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Manhattan apartment sales experienced a major slump in 2019

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Plus, the Chelsea Flea Market shutters after 43 years—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

Max Touhey

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Manhattan sales for existing apartments slump

It’s an understatement to say 2019 was a tumultuous year for New York real estate. Historic rent reforms passed Albany in June, ushering in a wave of uncertainty for many in the real estate world. The luxury market saw record breaking sales while also experiencing a condo glut that has lead to thousands of unsold apartments. Now, Wall Street Journal analysis of city property records shows that 2019 was one of the worst for Manhattan residential real estate in nearly a decade.

This year, sales of existing Manhattan apartments fell to its slowest pace since 2011. Apartment prices slumped to a four-year low in the third quarter, and remained at that level throughout the fourth quarter, according to the WSJ. The sales slowdown accounts for the bulk of Manhattan transactions—80 percent—and are crucial for many New York brokers. Condo sales did spike, data reviewed by the newspaper shows, but much of those sales went into contracts years ago.

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