Falling prices have also attracted more overseas buyers, particularly from California, said Leonard Steinberg, an agent at Compass. About 10 to 15 percent of Mr. Steinberg's buyers are now out-of-towers, compared to about 3 percent last year.
While a turnaround isn't certain based on just one quarter's results, other sales data suggests the market is accelerating. According to a report from broker Corcoran, 3,708 contracts were signed in the first quarter, most of them for that period since 2007.
"It's the strongest start to the year in a long time," said Pamela Liebman, President and CEO of Corcoran, noting a mixture of cheap prices and growing confidence in vaccine adoption.
However, challenges remain. The total number of listings for sale was 7,224 for the first quarter, up 18 percent over the same period last year, Miller said. However, inventories have steadily declined after registering more than 9,300 entries last summer when the Covid restrictions were lifted. At the current sales rate, the inventory is 8.8 months and is only slightly above the 20-year average of 8.7 months.
However, things are already looking good for some agents. Tyler Whitman, a salesperson at Triplemint, said that after a price cut, several of its stagnant listings from 2020 started selling this quarter. A TriBeCa apartment, a three-bedroom apartment listed for nearly $ 5 million, received six offers.
"I don't even think the floodgates have opened," he said. "I think we're just getting started."
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