Only 160 contracts were signed in the New York borough in May — an 84-percent drop compared to 992 last year, according to a new UrbanDigs study.

Real estate listings and contracts in Manhattan have plunged drastically in May amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Only 160 contracts were signed in the New York borough in May — an 84 percent drop compared to 992 last year, according to a new UrbanDigs study first reported by CNBC. New listings also fell 71 percent, to 574, while apartments valued at more than $4 million fell by 90 percent — from 110 last year to just 16 this May.

The reasons for such a plunge are multifaceted. Some sellers are waiting to put their home on the market while many are doing away with the city altogether.

Among affluent buyers, demand for homes in nearby suburban areas like Westchester County in New York, Greenwich in Connecticut, or the Hamptons on Long Island has soared. While a drop in values has not been observed, experts predict the lower demand for Manhattan real estate could soon change the market and lead to a lower prices in the city while suburban real estate skyrockets.

“In the near term, continued slack demand for Manhattan could create an oversupply situation, implying lower prices ahead, and increased suburban demand could create a supply crunch, pushing up prices,” the report reads. “In the meantime, it remains to be seen if the easing of stay-at-home restrictions in Manhattan will unlock pent-up demand, but with the move to the suburbs already in place and further entrenched by the COVID-19 pandemic, any pickup in Manhattan demand seems unlikely to reverse the trend.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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