Compound, the creator of city-specific real estate funds, delivers real insight into real estate investing. This week, we’re taking a closer look at softness in the residential real estate market in New York City.


The Manhattan residential real estate market is soft and it’s a buyers’ market all around town. We believe it’s a good time to consider investing. But, don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what others have to say:

  • The New York Times reports that the Manhattan market will see 20,000 new apartments this year making making it an even stronger buyer’s market.
  • Curbed reports that “now’s the time to strike if you’ve been waffling on whether to buy a place” because the market is in “reset mode.”
  • The Wall Street Journal proclaims that the Manhattan market has taken out some of the lows that occurred during the Great Recession.
  • CNBC reports that total sales volume fell 12% compared with the fourth quarter of last year and the average sales price in Manhattan fell below $2 million for the first time in nearly two years.


Nearly everybody in New York City agrees that the market is soft, but nobody can seem to agree whether we’ve hit the bottom yet. Others are out predicting a generally soft housing market across the country, for example:

  • Bloomberg reports that James Stack, who accurately forecasted the 2008 crash before it happened, predicts that the US housing market “could be heading for its worst year since the last housing crash."
  • Bloomberg published that experts and data agree—this year will be a good one to buy a house in most major cities around the world, too. We love the cool chart in that article, too.

Here’s what New York City real estate insiders were buzzing about last week:

  • The Chrysler building hits the market. The building has been owned by Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi investment fund, and real estate firm Tishman Speyer since 2008. The Wall Street Journalbroke the story. CNN includes some nice historical facts about the 90-year old building that was briefly the city’s tallest.  
  • The L Train Shutdown is cancelled. For the past several years, New Yorkers had been preparing for the L subway train to shut down for repairs. The L connects 400,000 riders a day who need to commute between Brooklyn neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Manhattan’s midtown and Hudson Yards neighborhoods. As a result, neighborhoods dependent upon the L train witnessed significant rent drops and store closures. But, two weeks ago New York state governor announced that the transit authority had figured out a different way to repair the line, and that the train would run during rush hour. Naturally, landlords raised rents moments after the news hit the presses and The Wall Street Journal reports (sadly) that these rental bargains are a thing of the past. Streeteasy estimated that renters who signed leases during the period leading up to the shutdown saved $26.5 million in rent.  

Celebrities buying and selling apartments. Even the rich and famous are feeling the burn from declining New York City residential real estate prices.

  • Less than a year after JLo and A-Rod bought their 4,500 sf apartment at 432 Park Avenue for $15.3 million, Curbed reports that they are listing it for sale for $17.5 million. It will be curious to see if they are able to realize such a gain when prices in that same building have been falling, not rising.
  • The man who may have inspired the lead character in the television show Billions, hedge fund kingpin Steven Cohen, has re-listed his apartment. The 16-room duplex at One Beacon Court was once the most expensive home for sale in New York City when he first listed it in 2013 for $115 million. He’s tried to sell it on and off ever since. He re-listed it last Wednesday asking $45 million.
  • Author Jonathan Safran-Foer sold his 8,000 sf, eight-bedroom Brooklyn townhouse for below asking price. He bought it in 2014 for $5.4 million, renovated it extensively, then listed it for sale last summer for $10.5 million. It sold for $7.9 million.
  • Meanwhile, Matt Damon bought the most expensive Brooklyn condo ever sold, a six-bedroom penthouse atop the old Standish Arms Hotel in Brooklyn. Emily Blunt and John Krasinski also bought an $11 million condo in the same building this week.