On Nov. 9, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their impending COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing coronavirus — providing far-reaching implications for the New York City real estate market. 

According to The New York Times, Pfizer is seeking emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration this month in an attempt to successfully manufacture enough doses to immunize 15 million to 20 million people by the end of the year. In terms of distribution, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner and a member of Pfizer’s board, told CNBC the vaccine could be widely available by the third quarter of 2021.

Though this scientific breakthrough affects virtually every facet of life as we know it,  the New York City real estate market could be looking at a complete resurgence, removing the looming uncertainty coronavirus has caused since March.

For starters, the introduction of an effective vaccine would rejuvenate consumer confidence, thus empowering buyers and renters to be more decisive. 

“Now is the time to grab deals – both on the rental and sales side. Sales prices are the lowest they have been in five years, interest rates at a historic low and this is not going to last,” said Khashy Eyn, Platinum Properties CEO.

Additionally, the acceptance and distribution of a vaccine would result in the reopening of both small businesses as well as larger corporations that would most likely give their employees the option of returning to work in-person. From a real estate standpoint, this means that more people would be looking to move to or return to the city – and buy or rent an apartment closer to their offices – reinvigorating the housing market. 

In general, since the pandemic began, the median rent in New York has dropped significantly, and landlords are offering a lot of concessions to fill empty units. Many sellers are also generously reducing their listing prices in order to accommodate the housing uncertainty surrounding the real estate market. For these reasons, now is still an opportune time to consider buying or renting in the city, regardless of the anticipation of a vaccine.

Once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved and distributed, activity will increase, causing prices to stabilize or rise, so the best time for potential buyers or renters to take the plunge is now. 

Other pending positive changes to the city’s real estate market include a return of foreign buyers to the market, an increase in commuting, and the phased reopening of bars, restaurants, music venues, and Broadway. 

Above all else, a vaccine means a glimmer of hope for the return to normalcy worldwide, and the prospect of reestablishing New York City as the lively and inviting cultural epicenter it once was.