Who Is Buying Manhattan Real Estate?

One year ago in January of 2008 and for the 10 years prior to that, my business consisted of representing approximately 95% sellers of which about half were employed on Wall Street.  It’s no secret that Wall Street dynamics have changed drastically in the past year and so too has the make-up of my business. 

This year, I have no Wall Street buyers who are ready to "pull the trigger" and only 2 of the 11 Manhattan properties that I’m currently representing for sale are owned by Wall Street professionals.  Both are still employed and although one had a rough year, neither are desperate sellers at this time.  Most of my friends, family and previous clients whom earn their living on The Street are in a holding pattern to see how things shake out this year.

Not surprisingly, I am also working with more buyers (about 30% of my biz vs. the 5% of the past decade) but not nearly as many as I would like as many wait on the sidelines to see how the market shakes out in the coming months.  That said, more buyers have indeed entered the fray over the past few weeks.  So just who is buying Manhattan Real Estate TODAY? 

To illustrate the change in buyer and seller profiles I’m talking about, here is a breakdown of the buyers and sellers that I’m assisting in TODAY’s real estate market:


  • 2 Estate Sales
  • Private Equity
  • Marketing
  • Trader
  • 3 Attorneys
  • Entrepreneur
  • Information Technology
  • Sales


  • 2 Writers
  • VP of Communications
  • Tax Consultant
  • Media
  • Software Developer

Although I have listed 11 sellers and 6 buyers, 2 buyers are purchasing my exclusive properties so the ratio is 11 sellers to 4 buyers right now.   Last year, I was working with almost exclusively Wall Street buyers and most (75%) of the sellers whom I represented also hailed from Wall Street.  As you see above this year is markedly different.

That is what is going on in my business right now and I would love to hear from buyers, sellers and my colleagues regarding what you are seeing in TODAY’s Manhattan real estate market?

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