Much like the previous quarterly report, buyers remain concerned with political issues, rising mortgage rates, tax law changes, financial market volatility and restrictions with foreign capital. As a result, even with market wide price reductions, an increase in inventory and higher discounts, many buyers stayed on the sidelines waiting for prices to potentially adjust some more. Because of limitations placed on local, state and property tax deductions which are expected to disproportionately affect high-cost housing markets like that of New York, what remains to be seen is how much downward pressure the recent tax changes will have on prices in the coming months leading to April 15, 2019.
Fourth Quarter 2018 – Key Points
- 2018 Total Sales: approximately 11,800 transactions (the lowest since 2009)
- Closings: down 7% annually with under 2,800 sales
- Contract activity: down 12% year-over-year
- A weaker condo market drove sales lower
- Resale condo down 12% year-over-year
- New development condo down 26% year-over-year
- Resale co-op closings: same as last year
- Fewer sales, anxious sellers, and new development launches resulted in higher inventory with almost 7,000 apartment listings in Q4 2018. This is a seven-year high.