Donna Olshan and Emily Chen, at Olshan Realty, have been carefully tracking contracts signed, at $4 million or more, on a weekly and monthly basis since 2011. Contracts are an important measure of current market activity, sales to not usually close for a month or more.
Here is a link to their report: https://olshan.com/marketreport_arch.php?id=558
Their monthly findings are summarized in the table below and show that monthly contract volume, for the most expensive apartments and townhouses, collapsed in April 2020. It increased in every subsequent month (although the market was closed to physical showings until late June) but remained well below volume in the prior three years. However, contract volume reached 2019 levels in October, and then stunningly in November it exceeded the number of deals in both November 2019 and November 2018.
As of December 13, 2020, in the prior two weeks, 44 contracts were signed, so the strengthening market continues, perhaps the positive and immediate impact of the election and Covid vaccines.
As is also indicated, condominiums dominate the upper end of Manhattan’s housing market. This is clearly the case in 2020 and the prior 3 years, but certainly would not have been the case when I started in this business some decades ago. Then the upper end was dominated by the cooperative market on Park-Fifth Avenues and Central Park West. More recently, the bulk of luxury listing inventory and contracts is for condos, despite higher prices.
|April – co-ops||1||28||39||34|
|April – townhouses||1||9||8||9|
|April – condos||9||51||95||75|
|May – co-ops||9||29||27||29|
|May – townhouses||2||10||6||8|
|May – condos||11||59||68||84|
|June – co-ops||6||23||29||17|
|June – townhouses||5||15||15||13|
|June – condos||19||81||59||77|
|July – co-ops||9||10||21||16|
|July – townhouses||6||4||11||8|
|July – condos||24||31||63||62|
|August – co-ops||9||14||14||14|
|August – townhouses||7||12||7||5|
|August – condos||29||31||50||41|
|Sept. – co-ops||8||13||20||11|
|Sept. – townhouses||5||10||8||6|
|Sept. – condos||43||44||56||43|
|Oct. – co-ops||8||13||20||11|
|Oct. – townhouses||5||10||8||6|
|Oct. – condos||43||44||56||43|
|Nov. – co-ops||22||25||20||19|
|Nov. – townhouses||15||5||8||12|
|Nov. – condos||58||55||43||67|
|Total April – Nov.||353||612||750||753|