Democrats’ Virus Lockdown in New York Drives Apartment Sales Down 44 Percent–10,000 Units Unoccupied

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The harsh lockdowns in New York under Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in response to the coronavirus has led people to flee the Big Apple to the suburbs and places like Florida, resulting in a 44 percent drop in apartment sales.

A real estate report from Compass said that 10,000 apartments are unoccupied and for sale.

CNBC reported on another report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman on the real estate downward spiral in New York City:

There were a total of 1,375 sales in the third quarter, down 44 percent from a year earlier. The prospects for a turnaround before the election also look increasingly unlikely. Signed contracts for September fell 42 percent in Manhattan from last year, according to Miller Samuel.

Manhattan is looking at high unemployment, rising crime, growing sanitation and public transit problems, and only 10 percent of office workers in Manhattan are returning to their buildings. All this makes buyers reluctant to make a big bet on Manhattan real estate.

The likelihood of rising taxes to pay for the city’s and state’s multibillion-dollar budget holes is also driving more and more of the city’s real estate dollars to the suburbs and other states. Signed contracts in the Hamptons were up 76 percent in September compared with last year. They increased 56 percent in Westchester County, New York, and 36 percent in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Florida has seen a nonstop surge in buying, with signed contracts for homes in Palm Beach County up 62 percent and up 21 percent in Miami-Dade County.

The Compass report put a positive spin on the real estate market, even though the bright side pertains to the very wealthy who may not have suffered during lockdowns:

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered real estate activity in Manhattan but the industry remains resilient as buyers look for more space and good deals, particularly in certain price ranges, including the ultra-luxury sector.

Overall, sales were down 36 percent in the third quarter year-over-year with some bright spots. In addition to ultra-luxury homes and units with more than one-bedroom, Q3 also saw an uptick for apartments priced between three-million and five-million dollars. 

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