The number of home sales in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens rose in May, with Queens seeing the largest spike: a 25.6% annual increase, according to the StreetEasy May Market Reports. The activity in Queens contributed to a new pending sales record for the borough, with 505 homes entering contract — 103 more than the same period last year.
In Manhattan, pending sales increased slightly compared to last year, at 2.7%. While this jump is much less significant from the previous month's increase of 22.7%, it is still an encouraging sign for those in the borough looking to sell their home this year, given that prior to April, pending sales declined in every month since January 2018, with the exception of January 2019. In Brooklyn, the number of pending sales stagnated year over year, rising just 0.3% across the borough.
While the number of homes entering contract rose, prices showed early signs of strengthening. The StreetEasy Manhattan Price Index fell 4.7% year over year, to $1,106,560. While a significant decline, this is the first time the rate of decline has slowed from month to month since August 2018. Prices in Brooklyn also showed possible early signs of a market rebound: The StreetEasy Brooklyn Price Index rose 0.9% after turning negative last month, reaching $711,771, its highest level since November 2018. In Queens, price growth continued, but at the slowest pace since November 2016 (2.1%), reaching $518,965.
"While we are still in peak home shopping season, May brought more indicators that the NYC sales market may be strengthening," says StreetEasy Data Analyst Nancy Wu. "Buyers seem to be accepting the more realistic prices they're seeing, and the sales uptick in Queens shows that there is still demand for the value found in some of the more affordable areas of the city. That said, inventory is still sky-high, and the market is still weak. It remains to be seen whether these trends will continue, or if these numbers are simply a result of motivated buyers making moves during home shopping season."
May 2019 Key Findings — Manhattan
- More homes went into contract. The number of pending sales in Manhattan increased 2.7% annually, reaching 1,097. Pending sales in the Upper West Side increased 19.1% year-over-year, reaching their highest level since July 2015.
- Prices dropped, but at a slower rate than last month. The StreetEasy Manhattan Price Index dipped 4.7% year over year, to $1,106,560. Prices only rose in Upper Manhattan, the borough's least expensive submarket, where they reached $582,454 — up 8.0% from last year.
- Inventory reached new highs, but growth slowed. While sales inventory reached new highs in the borough and increased 8.3% from last year, the pace of growth was the lowest since March 2018.
- Homes lingered on the market for longer. Median days on market increased by nearly two weeks (13 days) to 68 days in the borough — the fastest rate homes have moved off the market so far in 2019.
- The share of price cuts remained about the same. The share of price cuts in Manhattan was 15.5% in May, a slight annual increase of 0.2 percentage points.
May 2019 Key Findings — Brooklyn
- Pending sales stagnated. Of the boroughs analyzed, the number of homes entering contract remained unchanged in Brooklyn since last year, at 718 homes. Pending sales did grow month over month across the borough, with 14 more homes sold in May than in April.
- Prices showed early signs of growth. After price growth turned negative last month, the StreetEasy Brooklyn Price Index reached $711,771 — the highest level since November 2018, and an annual increase of 0.9%.
- Sales inventory reached new highs. In May, 16.5% more homes were for sale than at the same period last year. While inventory growth brought the total number of homes for sale to new highs, the pace of growth was the slowest since August 2018. Inventory rose across all submarkets in the borough, except for North Brooklyn, where it fell 4.5% annually.
- Homes in North Brooklyn remained on the market for an additional three weeks. The median number of days on market in North Brooklyn rose to 72 — some 25 more days than last year. In Northwest Brooklyn, homes in the submarket moved off the market 13 days sooner, with the median time on market dropping to 47 days.
- More sellers offered price cuts. The share of price cuts in Brooklyn rose by 2.8 percentage points to 14.6%. While the number of price cuts rose, the median cut amount remained roughly the same — down 0.3 percentage points to 4.2%.
May 2019 Key Findings — Queens
- More homes entered contract than ever before. Queens saw a 25.6% uptick in pending sales in May, resulting in a new record for the borough, with 505 homes entering contract.
- Prices rose, but at a slower rate. The StreetEasy Queens Price Index rose 2.3% from last year to $518,965. This growth rate was the slowest the borough has seen since November 2016.
- Sales inventory grew the most in Queens. Total sales inventory increased by 18.6% in Queens — the highest rate of all boroughs analyzed. Inventory decreased in only one submarket: Northwest Queens, which saw a 5.3% dip in total homes for sale.
- Homes sold the fastest in Queens. Of the boroughs analyzed, Queens was the only one where median days on market decreased — down three days year over year, to 56 days.
- More than 1 in 10 homes had a price cut. The share of homes with a price cut rose by 1.3 percentage points across the borough, to 11.8%. In Northwest Queens, price cuts became more difficult to find, with the share of homes with a discount dropping by 2.5 percentage points annually, to 11.1%.