Manhattan’s Cheaper Co-Ops Spark Some Demand in Slow Market

At a time when demand for most Manhattan apartments is still declining, there was an exception last month: cheap co-ops.

Contracts to buy co-op units for $500,000 to $999,000 jumped 12% from a year earlier, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. In the range of $1 million to $1.99 million, pending purchases climbed 9.9%. The annual increases were the first for co-op contracts at any price point in data going back to May.

Manhattan’s Cheaper Co-Ops Spark Some Demand in Slow Market

It’s a small sign of life for the Manhattan market in the Covid era, when a rush to buy suburban homes has outstripped demand for apartments in New York’s costliest borough. Now, entry-level buyers who see a future in the city are sensing a chance to get a place at a discount. They’re zeroing in on co-ops, where units are older and cheaper and whose owners might be primed to make a deal.

“That’s what’s getting the first look,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel. “We’re not seeing the same upswing in the condo market in those same price points.”

For Manhattan condos across all price levels, contracts fell 28% in October from a year earlier, according to the report.

With the city’s workers mostly still telecommuting, buyer interest in the outer boroughs, the suburbs and vacation-home markets has continued to surge.

In Brooklyn, co-op contracts jumped 74% last month from a year earlier, while condo deals rose 53%. Pending purchases of single-family homes doubled in the Hamptons and climbed 51% in Westchester County.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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