Brooklyn, Queens home sales grew as inventory plummeted last quarter

“These markets went into this crisis in fairly good shape,” says appraiser Jonathan Miller

New York /
Apr.April 09, 2020 07:00 AM
In Brooklyn and Queens, the number of homes on the market have fallen (Credit: iStock)

In Brooklyn and Queens, the number of homes on the market have fallen (Credit: iStock)

Brooklyn and Queens logged a strong first quarter, but the writing is on the wall in terms of how the pandemic will affect sales in the boroughs.

Though deal activity and prices rose in both boroughs, listing inventory fell for the first time in years, according to Douglas Elliman’s first-quarter report.

The number of homes listed in Brooklyn fell 18 percent year-over-year, to 2,617 from 3,203 in 2019. Similarly, Queens saw listings plunge nearly 13.5 percent to 4,557 compared to 5,271 in the same period last year.

“That’s a result of the future uncertainty,” said Jonathan Miller, the appraiser who authored Elliman’s report. “There was awareness of the virus so I think there was a slowdown and concern about that.”

Over the last four years, Brooklyn has seen inventory jump an average of 7.3 percent during the first quarter of the year, typically known as the spring selling season. The last time homes for sale logged negative growth was in 2016, Miller said. In Queens, inventory growth over the past five years has been largely flat.

A similar drag on inventory also occurred in Manhattan. The borough’s first quarter of 2020 saw inventory fall 8.4 percent year-over-year to 6,113 homes.

Brokers — and their clients — have faced confusion over whether showing homes is considered “essential.” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month said agents could not show homes, but last week the state clarified that some real estate services are essential, and home showings can resume virtually.

Besides the low number of homes for sale, activity and pricing was trending up, following results from the final quarter of 2019.

Brooklyn saw its median sales price hit about $803,400, a 5 percent annual increase from $765,000 in the first quarter of 2019. The number of sales in the borough jumped to 2,525, a roughly 14 percent increase from 2,216 a year ago.

In Queens, the median sales price climbed 7.4 percent to $590,585 from $550,000. The number of sales rose to 3,035 from 2,907, a 4 percent increase.

New development sales activity also had a strong showing. In Brooklyn, new development sales jumped a hefty 144 percent year-over-year to 188 from 77. Queens new development sales doubled to 162 from the first quarter of 2019.

“These markets went into this crisis in fairly good shape,” said Miller, referring to the sales markets for the two boroughs. “Both quarters were shaping up to be improvements over what we’d seen in 2019… [But] the moment the virus became ubiquitous in everybody’s understanding the market became something else.”

Write to Erin Hudson at [email protected]


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
A photo illustration of a crystal ball predicting future home prices (iStock)
Home sales, building to slow: Fannie Mae
Home sales, building to slow: Fannie Mae
G4 Capital's Robyn Sorid and a rendering of 313-315 Bond Street (G4 Capital, LinkedIn/Robyn Sorid)
Rabsky Group scores $92M loan for big Gowanus project
Rabsky Group scores $92M loan for big Gowanus project
From left: Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc, Rudin’s CEO and co-chairman Bill Rudin, and Dock 72 (Getty Images, S9 Architecture, Rudin Management, iStock)
Vice scraps move to Rudin’s Dock 72
Vice scraps move to Rudin’s Dock 72
366 State Street and 37 Sidney Place in Brooklyn (Corcoran, Zillow)
Passive house asking $15M tops Brooklyn contracts
Passive house asking $15M tops Brooklyn contracts
1277 East 14th Street, 45-57 Davis Street and 575 Grand Street (StreetEasy, Google Maps, iStock)
Mighty Midwood bookends top outer-borough loans
Mighty Midwood bookends top outer-borough loans
From left: Michael Stern, founder and CEO, JDS Development Group; Parham Javaheri, chief property development officer, Life Time; and 9 DeKalb Avenue (JDS Development Group, Life Time, SHoP Architects, iStock)
Life Time takes 100K sf in JDS’ Brooklyn Tower
Life Time takes 100K sf in JDS’ Brooklyn Tower
(iStock)
NYC rents soar as Covid deals die
NYC rents soar as Covid deals die
From left: Developer Bruce Teitelbaum and Durst Organization CEO Douglas Durst and 44-02 Vernon Boulevard (Getty Images, LoopNet, iStock)
“A tremendous ordeal”: Lawyers in $97M Durst buyout slam case
“A tremendous ordeal”: Lawyers in $97M Durst buyout slam case
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...