New York City real estate is a record-breaking market and 2014 was no exception. December 23, 2014 marked the closing of the most expensive apartment ever sold in Manhattan: $100.5M for a duplex penthouse at One57. Although this is the highest amount ever paid for an apartment in New York City, The Woolworth Building’s three bedroom penthouse is expected to ask $110M when it hits the market. 2014 also brought us the long-anticipated opening of One World Trade Center, the completion of the Highline’s third and final phase, and Chinese buyers became the largest group of foreign buyers in Manhattan, followed by Russian and Brazilian buyers.
The 2014 market also reached new lows, with properties selling in less than half the time they would have sold for two years prior. In 2012, properties averaged between 83-133 days on the market, while properties in 2014 averaged only 47-73 days on the market before closing. 2014 saw an increase in price per square foot of over 10% from 2013. However, the second half of 2014 plateaued with many sellers overpricing their apartments in an attempt to take advantage of the bullish market. This caused properties to languish on the market and ultimately netted sellers less than they would have earned if they had priced their properties correctly. 2014 saw approximately 45% of Manhattan homes purchased with all cash, however for the buyers who did finance, sellers were more flexible and accepted finance contingencies, another sign that the market has normalized and that the fast pace with which real estate has been moving in recent months will be slowing down for 2015. 2015 will still be an extraordinary and record-breaking year for NYC real estate, however accurate pricing is as important as ever, fringe neighborhoods will become much more popular, and the spring will be the most competitive time to purchase because of Wall Streeters receiving their bonuses and reinvesting them in the real estate market. As always, please let me know if you have any questions about the NYC real estate market or if you would like to discuss the value of your home.