Manhattan vs Brooklyn Q3 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.


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Manhattan prices were up year over year, with the median price at $1.150 million, 10% higher than Q3 2016. However, it’s important to note that this price is actually down versus the previous quarter, to the tune of 3%. The pace of sales rose slightly – 3% more sales closed in Q3 2017 versus Q3 2016, but overall contracts signed were actually down 4% year over year.

Brooklyn’s prices had more healthy gains in Q3 2017 with the median sale price at $733,000 – a 13% year over year increase. The Brooklyn sales market continued to show impressive strength – 31% more sales closed and 15% more contracts were signed in Q3 2017 versus Q3 2016. It’s worth noting that the average price for sales in the borough was actually down 4% – this reflects a shift in the market away from higher priced neighborhoods towards more affordable ones, especially in South Brooklyn.

Inventory remained steady in Manhattan, with the number of available homes just 1% higher versus a year ago in the borough. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, inventory shrank with 13% fewer listings versus Q3 2016.

The Takeaway

Right now, it seems to be a tale of multiple markets.

The upper tier of the market in Manhattan appears to be experiencing continued stagnation, due to oversupply and high pricing. In fact, according to our report, 52% of luxury sales (i.e. the top 10% of the market) sold for below asking at an average 8% discount.

The market for listings below $2 million, by contrast, still seems to be fairly healthy, especially for co-ops. Co-ops saw a 5% increase in closings, and 84% of all co-ops sales were below the $2 million threshold. So if you’re a co-op owner with a 1 or 2 bedroom, this coming quarter might be a great time to consider putting your place on the market. And things aren’t looking so bad for would be co-op buyers either – inventory in this segment increased by 3% year over year.

Brooklyn is another story, where demand seems to be showing absolutely no signs of slowing down. Q3 2017 was one of the strongest quarters for closings in Brooklyn since 2008. This huge demand coupled with decreasing inventory helped to keep Brooklyn prices throughout the borough steadily marching higher.

In Manhattan, your two best bets for (relatively) affordable prices are still Upper Manhattan and Midtown.

For Brooklyn, the borough’s eastern and southern sections still have low prices relative to other areas. But more and more buyers are focusing their searches in these neighborhoods, which is steadily pushing up prices. Be prepared to face competition no matter where you decide to look.

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!

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