The Manhattan Real Estate Market May Be At An Inflection Point: Watch These Categories – Forbes
As Manhattan real estate begins the fall busy season, time will tell if this recovery cycle has … [+]
As Manhattan real estate enters the fall busy season, it bears asking: What does the market look like today, and where is it headed? After recovery from the pandemic lows last year, the market appears poised for further gains. There are four primary points that we can look at that suggest Manhattan may be at an inflection point: Inventory, demand, market “feel,” and price action.
From November 2020 through August 2021, Manhattan experienced a sustained net deficit of new inventory when considering contracts signed and listings removed from the market. The fresh wave of listings that hit the market post-Labor Day should reverse this squeeze temporarily. However, with demand remaining at elevated levels, any reversal may be temporary. Today’s buyers may have a window of opportunity to find and negotiate on a home before the next wave of contract action hits in early October.
Net Negative | New supply still under pressure despite surge of fresh listings.
Busy seasons in real estate begin with sellers and end with buyers — new listings come on the market, and several weeks later, signed contracts take them off.
As the first month of the busy fall season, September usually sees high listing activity but low contract activity because buyers have not had enough time to get deals done. As a result, the pending sales number for September tends to hover between 2,000 and 3,000 units. However, September 2021 showed over 4,500 units in contract, clearly demonstrating how far above historical norms recent deal volume has been, and hinting that activity will remain at elevated levels toward the end of the year.
September to Remember | Pending sales at the end of summer since 2011
A look at the ratio of pending sales to active listings quantifies how the market “feels,” and provides a window into the market’s pulse.
As the ratio rises, sellers gain leverage, and as it falls, buyers gain leverage. This real-time gauge is separate from price action, which usually takes several months to fully manifest. The chart below illustrates what the Manhattan real estate market felt like since it reached its peak in mid-2015. Notice how the leverage slowly and steadily shifted from sellers to buyers culminating in a deep buyer’s market during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, and then quickly reverted to a strong seller’s market in 2021 as demand began eclipsing supply. Even though it’s still a seller’s market, the post-Labor Day influx of listings pushed the ratio down in September, suggesting that buyers have more leverage now than the last several months.
Manhattan Market Pulse | Demand-to-supply ratio indicating leverage
Manhattan has vast spectrums of price points and property types, which makes tracking price action tricky. The old standby, median sales price, is a broad look across all sales and is more a function of the size and type of properties sold. Price per square foot yields a more linear view, but most of Manhattan’s housing stock are co-ops with no verifiable data on apartment size.
On the other hand, condos offer a recorded and measurable unit size. Unfortunately, new development condo prices tend to skew far higher than average. Removing new developments from the mix leaves resale condo price per square foot as a more precise way of looking at market-wide price action, especially when measured by the month of contract signing.
In the chart below, the general price trend since 2003 is visible. The dashed lines represent pre-pandemic resistance and support levels, and roughly outline the channel Manhattan price action was trading in at that time. Notably, Manhattan prices have slowly fallen since 2015, and even dipped below the bottom support level, suggesting an oversold market. The recovery in activity has started to reverse this course, and, at present, the general price trend is back in its channel, albeit on the low-end. With demand remaining high in the near term, current price levels may appear as a relative value when viewed over the longer term. On the contrary, should market conditions deteriorate, the recently crossed support line may serve as resistance.
Resale Condo Price Per Square Foot | Monthly median by contract signed date
The Manhattan market is well into its recovery from the pandemic lows experienced during the middle of last year. A recent influx of new inventory has eased supply pressures. Still, with liquidity running at a very high level, an environment of lower supply may appear during the next active season. Prices should continue to trend upwards as the bounce off COVID lows continues, and the pipeline of signed deals over the frenetic summer months closes.
Sellers may be confused that prices are only back to 2019 levels while the market activity in the streets feels more like 2015 or 2016 levels, but the data is clear: We have only recovered 2020’s “COVID discount.” There is a way to go before prices start notching new highs.
As Manhattan real estate begins the fall busy season, time will tell if this recovery cycle has enough buyers in reserve to keep progressing or if a pause is in the works. Either way, today’s buyers have more choice than they have had in several months, with prices seemingly headed higher.
Colorado Gov. Polis signs new batch of gun laws
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a new batch of gun legislation into law on Friday, several months after a deadly mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs.
The laws establish a three-day waiting period to obtain a firearm, raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21, make it easier to sue gun manufacturers and expand the state’s red flag law.
“Coloradans deserve to be safe in our communities, in our schools, our grocery stores, nightclubs and everywhere in between,” Polis said at the bill signing, according to The Colorado Sun.
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Five people were killed and 17 were injured in November when a 22-year-old gunman opened fire at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs.
A proposed assault weapons ban failed to make it to the governor’s desk alongside the other gun control legislation after the House Judiciary Committee voted last week to postpone consideration of the bill indefinitely.
However, legislation to ban the sale and manufacture of so-called “ghost guns,” or unserialized firearms, remains under consideration in the Colorado state Senate.
Kushner firm received hundreds of millions from UAE, Qatar
Jared Kushner’s private equity fund has received hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from the UAE and Qatar, according to a report.
Kushner, son-in-law to former President Trump, was the administration’s adviser tasked with policy in the Middle East, including delivering a peace plan between Israel and Palestine.
According to The New York Times, the investments, which follow a similar cash injection from Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund, raise concerns about how those close to the Trump administration have profited off of their former government roles.
The UAE sovereign wealth fund invested about $200 million with Kushner’s firm, Affinity Equity, and a Qatari fund invested about the same, according to the Times. The recently revealed investments are small compared to that of the Saudi fund, which invested $2 billion with Affinity in 2021, shortly after Kushner left the White House.
The investments are not believed to be illegal, as there are few ethics guidelines or laws regarding foreign investments in private firms after an official leaves government work. The investments are also not unique to Kushner, as investing is a known strategy of Gulf states to exert influence with American officials on both sides of the aisle.
Former Trump administration Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s investment firm has also received vast sums from Middle Eastern wealth funds, including $1 billion from the Saudi wealth fund.
Similarly, Trump himself has announced business deals with Middle Eastern interests, including a Saudi-backed, Trump-branded hotel complex costing $4 billion. Trump has also been a vocal supporter of the Saudi-owned LIV Golf Tour, the upstart rival to the American PGA, including hosting tournaments at his golf courses.
Last year, the House Oversight Committee, then controlled by Democrats, launched an investigation into the initial Saudi investment into Kushner’s fund. Then-Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said the investigation was into whether Kushner traded influence from this government position for the investment.
“Your close relationship with Crown Prince bin Salman, your pro-Saudi positions during the Trump Administration, and PIF’s decision to fund the lion’s share of your new business venture — only six months after the end of your White House tenure — create the appearance of a quid pro quo for your foreign policy work during the Trump Administration,” Maloney said in a letter to Kushner at the time.
2 Cases Filed Against Wrestling Body Chief, 1 Of Them For Harassing Minor
he Delhi Police, which functions under Amit Shah’s Home Ministry, filed the two first information reports (FIRs) hours after the Supreme Court ordered them to do so.
The Delhi Police have filed two cases against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh after the country’s top wrestlers made allegations of sexual harassment against him.
The Delhi Police, which functions under Amit Shah’s Home Ministry, filed the two first information reports (FIRs) hours after the Supreme Court ordered them to do so, amid protests at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar by wrestlers including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat.
One of the FIRs is over a complaint of sexual harassment by a minor, filed under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which gives no scope for bail.
The Delhi Police will pursue the case actively, sources said.
Mr Singh, who is also a BJP MP, welcomed the Supreme Court’s order to file the police case into allegations of sexual harassment against him.
Mr Singh told reporters the wrestlers should have waited for the report of a committee that was tasked to look into the matter before they decided to sit on a protest in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.
“I am happy with the judiciary’s decision. The Delhi Police will investigate the allegations and I am ready to cooperate with them in every possible way. No one is bigger than the judiciary in this country. The order has come to file an FIR (first information report). The government had also said it had no objection to filing an FIR. I am not larger than the Supreme Court. I welcome the order,” Mr Singh told reporters.
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