Manhattan vs Brooklyn Q4 2017 – The Prices

Curious as to how the numbers stack up in Manhattan and Brooklyn? Here’s an infographic to give you a basic overview, based on Corcoran’s most recent quarterly reports for both boroughs. (Click here to view the full Manhattan Report and click here to view the full Brooklyn Report.) The infographic highlights the median price by apartment type for each kind of building covered by the report, and it also gives the lowdown for which areas are likely to be your best bets for affordability. Additionally, especially for sellers, there’s a focus on the median price per square foot for each area.

Note – I prefer to use the median rather than the average because the median represents the middle point – so half of all the listings noted in a given area are above that price and half are below.

Looking to get more frequent updates about the market? Opt-in here to receive Corcoran’s monthly snapshots PLUS neighborhood specific quick stats.


Manhattan prices closed out 2017 higher year over year, with the median price at $1.068 million, 5% more than Q4 2016. The pace of sales remained the same, with effectively a 0% year over year change – 3,140 closed sales in Q4 2017 versus 3,156 closed sales in Q4 2016. However, overall contracts signed did show declines – they were down 14% versus Q4 2016.

Brooklyn’s prices ended 2017 with a more modest increase versus past years – the median sale price was at $725,000 – a 4% increase over Q4 2016. The Brooklyn sales market continued to stay fairly healthy – 7% more sales closed and 5% more contracts were signed in Q4 2017 versus Q4 2016.

READ  Top Links - March 10, 2015

Inventory ticked up significantly in Manhattan, with the number of available homes surpassing 6,000 – the highest number of listings since Q4 2011. This was primarily fueled by recently launched new developments, particularly in downtown Manhattan. Meanwhile, the opposite happened in Brooklyn – inventory actually shrank to 1,688 – a whopping 26% fewer listings versus Q4 2016.

The Takeaway

The tale of multiple markets continues.

While we aren’t seeing the price gains of years past, the under $2 million market in Manhattan remains pretty robust. Smaller apartments (such as studios and 1 bedrooms) spent less time on the market, most likely due to lower levels of inventory in both segments versus larger apartment types. Studio and 1 bedroom apartments also saw higher price per square foot increases – 3% for studios and 6% for one bedrooms. So if you’re the owner of a studio or 1 bedroom in Manhattan, you might want to consider if now’s a good time to list your place.

Meanwhile, luxury sales (top 10% of the market) appear to be treading water and may even be sinking a bit thanks to ever increasing inventory – the median price was down 13% versus the previous year. Many in the industry also believe that the recently passed federal tax bill had a chilling effect on sales in this segment and may continue to do so in Q1 2018 (click here to read more).

Unsurprisingly, Brooklyn demand is still very high. Despite ever increasing prices, the borough still has plenty of “value” areas relative to Manhattan, especially further east and further south. Q4 2017’s significant decrease in inventory is likely to keep many neighborhoods ultra competitive.

READ  Top Links - August 26, 2014

In Manhattan, your two best bets for (relatively) affordable prices are still Upper Manhattan and Midtown. In particular, buyers may want to take advantage of lower prices in Upper Manhattan’s new development market.

For Brooklyn, the borough’s eastern and southern sections still have low prices relative to other areas. But areas like Bedford-Stuyvesant, Lefferts Gardens and Windsor Terrace aren’t so underappreciated anymore – eager buyers are quickly pushing prices up in those areas. In Brooklyn, it’s no longer enough to be able to afford something – you have to be able to position yourself to compete for it against other very qualified buyers.

If you have more questions about the market or NYC real estate in general (or you know someone else who could use some assistance), feel free to contact me. I’m always happy to help!