Inventory, sales data suggest Manhattan’s recovery

Thanks to the smart folks who produce a blog called Urban Digs and the data they mine from, I can report that Manhattan inventory has now dipped to January levels.

This chart from Urban Digs suggests the times they are changin.

This chart from Urban Digs suggests the times they are changin'.

Exactly one year earlier, when the market was white-hot, supply sank to its lowest point during the period chronicled (the earliest for which Urban Digs was able to obtain data). It will be a very long time before such a low is reach again, if ever, and uncertainty about the days ahead remains as high as ever..

During the same period shown, it is instructive to couple the sales graph below (the black line being the 30-day moving average) with the inventory trend.  Note how sales slumped when Lehman Brothers collapsed in September before strongly recovering this summer.  Essentially, the spring buying season was delayed until most of the summer, when purchasers figuratively and literally went on their usual vacation.

The data provide an invaluable perspective on real estate in Manhattan, suggesting that both buyers and sellers may want to think hard about whether it’s time to enter the market.

I’m not going to be so rash as to predict the future or to declare that it’s time to buy or sell.  I know only that those who bought earlier this year may–may–have found the bottom.  Or. . . prices may fall still more.   I’m thinking that maybe information such as that contained in the charts and in reports yet to come here and in my free biweekly e-newsletter next Friday may fire up the market, especially if mortgage rates take off.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

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