Sales of real estate in Manhattan slump again

Real estate sales in Manhattan have been in a serious slump -- for quite a while. Sales fell for the sixth quarter in a row, making that the worst record in the area's history for the last 30 years.

Last year, the housing market across the nation generally favored sellers -- but conditions in 2019 are already shaping up to slow down the rising price of homes and reduce bidding wars. That's turning the real estate game into a buyer's market -- and that probably won't make it any better for Manhattan this coming quarter either.

Total property sales in Manhattan fell 3 percent in the first quarter of 2019. The slump has been attributed to a variety of factors that are hitting all at once, some national and some specific to the area. The local issues include the fact that there are a lot of excess high-end apartments available. The number of foreign buyers seems to have diminished sharply. The new changes in the federal tax laws that affect the way people's mortgages are calculated into taxes have dampened enthusiasm from property buyers. Finally, New York state approved a "mansion tax" that will increase the taxes on any multimillion-dollar homes being sold -- which will also likely continue to hurt the market.

Brokers are also saying that many sellers have unrealistic expectations -- which means that property listings sit around longer. Between the overabundance of condos, apartments and homes that are on the market nine months or longer, it's not a good situation.

A challenging real estate market is not necessarily the wrong time to buy or sell -- but you have to guard yourself carefully, and make sure that you protect your legal interests while you're about it. Make sure that you have experienced legal guidance before you go through with any real estate transactions.