- People are moving back to Manhattan and taking advantage of lower prices in the process.
- Manhattan home-buying increased 2.1% in the first quarter this year from the same time last year.
- Prices remain lower than before the pandemic, new data show.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
People are buying up real estate in Manhattan once again after leaving en masse amid the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the city hard.
Apartment sales in the borough increased 2.1% in the first three months this year as compared to the same time last year when the pandemic struck the city, the report said.
The rebound in March alone was the strongest since 2007, as about 1,500 homes in Manhattan were under contract for sale, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that cited real-estate analytics firm UrbanDigs.
Buyers are taking advantage of the lower prices, too, with most of those sales closing at or below the asking price. The median rate was $780,000, which was a 3.8% drop from the same quarter a year ago, the Douglas Elliman report said.
The west and east side of Manhattan, as well as downtown, had the strongest sales compared with last year, as upper Manhattan and Midtown had fewer deals, the WSJ said.
Six months into the pandemic, real-estate experts had estimated lower prices and higher vacancies could be the new normal for the city, even if it wasn’t as drastic as during 2020.
With businesses allowing employees to work from home during the pandemic, many people were able to move to outer boroughs for more space and lower prices. Brooklyn proved resilient amid the pandemic, as its sales began bouncing back in the last three months of 2020.