October 1, 2019
Manhattan apartment sales tumbled during the third quarter and average prices fell 32.4% from Q2 to their lowest level in four years, the Wall Street Journal reported. Much, but not all, of the decline was triggered by a higher state transfer tax on luxury Manhattan real estate that took effect in July, brokers and market analysts told the WSJ.
To beat the new tax, many buyers of apartments costing $2 million or more had rushed to close deals in June. This led to fewer high-ticket sales during Q3.
However, the WSJ’s analysis showed that sales also fell for apartments selling for less than $2 million, even though their tax rates were unchanged. These sales fell by 4.3%, compared with weak sales in Q3 2018.
“Even with the rush before the taxes and hangover afterwards, we are still in a sluggish market,” Halstead economist Gregory Heym told the WSJ.
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