As Manhattan struggles, Brooklyn’s sales market is “booming”

Pending home sales in the borough nearly broke a record in August 2020

New York /
Sep.September 24, 2020 05:00 AM
Photo illustration of the Williamsburg Bridge (Getty, iStock) 

Photo illustration of the Williamsburg Bridge (Getty, iStock)

The residential market in Manhattan may be struggling because of the pandemic, but Brooklyn’s is hopping.

In August, the borough nearly set a record in terms of pending home sales, while contract activity sunk in both Manhattan and Queens, according to a new StreetEasy report.

In Brooklyn, the number of homes that went into contract rose 37 percent year-over-year, with 735 deals inked. That’s below the borough’s all-time high of 748 pending sales in March 2019. The gains last month were largely driven by lower-priced properties going into contract.

Sales in what StreetEasy defines as the Prospect Park submarket (which includes Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Prospect Park South) saw the largest year-over-year increase, with 111 homes in the area going into contract. That’s a 117 percent jump from August 2019.

Manhattan’s contract activity, by comparison, fell 6 percent year-over-year, and inventory was the highest it’s been in more than a decade. In Queens, contract activity fell more than 4 percent.

In a statement, StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu said Brooklyn’s strong pending sales are an indication that “contrary to popular belief, many are making the commitment to live in the city for the long term.”

Wu said Brooklyn’s performance compared to Manhattan reflects buyers’ preference for larger homes at lower prices, rather than living close to the office — a factor that’s been on ice since the pandemic began and many companies were forced to shift to remote work. Some companies, including Twitter and Facebook, have even announced that working from home will become a permanent fixture for some of their workforce.

“All else equal, Brooklyn homes provide more bang for a homebuyer’s buck than Manhattan,” Wu said. “The striking surge in new deals in Brooklyn is the one of the first optimistic indicators for the city’s sales market.”

For appraiser Jonathan Miller, Brooklyn’s housing market has been contrarian to the rest of the city for years.

“Brooklyn is the outlier that we’ve been seeing since the financial crisis,” he said. Recalling a trip to Asia where he saw locals wearing Brooklyn apparel, Miller attributed that growth to the borough “becoming a destination” globally.

According to Miller’s monthly report on contracts for Douglas Elliman, pending sales of single-family homes in Brooklyn increased by 156 percent year-over-year in August, while condos shot up 33 percent, and co-ops saw a 182 percent jump compared to the same period last year.

“Brooklyn is booming,” he said.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Fidi condo tower risks foreclosure as Trinity Place Holdings races to refinance
    Fidi condo tower risks foreclosure as Trinity Place Holdings races to refinance
    Fidi condo tower risks foreclosure as Trinity Place Holdings races to refinance
    Omni’s Garden Spires residents allege leaks, mice infestations
    Omni’s Garden Spires residents allege leaks, mice infestations
    Omni’s Garden Spires residents allege leaks, mice infestations
    374 Fourth Ave in Gowanus, Brooklyn (Google Maps, iStock)
    Quinlan plans 197-unit project for Gowanus
    Quinlan plans 197-unit project for Gowanus
    Zillow will resume iBuying, but pause raises questions over model: analysts
    Zillow will resume iBuying, but pause raises questions over model
    Zillow will resume iBuying, but pause raises questions over model
    (iStock)
    LI rental review board setting standard for local rental permits
    LI rental review board setting standard for local rental permits
    Two penthouse apartments were sold at 150 East 78th Street with the intent of combining them (Compass)
    Double penthouse asking $33M is priciest listing snapped up
    Double penthouse asking $33M is priciest listing snapped up
    Ford estate fetches $105M, a Hamptons “record” but far below ask
    Ford estate fetches $105M, a Hamptons “record” but far below ask
    Ford estate fetches $105M, a Hamptons “record” but far below ask
    Brooklyn contracts jump in mid-October
    Brooklyn luxury home contracts jump in mid-October
    Brooklyn luxury home contracts jump in mid-October
    arrow_forward_ios

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

    Loading...