Despite the surging of the latest Covid variant, the beginning of the year continued to show staggering movement when it came to real estate transactions. In January, contract signings were more than double what they were before the pandemic began. February continued the trend, with one week even seeing an astounding 40 luxury contracts signed worth $4 million and above. According to Douglas Elliman, there was an average 3 percent discount from original ask to last asking price and units in this category spent an average of 590 days on the market.

High-end condos continue to lead the way in popularity, showing a swell in number of contracts where transactions for other unit types began to trend downwards. Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel reported to The Real Deal that this was likely due to the return of international buyers as Covid travel restrictions continue to wane.

Brooklyn and Westchester followed suit as well. Condo transactions in Brooklyn were up 22 percent, while those for co-ops were down 12 percent. And while interest in Westchester exploded with the onset of the pandemic back in 2020, sales and new listings are down 28 and 30 percent in the suburb, respectively. Still, the median home price is up 4.3 percent and the average price per square foot is up 9.3 percent year over year.

Outperforming Westchester, Fairfield County seems to be the star of 2022 thus far. New signed contracts for single-family homes increased 34 percent in January alone, while available inventory is growing sparse. New listings fell 40 percent in the same month.

A shortage of listings is becoming a familiar tale driving the real estate market lately, and the same can be said on the rental side. Rents were up 23 percent year-over-year in January, returning to pre-pandemic levels. Office space, however, is still bountiful. But with Covid numbers falling and more employers expected to call workers back to their desk, that clock may also be running short.

Back in Manhattan, SoHo’s rezoning is causing a bit of a stir. According to The Real Deal, The Coalition for Fairness in SoHo and NoHo sued the city and the mayor in a suit that targets the rezoning rules for converting certified artist units into legal residences. The outcome is likely to affect property values in one of Manhattan’s most expensive neighborhoods.

Here at ESPINAL | ADLER, we’re celebrating the $4,995,000 closing of 155 Nelson Street and an exciting new listing at 146 W 22nd Street, just blocks from Madison Square Park. Unit 4 at The Paradigm is a spacious loft-like apartment beautifully outfitted with top-of-the-line appliances and features offering three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, direct elevator access, and two sizeable terraces. With plenty of natural light, a Poggenpohl Chef’s Kitchen, and an unbeatable location, it doesn’t get much better than this!