Manhattan April Market Report

  • Sapir Team
  • 05/9/24

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Surprise! The spring market is almost finished! I bet you didn’t expect to hear this news at the beginning of May and honestly, it’s not the news I thought I’d be giving but the market does what it does and I am here to put it all into context for you.

What we need to look at is the contract signed pace, which is down almost 7%, and supply, which is up by almost 4%, and put it into context with price trends and liquidity pace. Our market is still doing better than 5 months ago but is not as strong as we’d expected for spring. Why is that? Partly because there was an expectation for the Fed to lower rates which is now tamped down. They’re now talking about a 45% chance of cutting in September, and even then we are talking about a marginal adjustment. So this is not what will be pushing this market forward.

Deal activity is starting to fall and the past few months have been coming in light in terms of contracts signed – we have been underperforming for the past 11 months. We are in a period of lower volume, and we are going to stay in it. We will likely have suppressed listings and suppressed contract activity. Supply is also slowing down, meaning we are at the end of the listing cycle. PPSF has made small moves upwards, as expected in spring, but already looks to be topping out. April saw a 38% rise in price cuts and with the market starting to cool off earlier than usual price recovery doesn’t have much more to go.


If you’re selling – expedite any decision on price reduction and if you’re planning on listing in the near future bring it forward but know the market is starting to cool a little. As a seller, this is what you need to look at:

  1. Liquidity is still fairly neutral so there are still buyers and still activity especially if you’re priced right. We have maybe 5 more weeks of this activity left. Liquidity pace – a measure for an active market - isn’t going to go up.
  2. If you’ve been on the market for 2-6 weeks and haven’t done a price cut yet, do it now:

  1. The indication right now is there is no buy-side competition - it's the opposite. When the liquidity pace goes down that also means buyers are leaving the market. You won’t get that 5% above market price tag. The tide is going out so to speak.
  2. There’s not a lot of pent-up sales demand. We are trending historically as far as monthly new supply is concerned and even slightly above. Pent-up demand is actually on the buy side.
  3. The little peak in PPSF is a sell signal. Sell your unit now because the data suggests less liquidity and prices will soften as a result.

Now for my buyers, you might be in a unique position – there might be a shift starting, where we’re going to be moving from peak spring activity to the slower summer months. This means buyers will be able to take better advantage of the leverage. The evidence again is the liquidity pace chart. It is starting to come down already so sellers that can’t sell might have a rougher time moving their property in a lower volume environment.

  1. Optimal time to list is drawing to its seasonal end – slower months mean more leverage for buyers.
  2. Liquidity pace – we are supposed to be at around 1,500 right now but we haven’t gotten there, we are much lower. It was supposed to go up during February, keep rising until now, and stay up but it did not. It’s looking like an underperforming spring season. Sellers may not know that the market won’t be favorable like the seasonal expectation they have unless they act now.
  3. Prices are good, but you may not see that perfect value right now. However, we might see it in 2 months.
  4. We are in a normal market just not thriving. If you see something that fits the bill – make a move on it. If it’s priced right, it will still move, so don’t wait and see.

So I hope you take this advice. While we aren’t doing amazing, we are also not so far out of the norm. We are probably still dealing with the hindsight mentality of coming from a very elevated place to a low place. Monthly seasonality is where April comes in low, but all in all, we are in an average transaction environment. I am curious to see what summer will look like – slow as we expect or maybe we will have a surprise and see more activity?