Blocks & Lots

NYTimes and Marketproof Collaborate to Reveal Manhattan Cash Buyer Surge

In a July 6, 2024, New York Times article, “In Manhattan Real Estate, Cash Is Everything,” Ronda Kaysen and Ella Koeze explore the significant rise in cash home purchases in Manhattan. The article, drawing on months of collaboration with Marketproof, highlights how affluent buyers increasingly opt for cash transactions amidst rising interest rates. Marketproof’s analysis of co-op financing, an area not thoroughly examined before, provided a comprehensive view of how cash purchases are impacting all segments of the market.

Marketproof’s analysis revealed that in April 2024, 64% of homes sold in Manhattan were purchased entirely with cash, compared to 39% in other large U.S. metro areas. This trend has intensified since interest rates began to climb in 2022.

The New York Times piece goes beyond the stereotype of cash buyers being international oligarchs. Instead, it provides a broader picture, showing that many cash buyers are New Yorkers, spanning various professions including healthcare, tech, fashion, and the arts. The highest growth rate in cash purchases from 2021 to 2023 was noted among apartments under $3 million, reflecting a shift towards more accessible properties even within the cash-buying segment.

The article includes a portion of our analysis, so we are including some additional findings from our research that didn’t make it into the final piece:

Cash Buyers by Price Range

In Manhattan and across New York City, higher-priced properties see more cash buyers. Affluent purchasers often pay in cash to avoid high interest rates and leverage their financial resources.

Cash Buyers by Property Type

Condo and co-op purchases in Manhattan and citywide had similar percentages of cash buyers, showing more dependency on price than property type. In Manhattan, where single-family homes are rare and expensive, cash buyers dominate. Conversely, in other boroughs, single-family homes attract the fewest cash buyers.

For the latest on Manhattan cash buyers, see our monthly cash buyer tracker.

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