The Real Deal New York

Volume and value of home sales both drop in Q1: REBNY report

Drop marks third consecutive quarter of year-over-year sales declines
By Eddie Small | May 11, 2018 11:00AM

NYC

(Credit: Getty Images)

New York’s residential market did not start off 2018 on a high note, seeing year-over-year declines in both sales volume and sales value, according to the Real Estate Board of New York’s Residential Sales Report.

The city’s residential sales market saw a 16 percent year-over-year drop in overall transaction value during the first quarter of 2018, falling to $10.3 billion this year from $12.3 billion last year, REBNY’s report says.

This is the third consecutive quarter that the city has seen year-over-year declines in total residential sales, the first time this has happened since the third quarter of 2009. The roughly $2 billion drop between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 was also the largest drop since the third quarter of 2009.

Home sales volume also dropped in the first quarter of the year by 10 percent for a total of 10,869 transactions across the city. The number of sales dropped by 20 percent in Manhattan, 15 percent in Brooklyn, 9 percent in Staten Island and 4 percent in Queens. However, in the Bronx, home sales actually went up by 8 percent.

REBNY president John Banks said in a statement that the declines were largely due to “a slowdown in sales activity at the high end of the Manhattan market,” noting that parts of the city were still setting records for average sales prices of coops and one-to-three family homes.

Manhattan and Queens, for instance, both set new records for average co-op sales prices. In Manhattan, the average price rose by 11 percent to hit roughly $1.3 million, and in Queens, the average price rose by 13 percent to hit $310,000. The average co-op price throughout the city during the first quarter was $791,000, an 11 percent increase.

Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island also all saw record-setting average sales prices for one-to-three family homes, with prices reaching $717,000 in Queens, $563,000 in Staten Island and $517,000 in the Bronx.

The Manhattan luxury market was much weaker. Sales of homes for $3 million or more in the borough dropped by 30 percent, while sales of homes for $5 million or more dropped by 37 percent, the largest decline in sales by price range.

Condos had a fairly weak first quarter as well, with average prices dropping by 20 percent year-over-year to hit $1.56 million. This was largely due to Manhattan’s average price dropping 17 percent from its all-time high of about $3 million in the first quarter of 2017 to about $2.5 million during the first quarter this year.