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NYC's Real Estate Sales Picked Up In January As Market Slowly Warms

SOURCE: The Real Estate Board of New York

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, New York City's capital markets are showing signs of life as sales volume continued to recover in January.

Over $6B in real etate sales closed last month, up 21% since December and 38% year-over-year, according to the Real Estate Board of New York’s monthly sales report. It is the second-highest sales month since the pandemic struck the city last March, practically freezing the commercial sales market for the typically busy spring months. 

“It is critical that elected officials stay focused on continuing this momentum by delivering additional federal aid, ensuring successful vaccination and rapid testing efforts, and demonstrating leadership with policies that promote job creation, private sector investment and good quality of life for all residents,” REBNY President James Whelan said in a statement. 

The sales added $207M in tax revenue to the city’s coffers. Overall tax revenue declined 6% year-over-year, but increased 17% since December. 

“As New York City continues to face significant challenges, tax revenue generated by the resurgence of real estate market activity will play a central role in driving the City’s economic recovery and funding basic government services that millions of New Yorkers rely on,” Whelan said. 

Overall, pandemic-era sales volume peaked in November at over $6.2B in sales and then dipped in December to $5B, according to REBNY. 

Investment sales saw a much steeper month-over-month increase than residential sales. Commercial sales rose 49% between December and January, from $1.9B to $2.8B. Residential sales saw only a 5% increase between the two months, from $3B to $3.2B. 

But residential sales volume rose at a considerably higher rate than commercial sales when compared to January 2020. Residential sales rose 77% year-over-year last month, while commercial sales increased 11% during the same period. 

In March, before the pandemic’s effect was reflected in the market, sales were at $6.9B. The market bottomed out in May, reaching $1.8B, before starting a slower climb back in the summer and fall. 

CORRECTION, FEB. 18, 10 P.M. ET: Overall tax revenue declined 6% year-over-year in January and increased 17% from December. A previous version of this story inaccurately said those rates were for property transfer tax revenue. This story has been updated. 

Related Topics: REBNY, NYC Investment Sales