Manhattan vs Brooklyn Q2 2019 – Opportunities Still Ripe for Buyers

It’s time to take a look at Corcoran’s Quarterly Reports for Manhattan and Brooklyn for Q2 2019. If you want to check out the full reports, you can click here for Manhattan and click here for Brooklyn.

Manhattan Q2 2019 Report


Brooklyn Q2 2019 Report

The buyer’s market continued to persist in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The overall median sales price for Manhattan was up year over year at $1.225 million. That might seem like a sign that the market is “coming back” – but digging deeper into the numbers (and underlying causes, to be discussed later) demonstrates that’s not the case. The jump in prices was led by more (and higher priced) new development sales. Many categories of resales actually saw prices drop year over year. Contract signings were flat, with just a 1% year over year decrease, and the median price per square foot stayed flat as well with effectively no change versus the previous year. Meanwhile, inventory was up 15% year over year, surpassing 8000 listings for the first time since 2011. And days on market increased to 132 days – the longest time on market in six years, again demonstrating that buyers are in no rush when it comes to their searches.

Brooklyn was more of a mixed bag but continued to show some signs of decline in some segments. The overall median price was up 4% year over year to $725,000, but like the Manhattan market, this was primarily caused by new development sales. Resales, on the other hand, reached a six year low. Contracts signed were down 10% year over year, but it’s important to note that Q2 2018 was one of the best spring selling seasons on record for the borough. So the decline isn’t that alarming in light of this. On the other hand, time on the market was down to 87 days, thanks to renewed buyer interest. And inventory increased 11% year over year, which may encourage even more buyers to get back into the market once they realize there’s more options.

What’s Happening This Summer?

Manhattan saw a big flurry of activity during the spring in the luxury segment, but that was largely due to changes to the mansion tax that were set to go into effect on July 1st. Now that the deadline has passed, coupled with the fact that summer is typically the slowest sales season of the year, we expect sales in Q3 2019 to trail off a bit. But this could be excellent news for buyers – if you’re a Manhattan buyer who’s been looking to get back into the game, now is absolutely a great time.

And it’s also a great time for Brooklyn buyers. The borough remains more competitive than Manhattan, especially with certain product types (i.e. 2 bedroom/2 bathroom units). But steadily rising inventory means there’s more opportunity than in recent years. So if you haven’t checked out any new listings in awhile, you might want to get back out there and see what’s what!

BTW – If you’re thinking of buying a place, but you’re not quite sure if you’re ready, then I recommend downloading my free guide – How to Tell If You’re Ready to Buy a Home in NYC.