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New York real estate professionals zoned in on the region’s luxury housing market to analyze the wave of multimillion-dollar sales, and weigh in on pricing, buying trends and prized locations at a virtual panel May 13 hosted by the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS®, Inc. (HGAR) and OneKey™ MLS.

“Getting the Deal Done: Homing in on New York’s Luxury Housing Market” featured Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty Inc. and Olshan Group LLC in New York City; Vicki V. Negron, a licensed associate broker with Corcoran in Brooklyn, New York; Anthony P. Cutugno, senior vice president and director of Private Brokerage at Houlihan Lawrence; and Kael Goodman, president and CEO of Marketproof Inc., a real estate data and analytics company in Brooklyn, New York.

“The luxury housing market enjoyed one of its strongest years in more than a decade,” said event host Richard Haggerty, CEO of HGAR and president and chief strategic growth officer of OneKey™ MLS. “Much of that growth is due to ‘work-from-home’ and other pandemic trends fueling buyers’ desire for more open space. Is this a bubble? Our expert panel today crunched those numbers to help you manage transactions and get deals done.”

The discussion was moderated by Brian D. Tormey, NTP, president of TitleVest. The hour-long session focused on the long-running streak of multimillion-dollar sales, average selling prices, in-demand amenities, inventory and market forecasts.

According to Olshan, condos have been a critical driver of the luxury market in Manhattan, and size has been a huge factor. 

“We’re seeing a streak we’ve never seen before—we have gone 14 weeks with contracts signed at $4 million and above in Manhattan. We’ve been charting this since 2006 and we’ve never seen anything like this,” she said. “People are buying condos, and what makes this period of time different is that people are buying larger condos. The average price for these condos is higher than it has been in the past, but because the size is 8% higher, of course the price is going to rise.”

In Brooklyn, outdoor space, whether common or private, has been driving the market, according to Negron. “Outdoor space, the size of the condos, and the fact that we may need to be working from home indefinitely, or at some point again, are all important factors to consider,” she said. “Apartment size and outdoor space is almost as important as location to transportation used to be.”

When discussing the suburban markets and the boom they have seen as a result of the pandemic, Cutugno said, “When COVID happened and everyone was at home, space became important, and we started selling hand over fist properties that we couldn’t sell pre-pandemic. Bigger isn’t necessarily better; what we’re seeing is a redistribution of space to better suit changing needs.”

Cutugno identified another change in buyer sentiment: “For a while, buyers saw real estate as an investment. Because of COVID, people have tasted the lifestyle and the emotional value of one’s home. The second home is going to be a big part of the future.”

According to Goodman, what sets New York City’s luxury and ultra-luxury markets apart from others around the country is the inventory available. And while international buyers have decreased during the pandemic, he is starting to see a shift.

“The good news for buyers and agents is that the sponsors are meeting the moment out of necessity. Pricing has come down quite a bit, which is offering a good buying opportunity,” he said. “The international buyer will be back. It hasn’t really happened yet, but the tides are turning a bit thanks to some changes that are being made in Washington. There’s a couple buildings we’re working with that are actively getting their international buyer structures back in place so they can start bringing those people back to New York.”

“Getting the Deal Done” is part of the “Be Your Best” webinar series created by HGAR and OneKey™ MLS, to help REALTORS® and agents navigate the changing landscape amid the pandemic. The event was sponsored by TitleVest.

For more information, please visit www.hgar.com