(NEW YORK, NEW YORK)— A shocking report second-quarter report from Miller Samuel shows that median sales price in Manhattan has fallen by 17.7 percent compared to the second quarter of 2019, and the number of sales in Manhattan has fallen by 54.1% percent. Has COVID-19 taken its toll? An analysis from Curbed suggests that realtors need not panic—yet.
Johnathan Miller, author of the Elliman report, cautioned casual observers to be mindful of the wild fluctuations in 2019. While the market was stagnating in the first quarter, with only a 0.2 percent year-over-year increase in the median sales price, the second quarter of 2019 saw an astonishing 10.5 percent year-over-year increase. Miller attributes this spike to the implementation of a modest mansion tax on homes over $1 million, starting July 1 of 2019. Miller suggests that the sharp jump came from the first half of the second quarter, when buyers interested in the luxury homes rushed to market before the tax kicked in. Compared to the second quarter of 2018, the median sales price in the second quarter of 2020 have decreased by a more modest 10 percent.
Still panicking? Miller warns that this number is still artificially low. Recall that the entire economy was shut down for months. While real estate was declared an essential industry as early as April, buyers and sellers were both on lockdown and in-person showings were prohibited in New York, deterring many potential clients.
The real estate market started strong in 2020. An optimistic report noted that after nearly two years of modest stagnation in the sales market, the number of sales was 13.5 percent higher than the previous year, continuing a trend from the last two quarters. However, COVID-19 quickly threw a wrench into even the most experienced agents’ predictions. While many hoped that 2020 would be a year of recovery for the real estate market, we probably won’t know the real impact of COVID until the central crisis passes.