New York City has been dubbed as the "city that never sleeps" as the place is full of action-packed business districts, entertainment, and fashion. The Big Apple is awake day and night as people rush from one place to another. But despite its hustle and bustle, New York City remains one of the most sought-after cities in the US, especially in terms of real estate.
But this reputation went 360-degrees when the coronavirus global pandemic hit last year, and New York was declared the epicenter of the health crisis in America. When lockdown and quarantine protocols were implemented, the busy workers of New York packed their bags to take their jobs at home. To say that the pandemic turned New York City into a ghost town would be an understatement. The city that "never sleeps" now got a chance to slow down and take a rest.
The weeks turn into months, and the months just turned into a year, making New York's hiatus its longest-running real estate exodus. But experts recently predicted that the cities nightmare will soon be over and foresees that the city will rise again by the end of April 2021.
Recovering Slowly But Surely
Based on the report, the number of households moving back to New York City and the number of those leaving will finally meet this month. It also noted that the phenomenon started in January 2019 and only worsened in March 2020 when the COVID-19 virus penetrated the city.
In March 2020, a total of 89,221 households left the city fearing they may catch the coronavirus in the town, and only 47,718 moved into New York.
New York's net loss of 42,000 households in a month eventually improved as people felt safer these days after the vaccine against COVID-19 started to roll out. In January 2021, the city only recorded a total of 18,000 household losses, the lowest data recorded since February 2020.
Another indication that the real estate scene at the Big Apple is bouncing back is the recent Manhattan transactions. According to a new report from New York-based brokerage firm Douglas Elliman, real estate transactions in Manhattan has exceeded the recorded sale in the same period last year.
The report confirms that brokers managed to closed 50 more sales in the first quarter of 2021 than in 2020, closely beating the pre-pandemic and COVID-related losses.
Meanwhile, real estate market data company UrbanDigs reported that a total of 1,500 homes are under contract for sale last month, setting the highest monthly record in 14 years.
Another factor adding to Manhattan's epic comeback is the fewer discounts being offered by sellers, which went from 7.2% last year to 4.6% this year.
"Some of this is pure psychology for sellers, who have taken the view that since NYC is coming back, then prices should firm," Warburg Realty agent Rowena Dasgupta said, as reported by the New York Post.
"It's a pretty binary thought process, but understandable," she added.
While economists saw signs of recovery back in January 2021, they expect the trend to increase during the spring home-buying season, which coincides with the pandemic recovery.