There has been little doubt recently that the real estate market here in New York City has been slowing down lately. Inventory is up, and sales are down. While average prices have remained strong, it is clear that the days of the superman-like invulnerability in the market is a thing of the past.
If a year of horrid national economic news has finally proved to be the market’s kryptonite, though, there has been no lack of Louis Lanes as of late, pulling our fabled hero to areas of safety and respite, to suffer little harm as the danger slowly passes.
While many in the industry were expecting a sharply negative turn this summer, many real estate agents have reported experiencing, if not a record summer, a stronger-than-expected season.
The weak dollar has dramatically aided the market, as otherwise bored and possibly unemployed real estate agents in the city have found themselves with ample interest from holders of euros and the British Pound.
Indeed, the luxury market as a whole has continued to expand, even as its most significant source of demand – the New York City financial industry – has taken a serious hit in the form of a global credit crunch and the closing of Bear Stearns. The dollar has played an enormous role in this, as has the surprising resilience of domestic demand for New York City’s apartments.
Supply, too, has helped considerably. Unlike most major American cities, which have experienced a significant condo glut, building in New York City has been significant but moderate in pace.
This fact is particularly apparent when one looks at where many of the sales have come from in recent months. While sales of units in middle-aged buildings – built after World War II, but not in the recent past – have declined significantly, many of the high profile new units have been moving at a brisk pace.
The Superior Ink units close to the water are perhaps a prime example. The sales numbers from this large collection of new luxury apartments have displayed the strength of both the super-high-end luxury market and the market for new condominiums.
The super-high-end has been particularly strong as of late. Indeed, Superior Ink was supposed to be 68 different units but may end up being just shy of fifty units, after wealthy buyers combine units.
The city is also leading the way with some luxury green apartments near completion; a set of buildings that will experience their unique source of demand from buyers, and should help prop up future numbers somewhat.
While no one is saying the city’s market is experiencing its best days, there is a consensus that if this is the worst, there is, then the market will experience a recovery from the recent negativity with perhaps record speed.