I can tell you as I told them that my personal volume like Corcoran's was up for the quarter. This is not a trivial matter. We are talking about a 39% spread. Something is very wrong somewhere and I need a plausible response as will we all.
Did that response come? Of that, we are not sure. One thing is clear, however: Dolly is ticked. And that is never a good thing.
· First Quarter Market Reports: Prices Up, Sales Down [Curbed]
· Curbed's Dolly Lenz coverage [Curbed]