Despite Manhattan’s uncertain pandemic recovery, the district logged a banner year in new development contracts.
About 1,732 newly developed units went into contract in 2021, according to a new report from Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing. That is an increase of as much as 233 percent compared to last year and 82 percent compared to 2019.
The signatures declined towards the end of the year with 353 contracts in the fourth quarter. They topped the second quarter with 540.
Stephen Kliegerman, president of BHSDM, said 2021 “was more than a comeback year for Manhattan’s new development: Sales far exceeded even pre-pandemic numbers.
He expects momentum to continue as Wall Street bonuses roll in and the wealthy continue to get richer during the pandemic.
Some neighborhoods have been hotspots for new development contracts: The number of contracts signed between West 14th and West 34th streets grew 650 percent between 2019 and 2021. On the Upper East Side, signatures increased by 430 percent.
“The dramatic increase in contracted activity between West 14th and West 34th streets is a result of new projects coming to market, such as The Maverick and Lantern House,” said Laura Tomana, Vice President of Research and Market Analysis at BHSDM.
Meanwhile, activity fell on Billionaires’ Row as luxury buyers chose trophy properties from the Upper West Side to SoHo.
The average Manhattan unit that went on contract was 1,746 square feet and required $ 4.8 million. That’s a 16.5 percent increase in size and a 45 percent increase in price from a year ago.
By the end of the year, a third of all signatures broke $ 5 million, while 27 percent fell below $ 2 million. But Manhattan was not the only neighborhood with a busy market for expensive new condominiums, as Brooklyn also showed robust growth at the high end of the new development market.