Housing foreclosures in the five boroughs spiked to an eight year high in 2017, a level not seen since the 2008-9 recession. Citywide scheduled auctions increased an average of 58% between 2016 and 2017.
Manhattan was the only borough that didn’t show a dramatic increase in foreclosures, levels remained flat at nearly zero. Over the last 25 years, that has been the case. Manhattan property owners who get in a jam can always find a buyer or a tenant if need be. The movement in the market is constant, which guarantees that you can get out.
A downturn in the Manhattan market is a drop of 10-15%, whereas in outer boroughs you can see dramatic 50% decreases in value.
Conceptually, people not from New York think a buyer’s market means they can get a ‘deal of a lifetime’ level bargain. There are no giveaways in Manhattan, that is never the case. The best case scenario is an accepted offer close to asking, market rate opportunities.
When the market goes up though, swings can be huge. I have seen 30% earnings over 18 months, there is nothing like it. I know a buyer in 2004 who invested $17 million in a new development with ten percent down, and sold 18 months later just after he closed for $27 million. He never moved in.
Manhattan’s ability to stay so stable despite other downturns around it is truly remarkable. But this is a unique city, there is nowhere like it in the world.
Sources: PropertyShark, The Real Deal