There Are All Kinds of Signs of a High-End Real Estate Slowdown

Tough times for the high end market.

Aerial Views Of Manhattan At Dusk As U.S. Stocks Fall With Treasuries Amidst Euro Stalls On Greece Talks

Aerial view of Lower Manhattan on Friday, June 19, 2015.

Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg

According to real-estate website StreetEasy, 12 of the condos in Manhattan currently listed at over $20 million have had their prices cut by 5 percent or more in recent months, while only 2 of them have seen any increase in their listing price. Among the cuts is a condo at 1 Central Park South. It's been on the market for more than 250 days, and is now on sale at $45.5 million, $6.45 million less than its price a few weeks ago.

That's just one of the indications that the market may be slowing down. Here are some others: 

Turning one apartment into two

One developer recent chopped a $45 million listing at 10 Sullivan into 2 separate apartments. The 8,400 square feet property is now split into a 3,000 square foot listing for $11 million, and a 5,400 square foot listing at $29.5 million. 

Waiting it out

Some sellers are acting cautious amid a perceived glut in supply. One developer had all the approvals he needed to start listing luxury units at 111 W. 57th St., but he has decided to hold off, saying "if you have a market where you think marketing would be ineffective for now, why would you launch and spend the money?"

Giving up

Some are choosing to abandon plans for new real-estate projects all together. Earlier this year, developers who had planned to convert Manhattan’s Sony Building into ultra-luxury condominiums agreed to sell the tower for more than $1.4 billion instead of developing the flats themselves.

Loans are getting harder to find

Building luxury condos takes some financing, and that market is drying up a little. In May, New York luxury-condo builder Extell Development Co. said construction financing for One Manhattan Square was taking longer than expected.

Land sitting idle

There are signs that the land used to build luxury condos may be seeing less interest at the high prices sellers are asking. Brokerage Ariel Property Advisors said that a mere 48 land deals were completed in the first half of 2016, compared with 79 in the year-earlier period.

Dwindling stock performance

Jitters are showing up in the stock market as well. Shares have been declining in both Toll Brothers Inc., the biggest U.S. luxury-home builder, and Equity Residential, the largest publicly traded U.S. multi-family owner. 

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