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Manhattan Home Prices Slip 5.5% in First Decline Since Mid-2020

High mortgage rates and tight inventory pressured deals at the end of 2022, but the market is still stronger than it was three years ago.

People attend a party in a Manhattan penthouse. 

People attend a party in a Manhattan penthouse. 

Photographer: Michael Nagle
Updated on

Manhattan’s homebuying market weakened at the end of last year, but didn’t foreshadow a deep freeze heading into 2023.

Co-ops and condos traded for a median of $1.1 million in the fourth quarter, a 5.5% drop from the same period in 2021, according to appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It was the first year-over-year decrease in prices since sales stalled at the beginning of the pandemic, in the second quarter of 2020.

The quarter, though, doesn’t appear to be the start of a steep tumble.

“You’re going to see a modest decline in pricing over the year, but not a correction,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel.

Tight inventory is “underpinning” property values and keeping them from falling more dramatically, according to Miller. As is the case across the US, Manhattan sellers are reluctant to settle for discounted prices or give up the low mortgage rates they secured before the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates in early 2022.

There were 6,523 homes on the market at the end of the fourth quarter. While that’s up  5.1% from a year earlier, it’s down 16% from the previous three months, and still a low level for Manhattan.