Apartments are being sold, some at a snails pace. I wish you could be more specific on exactly which type of properties you are referring to. Are you talking about studios, 1 bed, 2 bed? What type of price range?
Right now the market is ideal for first time buyers. The great thing about first time buyers is that they don't need to sell anything, they aren't worried about making money, losing money or breaking even on a deal.
Majority of sales are made under $1M.
Sellers and agents go by Comps. What has sold in the past three to four months, what's in contract, how many have accepted offers and finally how many similar properties are currently on the market.
You said something about this not being a t ypical New York Market. I hate to break the news, it wasn't a typical market when prices were escalading at unrealistic numbers year after year before the bust.
Right now, there is a very large disconnect between sellers and buyers. Educated buyers are very realistic on what an apartment should be priced at, maybe it's through their own research or through working with a broker. These educated buyers who follow prices and market won't lowball a property which is priced correctly.
Many sellers are still very unrealistic. It's all very psychological. You have a seller who's property might have sold for $1M in early 2008, comes 2009 and this same apartment may sell for $800K, when this seller purchased it in 1995 for $300K. In their mind, they are losing $200K on the $1M price. What they need to realize is that they are making $500K from the original purchase price.
We also have sellers who are unmotivated and don't need to sell. We have sellers who over spent on renovations and try to make the money back a year later when they can't. We have sellers who don't care that 15 other identical apartments are selling for $50,000 or $100,000 less, because they feel like their building is a better building, they have a better view and the live in the best line. Many times that's true, but more so it isn't.
Midtown West is just like Midtown East, Upper East, Village, etc... Prices depend on different factors. Yes it will depend on how much the seller paid for the apartment and how long ago that purchase was made. Yes it will also depend on urgency. Maybe they are having a second child, maybe they are relocating, or maybe they have lost their job and can't afford to pay mortgage. All of this will reflect in the sale price. Comps that sold in the same building or area (similar buildings etc..) will play a role in pricing. Another major factor is the listing broker. Some brokers will take any listing at any price so they can show it off on their website, they will host open houses, collect buyers and move on when they get fired after six months. On the other side of the table you will have a professional broker who won't waste his or her time taking an overpriced listing with an unrealistic seller.
Look, some sellers won't budge no matter what facts you give them, and those sellers linger on the market forever.
From last year to now prices have dropped roughly 21%. From last quarter to this quarter prices dropped roughly 6%. (This is for Re-sale Condos)
Try not to concentrate on sales that were made in New Developments, many of those contracts were signed a year or two ago and are just closing which bumps the Average Sales price of condos up.
Also it will depend on the Developer and their financial situation. If it's a large developer like Related or Extell and the building only has a few units left, it will a judgement call. They can hang onto it or they can sell it at a discount price. Hard to tell unless you are in that building and are negotiating with the sales rep.
Realistically speaking, todays prices are very similar to prices we saw back in 2004, 2005.
I hope this answers your question.
Apartments are Selling, they are just selling at a slower pace. There isn't a sense of urgency in the market for the time being. Inventory is up, buyers have more options and some are still sitting on the fence.
To answer your question on offers. It depends on what the property is, how it's priced and how much a potential buyer likes it, wants it, needs it.
Some people need to move, others want to move. It's an amazing time to buy, and you can also say that it's the perfect storm for buyers. Prices are down, interest rates are at a 50 yr low, so why not purchase now? There is no right moment, it's impossible to time the market, when people read about the bottom, that's when the market already tipped and is on it's way up.
Offers are coming in, some are low, some are not. If a buyer knows the market, been shopping around, is well educated and a property is priced correctly, they will not low ball it. Believe it or not, some properties are selling for asking price without any discount. If something is overpriced, and a lower offer comes in and the seller doesn't counter. You pretty much know they are unrealistic and don't need to sell.
Are you selling your condo or purchasing?