The Battery’s Up and Tribeca’s Down

Local Home Prices Fluctuate as More Expensive Communities Suffer Declines, and One (Comparatively) Affordable Area Holds Steady

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Tribeca remains the most expensive neighborhood in which to buy a home anywhere in New York, even after dwellings there have lost almost one-third of their value in the last year, according to a new report from PropertyShark, a real estate web site and search engine that tracks sales and price data.

The analysis finds that the median home price in Tribeca during the first quarter of 2018 (based on 50 sales) was $3.57 million, making it the priciest community anywhere in New York. More noteworthy, perhaps, was the observation that apartments and townhouses in Tribeca had dropped in price by 30 percent since the same period one year ago.

Elsewhere in Lower Manhattan, the Financial District ranked 21 on PropertyShark’s list, with a median price of $1.13 million, based on 64 homes sold in the first quarter. FiDi suffered a similar price decline to Tribeca’s, with homes fetching 30 percent less than they did 12 months earlier.

Battery Park City polled 22 in the rankings, with a median price of $1.12 million, based on 35 units sold in January, February, and March of this year. But Battery Park City contrasted markedly with Tribeca and FiDi in one, key respect: In this community, prices held steady, and actually appreciated slightly, rising by six percent from one year ago.

A pair of separate reports, issued last week, paint a more detailed picture of home prices Downtown. One, by the Corcoran Group documented that 100 sales closed in Lower Manhattan during the first quarter of 2018, a drop of 49 percent from the same period one year ago, while inventory has grown by 12 percent, to 404 available apartments. Given the slackening demand and sluggish current pace of sales, this amounts nearly to an eight-month supply. The apartments that did sell spent an average of 109 days on the market, and commanded a median price of $1.206 million, a drop of 15 percent. The average price per square foot fell by 13 percent, to $1,444.

An analysis by Stribling & Associations found that in Lower Manhattan overall, median condominium prices declined by 20 percent from one year ago, while the average price fell 19 percent to $1.48 million. At the same time, the average price per square foot contracted by 12 percent to $1,373. The average price for condos dropped by 19 percent, to $1.478 million.

The Stribling report also noted that the combined area of Battery Park City and the Financial District was Manhattan’s slowest moving market in the first quarter of 2018, with only 14 percent of properties that sold entering contract within the first 29 days, while 16 percent took more than 180 days.

“The real estate market in Battery Park City is consistently robust, favoring buyers at the present time,” observes Jonathan Jossen, a broker who specializes in Lower Manhattan, and is affiliated with the Level Group. “My clients from six months ago are coming back into the market and taking advantage of the lower prices, buying apartments at a ten to 15 percent discount to three years ago. For people wanting to buy in Battery Park City, this could be the time to take a long hard look.”

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