- New York City is still home to more ultrawealthy individuals than any other city.
- The city's real estate scene is rebounding with an uptick in sales.
- And NYC's tax revenue is $3 billion greater than expected, not to mention it's getting $5.6 billion in aid.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
New York City is back.
Or at least, it's well on its way.
As the wealthy fled for the Hamptons, local restaurants shuttered their doors, and Times Square went quiet during the onset of the pandemic, many declared the city dead. But a year after it became the coronavirus epicenter of the world, NYC is starting to shine once again.
Despite a seeming exodus of the city's richest, NYC is still home to 7,743 ultra-high-net-worth individuals - more than any other city in the world, per a Knight Frank and Douglas Elliman report. The report defines this wealthy cohort as having a net worth of $30 million and above.
Plus, real estate is already making a comeback, and it's had to. Last year, 10.9 out of 1,000 residents in the NYC metro area moved, up from 6.6 per 1,000 residents in 2019, Mansion Global's VL Hendrickson reported, citing a report from commercial real estate firm CRBE. But those who left for the suburbs are already returning.
New Yorkers are upgrading to wealthier neighborhoods and apartments as others are returning to the city. Overseas buyers are expected to help drive real-estate sales, as are young professionals looking to buy for the first time, Hendrickson wrote.
The number of sales in Manhattan increased by 28.7% from the last three months of 2020 to the first three of 2021, per a separate Douglas Elliman report. Luxury sales grew by 30.4% during the same time frame.
"Whoever wrote off New York was wrong," Kenneth Horn, the founder of Alchemy Properties, told Hendrickson. "This, of course, has been horrible. We've lived through a lot different, right. But people want to live in New York. People love the vibrancy."
The wealthy helped make NYC's economy go 'round, and the uptick in real-estate purchases signals that will continue. But NYC may not even need such a financial boost - its finances are in better shape than expected.
While the state's tax revenue collected over the last fiscal year was $513.3 million lower than the previous year, it was still $3 billion more than expected, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli told Bloomberg, a large chunk of which came from the city.
And President Joe Biden's stimulus package, which included $12.9 billion in direct aid for New York state, included $5.6 billion for NYC, which Insider's Juliana Kaplan reported might have saved catastrophic cuts to the city budget. This sentiment was largely confirmed at a City Council hearing in March, when Finance Commissioner Sherif Soliman said this federal aid had given the city a "shot in the arm" financially and he said his office is optimistic for a "full recovery."
NYC is also set to get another injection of money beginning next year, now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has finalized a budget that would see millionaire New Yorkers pay 13.5% to 14.8% in local and state taxes - the highest taxes in the country.
Cash is ultimately starting to flow again in NYC, a good sign for a city made of money.