The pandemic’s effect on the 2020 real estate market has come into sharp relief. And in Manhattan, the year in home sales was predictably grim, even though there have been recent signs of improvement, according to new industry statistics.
There were 7,048 sales of co-ops and condos in Manhattan in 2020, compared with 10,048 in 2019, representing a nearly 30 percent drop, according to the brokerage Douglas Elliman. Co-op and condo sales were down about equally.
But prices don’t seem to have collapsed to the same extent, with the median of $1.05 million down only slightly, by a fluctuation of 4 percent, since the start of the coronavirus crisis. (The average sale price, which is often skewed by high-end transactions, was practically unchanged, at $1.94 million.)
In a pattern that suggests a widening socioeconomic divide, affluent buyers continued to snap up expensive apartments, reports from several brokerages show, while entry-level buyers, who are more likely to be unemployed because of Covid-19, were practically absent.
Along the same lines, the high-end bracket — homes listed for $5 million to $20 million — was the only one to enjoy an increase in values last year, and a large one, of more than 20 percent.
“Prices aren’t really rising,” said Jonathan Miller, an appraiser and the author of a year-end report for Douglas Elliman that was released on Tuesday. “There was just less activity at the bottom and more activity at the top.”