Mansion Tax Spurred High Sales Activity in June, Slow July

Posted August 6th, 2019 by Richard Pretsfelder, Sophie Smadbeck

With most buyers trying to accelerate purchases to close before the mansion tax went into effect July 1, June was the busiest month this year for the Upper West Side townhouse market with eight transactions, which then translated into no July sales much like 2018 when there was only one sale. While August was the most active sales month of the year in 2018 with 9 total sales, given the number of properties currently in contract (5), we do not expect the same activity in August 2019.

Looking at the numbers year-to-date, 2019 transaction volume is now on par with 2018. There have been 23 sales in 2019 compared to 22 at this time in 2018. Dollar volume and price per square foot are relatively flat, while the average sales price is down about 11% year-over-year despite the two $16M+ sales in June, and the median sales price is down 8%.

Though the year-over-year numbers indicate only a modest decline in year over year pricing, we do not anticipate a rebound in the upcoming months as buyers wrap their heads around the tax and rent law changes. With that in mind, and price reductions continuing across the market, owners are understandably considering offers that may be below their desired price points, particularly with concerns about a trade war-induced economic slow down looming on the horizon

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