Blocks & Lots

What is a recorded sale?

A recorded sale happens when the city recognizes a transfer of ownership and adds it to the public record. This comes after the closing date, when ownership actually passes from seller to buyer and the buyer gets their keys.

How does a sale get recorded?

At the closing, after the money changes hands, the buyer’s attorney files a deed with the city indicating property ownership has changed. The city must then file the paperwork and officially record the sale.

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How long is it between closed date and recorded date?

A good attorney will typically file paperwork a day or two after the closing. The city will usually record the sale one to two weeks later. However, this can sometimes take longer, and in some cases can take several months.

Where are recorded sales available?

The Automated City Register Information System, or ACRIS, stores information on all NYC property, including deeds, mortgages, and other documents. It covers the four boroughs (excluding Staten Island) from 1966 onward. You can find recorded sale information on ACRIS.

However, as users of ACRIS can attest, it is far from user-friendly.

Is there a better source for recorded sale data than ACRIS?

Real estate data and analytics company Marketproof gathers data on recorded sales just an hour or two after ACRIS posts them. Marketproof makes this data easily searchable by property. What’s more, Marketproof users can follow buildings, and Marketproof will notify them automatically when buildings of interest add a new sale.

Even more powerful than Marketproof is its subscription service, Marketproof New Development. Marketproof New Development charts recorded sales on a weekly basis and visualizes market changes for you. It also isolates new developments, sparing users interested in new condos the need to isolate that data themselves. Finally, the subscription service allows you to look at sales over time for only sponsor units, or units that have never been sold before.

Closed dates versus recorded dates

Marketproof New Development allows users to distinguish between closed dates and recorded dates when examining market data. This makes a salient difference; only looking at recorded dates provides a distorted view of when closings actually took place.

For example, notice below that there is only one sale for the week of January 11. This is what we see happening in the market when we look for closed sales for that week as of January 20.

However, when we move the toggle (upper left) to “recorded date,” we see 66 sales. These sales likely did not actually happen the week of January 11; in other words, the buyers of these 66 condos probably got their keys in the weeks prior. The higher figure actually reflects the paperwork for previous sales being filed and showing up on ACRIS.

So, if we want to know how many condos actually changed hands last week, we will need to wait until the sales from the week of January 11 are recorded. Then, while the recorded sale will be attributed to future weeks, the documentation will reveal that the condo actually closed the week of January 11, and Marketproof will update that figure to reflect when the closings took place.

Sample deed filed with the city to record a sale


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Top photo courtesy of 15 Hudson Yards.