NYC Real Estate Market Insights – November 2020 (Sales)

It’s time to take a look at how the Manhattan and Brooklyn sales markets fared in November 2020.

We’re focusing on contracts signed and inventory added in order to try to get a “real time” look at the market because closed sales are lagging indicators – they reflect deals that went into contract 2 to 3 months ago.

Inventory

According to our listings database, new inventory increased in Manhattan by 1,310 listings. This was a 21% increase versus November 2019. But, it was actually a decrease of 35% versus October 2020.

In Brooklyn, we saw a similar trend. New listings were up almost the same amount as Manhattan (21.2% to be more precise, with 934 new listings). But new listings were down by almost the same amount as Manhattan month over month as well (34%).

So…what’s happening here?

It could be that listings slowed down in anticipation of the holiday season.

But it could also be a sign that more sellers are deciding to wait things out and see how the market performs.

Either way, a slowdown in new inventory could help with overall absorption rates (i.e. the rate at which listings go into contract).

Signed Contracts

Manhattan saw modest decreases both year over year (1.3%) and month over month (2.4%). But, much like October, the rate of contracts signed was one of the highest seen since March. This is a very positive sign for the market.

The Brooklyn market, by contrast, appeared to really lose a bit of its steam. The month over month decline wasn’t quite so severe at 15%. But signed contracts were down a staggering 73.2% year over year.

It’s possible the huge decline was largely driven by the fact that Brooklyn saw record breaking years in the 2 to 3 years leading up to the pandemic.

So perhaps a year over year comparison is less helpful versus a month over month or pre-pandemic comparison.

What’s Next

We’ll have to wait until December is done to see if Manhattan truly is on the road to recovery. And it remains to be seen if Brooklyn will continue to slow down.

The prospect of another shutdown does still loom with the holiday season in full swing. But a new presidential administration plus the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines may be cause enough to get the market to trend in a more positive direction.

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