Jan 3, 2024 - Economy

All-cash home sales in Manhattan hit record high

Data: Miller Samuel/Douglas Elliman; Chart: Axios Visuals

The share of all-cash buyers in the Manhattan real estate market hit a new high in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a report out Wednesday from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Why it matters: It shows that even markets long associated with cash buyers aren't immune to the impact of sky-high mortgage rates, said Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, who's been tracking the data since 2014.

  • Cash buyers, typically the super wealthy, usually make up about half the market in Manhattan, he said. (Though that dynamic changed a bit when rates got very low in the early 2020s.)

By the numbers: The average sale price of a Manhattan apartment rose to $2 million in Q4, up 3% from the previous quarter.

  • But luxury sale prices climbed 12% over the same period.

What to watch: Mortgage rates. They're falling — the average is now 6.6%, down from highs last year around 8%. That'll boost the number of sales to "mere mortals" who need a loan, Miller said.

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