Do apartments sold fast mean changing market?

After period of stability, an upward trend in volume is inescapable. (Source: UrbanDigs)

Something seems to be happening.

I’ve visited dozens of open houses on the Upper West Side over the last month or so, and each of the apartments that had been recently listed enjoyed heavy traffic.

Not only are folks looking.  They are buying as well.

Although properties in the second quarter were taking more than five months to sell (and that’s from their last price), I’m finding that a significant portion of well-priced apartments in my admittedly small sample has found buyers within a couple of weeks.

It cannot be irrelevant that only one of the six that went quickly under contract is bigger than a one-bedroom unit.  Just one is a studio, a spacious alcove, and another is a newly renovated two-bedroom co-op listed for $1.1 million.

The only one that might be considered aggressively priced is a one-bedroom co-op asking less than $1 million, but it has unusually desirable features.  Aside from it and the two-bedroom unit, the four others ranged from $349,000 (for that studio) and $689,000.

The graphic via UrbanDigs at the top indicates an upward trend for the condo market, where inventory constraints citywide have been notably pronounced.

Based on those numbers, what I’m hearing from other brokers and my experience on the street, as it were, I’m tempted to go out on a limb and declare that Manhattan in general and the Upper West Side in particular are moving in the direction of a seller’s market.

Yet I would be naive to ignore the manifold economic uncertainties that continue to plague us globally and domestically along with the doubts that our election cycle inevitably provokes.

What I do know is that mortgage rates have been edging up consistently again.  So I’ll reiterate my not so novel advice that anyone who has a strong desire or need to buy a new home and stay in it in for several years should consider doing so now.

Please note: Regular posts resume with Out and About on Tuesday, though you always can keep up with the news by following me on Twitter.

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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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