Manhattan vs Brooklyn Q3 2019 – The Best Buyer’s Market In Years

It’s time to take a look at Corcoran’s Quarterly Reports for Manhattan and Brooklyn for Q3 2019. If you want to check out the full reports, you can click here for Manhattan and click here for Brooklyn.


This is without a doubt one of the best buyer’s markets we’ve seen in years. And it’s much more so the case in Manhattan than in Brooklyn.

The overall median sales price for Manhattan was down year over year to $1.010 million, a four year low. This was driven by the fact that many above $2 million transactions closed prior to July 1st in order to avoid being hit with the new mansion tax increases. While resale co-ops and resale condos saw prices drop across all apartment sizes, new development was a surprising bright spot, with prices remaining even or increasing year over year.

Contract signings in Manhattan declined slightly, 2% year over year, and the median price per square foot saw a decrease of 6% versus Q3 2018. Meanwhile, inventory was up again, but less so than in the previous quarter – up 3% year over year to 7500 listings (a big difference from the previous quarter when there were more than 8000 listings). Not surprisingly, days on market continued to increase – up to 112 days. But it’s worth noting that this is down from the previous quarter by 15%.

The Brooklyn market continued to cool, but still showed more signs of strength versus Manhattan. The overall median price was down slightly 3% year over year to $677,000. This was largely due to a higher number of sales of smaller apartments. Contracts signed were down 6% year over year, indicating that buyers weren’t quite as frantic to get contracts signed. But time on market actually decreased 5% year over year (and a surprising 23% versus the previous quarter), indicating that demand in the borough is still quite strong. Inventory continued to increase, up 13%, thanks to new development listings. This is likely to encourage more buyers to enter the market.

What’s Happening This Fall?

As predicted, sales fell off significantly in Manhattan after July 1st. But the effects of the tax changes seemed to be a bit more muted in Brooklyn. This isn’t too surprising given the share of apartments that typically trade for more than $2 million in Manhattan versus Brooklyn.

I can’t say this enough for would be Manhattan buyers – if you were previously priced out of the market, start looking again. The median resale 2 bedroom condo is now trading for less than $1.7 million. Previously, it was difficult to find anything under $2 million. And if you’re interested in a co-op, you can score an even better deal – the median resale for those is now less than $1.3 million. This is a fantastic opportunity to trade up to a bigger, better space!

And Brooklyn buyers, it’s a great time for you as well. Even though there’s still plenty of competition for desirable listings, buyers definitely have a lot more options and sellers are being far more negotiable than in previous years. And if you’re interested in new development, then you could score big on concessions (especially in areas with an oversupply like Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant).

And finally, don’t forget that the Fed just lowered the benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a point, which could mean big savings on mortgage payments for the life of your loan.

There’s so much great opportunity out there right now for buyers! If you want to take advantage of it, contact me so we can get your search started!

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.