At the halfway point of the year, sellers and buyers are starting to accept that higher interest rates are here to stay, with at least one more rise indicated by the Fed. Some sellers who made moves early are reaping the rewards, while some who have waited are looking at increasing competition. However, that doesn’t mean that waiting was necessarily a mistake. There is never just one right way to do things in retail real estate.

One buyer of Manhattan retail properties recently said to me, “Things could be a lot worse, but they’re not.” And he’s right, for both buyers and sellers. Granted, transactions across the commercial real estate spectrum are at a historical low,  but I don’t discuss the entire spectrum, only retail properties in New York City. So let’s take a look at the facts here.

“Things could be a lot worse, but they’re not.”

-Buyer of Manhattan Retail Properties

This time last year, there were only a few stabilized income-producing retail properties on the market in Manhattan. Now, there are more than a couple handfuls, with still more on the way. But maybe more importantly, the retail properties that did sell last year were on the market for almost a year and half, almost double the average for the previous four years (which included the pandemic). Signs indicate that Time on Market is now coming down, partly because we’ve passed the phase of rates rising at warp speed.

Interestingly, the transaction volume for Manhattan retail properties is typically lowest in the second quarter, a pattern that has held through all the divergent economic trends of the past five years. See the below data that my team put together.


Q2 Q3 Q4
13.6 12.2 13.4 20.4
Five Year Historical Number of Retail Properties Sold in Manhattan

In a clear positive sign, during the First Quarter of this year, 16 retail properties sold in Manhattan, with that number likely to rise since data is slow to be recorded by the City. We won’t know the stats for Q2 for a few months, but I’d guess the trend in the above table will continue to hold true.

Okay, great, so what does that mean for right now? Things could be a lot worse, but they’re not.

Trever J. Gallina, VP – NYC Retail Properties Sales

Marcus & Millichap

Trever.Gallina@trevergallina | (212) 430-5269