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Usually in this blog, I try to focus on topics more varied than sheer statistics about the current real estate market. But the reported numbers in the third quarter of 2017 indicate a shift worth sharing – we are now moving into a buyer’s market.  We saw indications of this in Q1 2017 with a slowdown of residential sales in Manhattan. Faced with post-election uncertainty about the economy, many buyers adopted a “wait and see” stance – causing an increase in average days on the market for properties. Sellers, hoping to court these buyers on the sideline, lowered their asking prices throughout the first three quarters of this year. In a sign that the heyday of 2013 – 2015 may have corrected in the luxury market, the price threshold for the top 10% of all sales retreated for the first time in more than four years, and the median price and price per square foot of these homes dropped by -14% and -9% respectively. Contraction at the high end caused the market-wide average price and price per square foot to fall for the first time in three years.

In every sector, we are seeing prevalent negotiability – with buyers being able to ask for reductions on already discounted listing prices. If you are considering buying in Manhattan, this is a truly great time to enter the market and find value. Sellers need not fret too much – those who price their properties properly are steadily going into contract.  A theme we are really seeing emerge this year is that buyers are savvy, well-informed, and have lost patience with the widespread aspirational pricing of the past few years. It is, therefore, key to price based on recent comparable properties that have gone into contract.

If you’re interested in diving into more detail about Q3 2017, click here to hear more key insights in our Quarterly Market Update video.

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