Record lows make 2021 NYC housing the wildest year to date

It was a hell of a year for tenants, buyers, sellers and even gawkers.

The ripple effects of COVID-19 turned NYC’s housing market into a seesaw: from empty neighborhoods and free-falling rents at the beginning of the year to today’s record sales and radioactive monthly inquiries as workers and families return to the city.

All the while, no one told the super-rich that there was a pandemic about to happen.

A rising stock and crypto market helped them set price after price record year-on-year as they devoured massive homes, from Lower Manhattan to Billionaire’s Row and from Brooklyn to the Hamptons.

Here’s a look at the crazy property records, and the crazy trends they created, set in New York’s wildest years to date.

Roller coaster record

These days, it’s hard to remember all the way back to January. But if you remember, Manhattan was still a ghost town in the first months of the year.

Those with cash acquired secondary housing markets faster than changing COVID protocols. Young adults moved into their teen rooms. Those who stayed in the city cashed in discounted units.

A downward money graph.
$ 2,700: Rents in Manhattan fell to a 10-year low in the first quarter of 2021, according to StreetEasy data.
Shutterstock

Rents in the first quarter of this year fell to a low of a decade at $ 2,700 a month – the district’s cheapest house price recorded since StreetEasy, which shared a year’s data with The Post, began measuring in 2010.

More lemon juice for the wounded: The rent of $ 2,700 per. month represents a year-on-year decline of more than $ 700 from the days just before the pandemic hit us hard in 2020.
The devastation was more tame in beautiful Brooklyn.

The median rent fell 10% year-on-year to $ 2,390 – the lowest level since 2011.
Queens saw their prices drop to $ 1,999, the first time they had dived below $ 2,000 in eight years.

But the deals – and juicy landlord concessions, including months of free rent – did not hold.

Prices went parabolic as deal-hungry tenants triggered a tsunami of leases.

A money graph
$ 3,475: In November, Manhattan’s median rent rose to pre-pandemic levels.
Getty Images / iStockphoto

“The rise in new leases began when rents fell enough to spark interest in those on the sidelines who were priced out of town,” said property appraiser and analyst Jonathan Miller, who found that 6,255 new leases were signed in Manhattan in 2021. compared to 3,969 the year before – close to an increase of 58%.

In November, the median rent request in Manhattan broke back to $ 3,475 – only $ 25 left for its pre-pandemic level of $ 3,500.

At the same time, more Manhattan apartments have been sold than at any time in the last three decades with 4,523 closed sales, according to Douglas Elliman, while Corcoran reported that sales peaked at $ 9.5 billion – the highest in a recorded quarter to date.

“I’ve always maintained that NYC is the comeback queen,” Brown Harris Stevens CEO Bess Freedman told The Post in July. “She returned from 9/11, the Lehman crash, and she does it again in the wake of COVID.”

Overall, the 2021 sales market experienced the highest price points in over 32 years, the Olshan report from December found, with the median price for the entire district rising to $ 1.45 million, an increase of 11% from November 2020.

In November alone, 422 homes priced above $ 3.85 million went on sale – the first time there had ever been more than 400 luxury sales in Manhattan in a single month, according to StreetEasy.

In Brooklyn, a $ 7.9 million penthouse sale in River Park set a new high for Cobble Hill in October, a 1880s townhouse in 198 Washington Park for $ 6.5 million became Fort Greene’s most expensive deal ever in January, while total sales of $ 16 million at Front & York broke records at Dumbo in November.

“A new fresh harvest of buyers came from Manhattan, which had never considered Brooklyn before – and there was no sticker shock,” said Doug Bowen of Douglas Elliman.

In Queens, a sales record was set in Astoria in February when a two-bedroom penthouse on Rowan was sold for $ 1.69 million.

Monster mansions

Exterior of 56 Leonard St.
$ 50 million: Downtown Manhattan’s biggest sales of the year fell at 56 Leonard St.
Arnaud Lecamus, Silvercup Lifestyle LLC

However, these record deals are pebbles compared to the mountainous mansion sales Manhattan experienced during the yo-yo 2021 market.

“People are obviously looking to sell at the highest possible price, and I think the timing in 2021 … is great for everyone. That’s why you see the number of trades we’re getting.”

Saunders broker Mark J. Baron

In August, a mysterious buyer lost $ 50 million on a penthouse at 56 Leonard St. – a 60-story glass Herzog & de Meuron-designed skyscraper in Tribeca known as the “Jenga Building.” It was the most expensive penthouse sale in the city center this year, beating nearly $ 49.5 million in sales of F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton’s 443 Greenwich penthouse and $ 49 million in penthouse sales at 421 Broome St. (the building where actor Heath Ledger tragically overdosed back) in 2008).

Far from the center, 25 Park Row broke the record in the financial district for the most expensive penthouse with a $ 25 million deal.

In Greenwich Village are industry titans – including Chipotle founder Steve Ells, Facebook co-founder Sean Parker, Mets owner Steve Cohen and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink. – spent the year combining townhouses worth tens of thousands of millions individually into mega-mansions that are far, far more valuable.

“When New York returns after the pandemic, shoppers settle down downtown because they want to be immersed in a vibrant life with great restaurants around them and lots of people out and about,” said Compass agent Brett Miles.

But it was the billionaires who moved blocks north who controlled the market.

Posted by Jeff Bezos at 212 Fifth Ave.
Jeff Bezos (inserted) not only stacked paper in 2021. He also stacked swish posters. The Amazon mogul now owns $ 119 million in condominiums at 212 Fifth Ave. (above).
Taylor Hill / WireImage; Visualhouse

Jeff Bezos – who earned unmanageable sums this year when Americans got their lives delivered via Amazon – increased his stakes at 212 Fifth Ave. in Nomad to $ 119 million in condominiums that make up a palace size at the top of the historic tower.

Meanwhile, on Billionaire’s Row, Alibaba billionaire and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai acquired a $ 157 million sky palace in 220 Central Park South in July – the biggest home sale of the year.

Posted by Joe Tsai at 220 Central Park South.
Alibaba billionaire Joe Tsai (inserted) would not be surpassed by Bezos. He lost a staggering $ 157 million at a palace in the sky at 220 Central Park South (above) in this year’s biggest trade.
Nicky Loh / Bloomberg via Getty Images; Wikipedia Commons

The intoxicating Hamptons

To the east, the plates floated like rosé.

The median price of housing in the Hamptons was already a staggering $ 1.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 – the highest ever and a 55% increase over 2019. But that number nearly doubled to $ 2.4 million in the summer months of 2021, according to Douglas Elliman data.

“People are obviously looking to sell at the highest possible price, and I think the timing in 2021 … is great for everyone,” Mark J. Baron, a broker at Saunders, told The Post. “That’s why you see the number of trades we get.”

The housing crisis – the rental and sales portfolio from Westhampton to Montauk essentially disappeared this year – led to a bulldozing bonanza in which more modest country refugees gave in to flashy mega-properties.

Among the biggest spectacular Hamptons deaths in 2021 was Calvin Klein’s $ 85 million off-market sale of an 8.5-acre East Hampton property in August.

He originally bought the property in 1987 for a paltry $ 3.6 million. (This is a follow-up to Klein’s $ 84 million sale outside the market of his 7-acre Southampton property on 650 Meadow Lane to billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin in March 2020.)

Exterior of 90 Christmas Pound.
$ 145 million: The largest home sale in East End history fell this year at 90 Christmas Pounds in Southampton.
Tailor-made luxury marketing

But nothing topped the $ 145 million deal in Southampton when a 42-acre plot at 90 Jule Pond went on contract in March, making it the most expensive single-family home sale in Hampton history.


How long will the erratic property ridicule last? Will Omicron pull us back to the early pandemic days and empty Manhattan?

Who the hell knows? The only thing we can promise is that the trip is not over yet.

So give us your best “Auld Lang Syne”, and get excited for more alien-than-fiction realtors in 2022.

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