New York City Real Estate Market Report 2020Q3

Manhattan continued to suffer a huge blow in 2020 Q3.  And that applies to both sales and rental.

Today is 10/24/2020 and I have finally put together all the available Manhattan market reports for 2020 Q3, so without further ado, let’s jump straight into it.

Here’s an overview of the market.

  • Firstly, we see a drop of about 40% in number of sales
  • We also see an significant increase in discount from last listed price and a drop in median recorded sales price
  • The time to sell has increased drastically, and the inventory has exploded, leading to a much higher time to digest all the available inventory.
  • In addition, we see a new peak in rental vacancy.
  • Interestingly, we also see dramatic increase in median recorded sales price, square footage and size of apartments in general in recorded sales

The effects of the pandemic is on full display in Q3, where we see a complete halt in number of sales. The reason why we only started to see signs of the effect at the end of Q2 is because real estate transactions in New York generally take about 30-60 days AFTER offer is accepted.  In other words, the actual time to sell can take up to 4-6 months easily.

In short, the whole Manhattan continues to be a buyer’s market and perhaps for the first time, a tenant’s market. And we’re seeing some buyers taking advantage of this, buying bigger and more expensive properties. We are also seeing a lot more activity in the high-end market, thus leading to a huge spike in median recorded sales.

I’ve listed some interesting numbers and observations from each report.



  • 48% of condos and 53% of co-ops sold were on the market for at least 180 days
  • Significantly fewer 1-bed condos were sold compared to last quarter, while 2-, 3-, and 4-bed & above units were notably more in demand
  • Condos and co-ops saw greater discounts than usual
  • The median price of 1-bed properties fell 5%, while 2-bed units climbed 7%
  • Co-op sales distribution by bedroom count was typical, but condos saw significant fluctuation

Recorded Sales


  • The $500K-1M and $1M-3M brackets saw the highest market shares, with 35% and 37%, respectively, though both fell 2% compared to Q3 2019
  • Properties sold for $3M-5M had the most market share growth of any price point
  • Ultra-luxury condo buyers made their moves this quarter, with nearly twice as many sales with significantly higher prices (58% higher median, 52% higher average)
  • Downtown continued to have the most sales, but had 5% less market share than in 2019
  • The Upper East Side and FiDi/BPC both saw the most growth in sales, increasing 3% and 2%, respectively
  • Midtown East had the highest average price, a result of a number of high-end sales, but also the second lowest median price
  • The average price of condos was highest in Midtown East, while the Upper East Side had the highest for co-ops

Overall, sales were down 36 percent in the third quarter year-over-year with some bright spots. Currently, there are over 10,000 apartments for sale in Manhattan, an increase of 36 percent compared to last year, an unprecedented high.

While Compass’ report shows optimism, what I see is a dichotomy in NYC real estate.  The overall real estate market is trending downwards with a huge decrease in transaction volume and a much longer turnover. While the rich and wealthy are using this opportunity to buyer bigger condos, driving the total sales prices up, leading to what we currently see, which is a significant increase in median sales price (+18% YOY) and a decrease in number of transactions (-36% YOY).

Douglas Elliman

Condo overview

  • The number of condo resales declined at a larger annual rate than condo new development sales.
  • The average square footage of a sale rose to its highest level in more than thirty years, skewing prices higher.
  • Second largest year over year decline in the number of sales in thirty years.

The average sales price increased 43.3% YOY and the median sales price increased 18.4% YOY.

Months of supply (+108.6% YOY) and listing inventory (18.7% YOY) both went up significantly.

Listing discount went up to 10.3% in 2020Q3, as opposed to 2020Q2’s 8.4% and 2019Q3’s 4.5%.

Luxury Condo overview

  • The largest YOY decline in listing inventory in 9 years
  • Median sales price rose annually for the first time in 7 quarters
  • The market share of resale and new development sales nearly split the luxury market.

The average sales price increased 60.4% YOY and the median sales price increased 23.2% YOY.

Number of sales went down -46.7% YOY.
Months of supply went up +54% YOY.
Listing discount went up to 12.1% in 2020Q3, as opposed to 2020Q2’s 11.3% and 2019Q3’s 5.3%.

New Development Overview

  • The number of sales reached their highest overall market share of the past 5 quarters, exceeding the decade average.
  • Average price per sq ft rose annually for the second straight quarter
  • The longest average marketing time in more than 8 years

DE shows the same trend. 

The luxury market pushes the overall market  median sales price and average sales prices up drastically while the whole market experiences decline in both number of sales and a much longer Days On Market.


Showing same trend, huge increase in inventory, longer time to sell, significant drop in number of sales, more discount from last asking price.


In number of sales, Condo resale (-46% YOY) impacted more than New Development sales (-28% YOY)

Midtown and Downtown suffer the most during this time with significant decrease in number of sales (-45% and -55% respectively) and decrease in median price (-5% and -8% respectively) while the rest of Manhattan saw significant uptick in median price (5% to 30%+).


A record-high share of rent cuts contributed to a Manhattan median asking rent of $2,990 in the third quarter of 2020 — the first time this figure has been below $3,000 in nine years, according to StreetEasy’s Q3 2020 Market Reports.

Meanwhile, rental inventory in Manhattan increased by 69.8%, with 72,267 listings available during the quarter — nearly 30,000 more than last year. Discounts didn’t only become more common, they also grew substantially larger.

The median rental discount in Manhattan hit 9.1% off the asking rent — 5.2 percentage points higher than last year. In dollar amounts, the median discount being offered by Manhattan landlords was $272 during the third quarter — $139 more than what was being offered in 2019.

  • The Manhattan Rent Index fell 7.8% year over year. Median asking rent in Q3 was $2,990.
  • The Brooklyn Rent Index fell 2.5% year over year. Median asking rent in Q3 was $2,599.
  • The Queens Rent Index fell 2.2% year over year. Median asking rent in Q3 was $2,200

“Renters are no longer willing to pay the commute premium of living in Manhattan when they do not need to commute to an office five days a week,” said StreetEasy Economist Nancy Wu.


Overall, the Manhattan condo market is hit hard.  Really hard.  The number of sales continues to stay low compared to last year, which was already lower than the previous years.  In addition, we are seeing more discount and one of the largest listing inventory in the recent years. In other words, the market continues to swing harder into buyer’s market as demand greatly diminishes and supply continue to rocket.

This is the opposite of the rest of the United States.  The Manhattan market has experienced a sharp decline and presents an opportunity to interested buyers.

In my opinion, the luxury condo market presents a good opportunity for buyers.  More specifically, the resale units on 57th Street, such as One57,  present a lot of “value”. We are seeing sharp discounts and reasonable monthlies compared to the rest of the high-end inventory.

Jerry Wang 王傳詠

Jerry Wang 王傳詠

Hi! I'm Jerry Wang. I'm from Taiwan and have lived in New York for over 20 years with over 12 years of real estate experience and over $1 Billion is sales and development. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!
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