Manhattan Home Sales Sliding—Bad Omen or Good?

Journal ace Josh Barbanel crunched the numbers on November condo and co-op sales, and what he found sounds rather bleak:

The pace of co-op and condominium transactions in Manhattan continued to lag in November, setting the stage for the lowest rate of quarterly sales since the depths of the economic slowdown last year.

In other words, if this month was anything like last month, there will be fewer transactions than at any quarter in years, short of the first two in 2009, when the economy was in turmoil after Lehman’s collapse. Sales are down about 25 percent compared to last quarter.

And yet, this could actually be a good sign, one that stability, or at least regularity, has returned to the market. Given that the fourth quarter has historically been the slowest of the year, Manhattan’s housing market–which still outperforms much of the country, and even the city, let’s not forget–could simply be returning to its natural patterns, wherein the last quarter of each year is always the slowest.

And the good news is that prices have not been affected by the slowdown, remaining stable overall and even rising on the high-end, which continues to boom. So at least this one corner of life is finally back to normal (finger’s crossed).

mchaban [at] | @mc_nyo

Manhattan Home Sales Sliding—Bad Omen or Good?