As Buyer Indecisiveness Continues, Sales Volume Lags

Posted February 13th, 2019 by Richard Pretsfelder, Sophie Smadbeck

There were 2 UWS townhouse sales in Jan. 2019, both under $10M, marking the second consecutive month - there was 1 sale in Dec. of 2018 - that volume has fallen below historical trends. To put this into perspective, there were 6 sales in Jan. 2018 and 4 sales in Dec. 2017, meaning a 70% decrease in sales volume for the 2 months year-over-year. While market wide price reductions have contributed to a steady flow of buyer inquiries at the start of 2019, raising hopes for a market rebound, the slow pace of purchase decisions continues to reflect a noticeable lack of urgency from buyers. We have seen increased interest in bigger ticket rentals, reinforcing the notion that buyers are hesitant to commit to sales until there is greater certainty in the market. Looking forward, there are 6 properties in contract, providing some cause for optimism that the current pace of transactions will pick up in the coming months.