Manhattan vs Brooklyn Q4 2019 – Buyer’s Market Continues (Plus a New Feature!)

It’s time to take a look at Corcoran’s Quarterly Reports for Manhattan and Brooklyn for Q4 2019.

But wait! There’s a new feature in the mix!

One factor that you need to consider when deciding whether or not you should buy is how much you’d pay for your mortgage and monthly charges versus your monthly rent. If your monthly rent is pretty close to a potential similar mortgage payment and you can find something with low monthly charges, then it’s a signal that buying might actually make sense. This is especially true if you think you’d like to stay in the same area for at least 4 or 5 years.

So I’ve now included a “Rent versus Buy” section where you can see which neighborhoods have median monthly ownership costs within $500 or less of the monthly rent.

Now, let’s get back to the market reports…

If you want to check out the full reports, you can click here for Manhattan and click here for Brooklyn. Check out the infographic summaries below.

Rent vs Buy Q1 2020 InfographicAs expected, the buyer’s market continued in Q4 2019, but there were a few signs of moderation in both boroughs.

The overall median sales price for Manhattan was down again versus Q4 2018 to $995,000, another four year low like the previous quarter. This was likely caused by the continued softness in the luxury segment of the market.

The median price per square foot decreased again, 5% versus Q4 2018, and inventory continued to climb, up 5% from the previous year. Days on market also ticked upwards to 123 days. But despite the foregoing, contracts signed were up slightly – 1% year over year. This is a key metric to watch as it’s indicative of the level of buyer interest. If an upward trend develops, it could be a sign that the market is beginning to stabilize.

In Brooklyn, although the overall median price was up to $678,000, other market metrics showed signs of continued slowing. Contracts signed were down 9% year over year, and time on market actually increased 7% to 97 days. Inventory also continued to increase, up 10% with two and three bedroom apartments seeing the biggest jumps in listings. But this latter point is great news for buyers looking to trade up, which may result in more buyers coming back into the market.

What’s Happening This Winter?

2020 is shaping up to be one of the best years in a long time to buy a home in either Manhattan or Brooklyn. In addition to more inventory at lower prices, buyers can still take advantage of historically low interest rates. If you were priced out previously in either market – start looking again.

Prices are likely to remain low throughout the quarter, but there’s a solid chance that we’ll begin to see an increase in contracts signed versus the previous quarter, which will signal more buyers are ready to get back into the market and make moves.

But it’s important to note that all market segments are not going to be the same.

The biggest deals to be had are at the high end – that’s where you can expect the deepest discounts. The same is the case with larger apartments as well – especially 3 and 4 bedroom apartments. Smaller apartments are not seeing the same level of discounts in either borough – not unless they were way overpriced to begin with.

Just keep this in mind – a well priced, desirable apartment in any market is going to sell for close to the asking price. So don’t go out there thinking everything is overpriced and that you can put in lowball offers without doing some research first (i.e. call me!).

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.