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Expect ‘a lot of’ luxury real estate deals in NYC

Sarah Paynter

It’s a good time to be a homebuyer and seller of luxury real estate market in New York City.

New York is an “honest market,” said Kelly Killoren Bensimon, a luxury real estate broker at Douglas Elliman and a former star of Bravo’s realty TV show “The Real Housewives of New York. “People are having bidding wars because the prices are right. The sellers are selling at [a] great price, the buyers are buying at [a] great price.”

After years of inventory stockpiles and dropping prices, Manhattan’s luxury real estate market is selling at record-low prices. The threshold for a sale to be considered “luxury” dropped 6.1% to $3,816,835 in the fourth quarter 2019 — the lowest threshold since 2013, according to an analysis by Manhattan-based real estate website Streeteasy. Despite price drops, 2020 is looking favorable for sellers too, say brokers.

“People are really starting to buy… There is a lot of movement and there’s a lot of deals to be had too,” said Bensimon, who is a member of the 13-broker Holly Parker team at Douglas Elliman, which has already sold $80 million worth of real estate this year. “I see people definitely spending more money.”

AERIAL ESTABLISHING SHOT: Flying above Central Park along 5th Avenue and towards Downtown Manhattan in sunny New York City. Tall glassy skyscrapers and condominium buildings overlooking Central Park

Price drops seem to be slowing, while demand is picking up. During the fourth quarter of 2019 there was a 2% decline in sales compared to the previous quarter, one of the smallest drops in over two years, according to Streeteasy. Plus, contract signings were up 1% from last year, and December had the “largest number of luxury ($4 million-plus) deals done in any December in a number of years,” said New York City-based Corcoran Group associate broker Lisa Fitzig, adding that sales activity will boost sales prices.

“Volume changes tend to precede price changes… I do believe that the worst of this decline in prices is behind us. The market appears to be finding a new equilibrium, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if prices started to turn up a bit,” said Fitzig.

Sarah Paynter is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @sarahapaynter

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