Mihai Andritoiu

According to The New York Times, real estate deals are still happening in the Big Apple, but not anything like they used to. About 60 agents recently gathered in a virtual conference room for an open house of eight listings in the Chelsea neighborhood. Like other places in the country, New York is heavy with luxury properties for sale and prices were already down 20% from a 2016 high water mark before the pandemic hit. Stay at home orders have been in place since late March and the market is barely alive.

From March 22, when the stay-at-home order took effect, to April 29, there were 643 contracts signed in Manhattan, fewer than half signed during the same period last year, according to GS Data Services, a real estate data firm. The median sale price of $1.025 million marked a 6 percent drop from the same time last spring. In Brooklyn, where the median sale price was $900,000 from March 22 to April 29, signings were down 65 percent from the same period last year.

Now agents are bracing for deeper cuts. There were just 59 new listings posted in Manhattan in the week ending April 26, including resales and new development, a stunning 88 percent decline from the 519 listings added during the same week last year, according to UrbanDigs, a real estate data site.

“The drop in deal volume is staggering and unprecedented for the industry,” said Garrett Derderian, the chief executive of GS Data Services, adding that most of the recent buyers still had a chance to visit in person, before the lockdown.

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