Despite Blue Lights, Manhattan New Signed Contracts Remain Sleepy

Our May New Signed Contract Report for the New York metro area came out today and the annual results for condos were underwhelming.

Newly signed condo contracts fell 5.2% annually as their new listings slipped 3%. However, above the $5 million threshold, roughly the top 10% of the condo market, newly signed contracts jumped annually. Despite condos being a high-cash market, at roughly 66.3% of all purchases in the first quarter, the spike in mortgage rates over the past two and a half years of sales continued to restrain the price tranches between $1 million and $4.9 million as evident in the following table. And in the booming condo submarket above $5 million, all of those sales were all-cash.

From the “Elliman Report: May 2024 New York New Signed Contracts”

Follow the blue line (not the blue light)…

Newly signed co-op contracts were up 1.1% annually as new listings rose 5.3%.

Newly signed 1-3 family contracts were unchanged annually as new listings slipped 2%.

A few months ago, I walked a few blocks from my Manhattan office to The Wall Street Journal offices on the Avenue of the Americas to do two separate interviews. I opted not to take a plane.

And no, I wasn’t sleeping and there were no blue lights when I participated in this cool WSJ Digital effort on how to think about the contribution of renovations to property values.

We analyzed a house in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho that was renovated and placed on the market. Incidentally, I rode my bicycle across Idaho when I was a teenager, and wow, how much it has changed! The pandemic and the pivot to WFH made the Idaho housing market boom with the spillover from California. The visual details the WSJ included in this presentation were exceptional.

But I digress…

As I mentioned, the Manhattan housing market seems to be sleeping a bit, unlike Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, there is new science to suggest we don’t need to worry so much about the blue light/screens at night when we go to bed. While I haven’t given up actual books themselves, I tend to read with my Kindle app and doom scroll on my iPad before going to sleep without issue.

See the insights shared by the WSJ: Screen Time Before Bed Might Not Be That Bad After All and the study itself: A bidirectional model of sleep and technology use: A theoretical review of How much, for whom, and which mechanisms. Oof. Say that title quickly. Here are some fascinating graphics from the white paper.

Did you miss Yesterday’s Housing Notes?

This Is A Whole New Thing – Housing Notes Daily

Well, I’ve been writing this Housing Notes newsletter since March 2015 (more than 9 years as a weekly exercise) and at last count were nearly 500 weekly iterations, evolving into a Friday 2 pm launch date no matter where I was in the world, whether or not I was on vacation, and what was going on in my personal life. It was such a consistent routine that many subscribers told me it marked the beginning of their weekend. But what is going to be so new about Housing Notes Daily?

Less is more. The type of content will largely remain the same but in a shorter format and the delivery will be daily instead of weekly. Starting immediately, Housing Notes will be released 5 weekdays each week at that same 2 pm Eastern time moment. My sidebar passion project Appraiserville is being moved to the Beehiiv platform soon and I plan on releasing it weekly while linking from here temporarily. More on that soon.

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