Manhattan condo price growth will cool in 2015: report

StreetEasy predicts uptick of only 3.9 percent next year
By E.B. Solomont | December 10, 2014 12:01AM

Think Manhattan condo prices couldn’t possibly keep rising? StreetEasy shares your sentiment.

In its first-ever housing predictions report, the listings website, a subsidiary of Zillow, projected condo prices would rise 3.9 percent in 2015 – roughly half of the 7.8 percent growth in prices in 2014.

“We’re going from a boil to a simmer,” said Alan Lightfeldt, StreetEasy’s chief data scientist. “I think in 2015 we’re seeing a return to normal in the Manhattan condo market.”

Meanwhile, buyers exasperated with a lack of Manhattan inventory may look to Brooklyn and Queens for their next purchases. This year was the fifth straight year that inventory in Manhattan declined, while Brooklyn saw its inventory grow 8.6 percent and Queens saw inventory grow 8.5 percent.

The report does not provide data on condo prices in Brooklyn and Queens. When it comes to rentals, though, Brooklyn is on track to be the most unaffordable borough for renters in 2015. (RealtyTrac reported a similarly grim outlook for the Brooklyn sales market last week, naming it the most unaffordable in the U.S.)

“When we crunched the numbers and looked at rent affordability, it will be a serious issue in 2015,” Lightfeldt said, “particularly in Brooklyn, where a typical renter pays [rent amounting to] 60 percent of their income.” Elsewhere in the city, the rate is closer to 40 percent.

Rapidly growing housing costs in parts of Brooklyn – such as Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant – are making the problem even more acute, Lightfeldt added.

The report also named the top 10 “hot” neighborhoods in 2015, based on factors such as growth in median asking rents, sales prices and population growth. Dumbo snagged the top spot, followed by Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill, Battery Park City, West Harlem, Jamaica, Fulton/Seaport, Nomad, Spuyten Duyvil, Prospect Park South and Morningside Heights.