November Market Update

The LevinKong Team is happy to see the burgeoning activity that New York City has experienced of late- in our day-to-day activities, within our local businesses, and in real estate as well. November is a month that we traditionally celebrate family, express our gratitude for what we have, and give back to the communities in which we live. We, as a team, truly appreciate our role in the New York City community and strive to be positive, supportive, and charitably minded.

Supply, while still at incredibly high levels, has been flattening of late, while demand has begun to rise. We are not in a robust condo and co-op market but the trajectory has been heading in a positive direction; single family homes in the boroughs are the exception, with Brooklyn and Queens generally outperforming Manhattan. Closings are down 50% year over year, but up from the prior month. Our best indicator is contract activity, where we have observed a 30% weekly rise, amounting to 193 signed contracts in Manhattan last week. That is the highest number since the start of the pandemic. With interest rates expected to remain at this historically low level, we are predicting that we will not see a further decline in price.

Intrepid buyers were able to swoop in during the period from March through July, and take advantage of the initial uncertainty, and get incredible value from sellers who thought the market was going to go into free fall. They got the deals that will almost certainly not be seen again in this market cycle. There are still deals out there, the level of which varies throughout different market segments.

In prior years, after Labor Day, it has been an opportune window for selling—but it’s a short window. If properties are unsold in late fall, sellers often pull listings off the market from Thanksgiving until February, a period which sees lower buyer activity. However, sellers are less inclined to be constrained by traditional, seasonal-based decisions right now. That being said, we expect buyers to be able to take advantage during the winter months.

Sellers can expect that because of the pandemic, the election, and the typical winter slowdown, there will be fewer shoppers in the market over the next few months. In an election year, buyers usually wait to see who will take office and what their economic approach will be; there’s speculation that New Yorkers could get some relief from the SALT deduction cap. We expect a sharp rise in buyer activity beginning in February. The election will be behind us, a return to normalcy should offer buyers more confidence in the city and the market.

With proper guidance, there are many ways to take advantage of this dynamic and intricate market. More than ever, a data-driven, research-based approach, rooted in decades of experience, will equip our clients to thrive in this environment. Please stay safe and let us know if we can answer any questions you may have about the market, or how best to navigate complicated decisions.

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