Manhattan home sales improving as suburban hot streak continues

October contracts near last year’s levels as buyers return to borough


Manhattan, the problem child of New York’s housing market, may be turning a corner.

New contracts for residential properties edged closer to 2019 levels last month as buyers returned to the city and brokers saw an uptick in interest and activity.

Buyers purchased 510 co-ops in Manhattan last month, just 4 percent below the same period last year, according to a market report from Douglas Elliman.

Contracts for single-family homes actually increased, from nine last October to 13 this year. But condo deals lagged, falling 28 percent behind last year’s monthly total.

The most popular price range for snapped-up condos was $1 million to $1.99 million, followed closely by $2 million to $3.99 million.

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Demand is still high in Brooklyn, where 225 condos went into contract last month — up 53 percent from last year. Most were in the $500,000 to $999,000 range. Deals for single-family homes in that price bracket also shot up, from 17 last October to 61 this year.

“Brooklyn is behaving much like the suburbs and has benefited from outbound migration from Manhattan,” said appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, who prepared the report.

In the suburbs of Long Island and Westchester, deals were well above year-ago levels, a trend we have been seeing for much of the year.

In the Hamptons, contracts for single-family homes more than doubled last year’s numbers, with noticeable spikes in price ranges above $4 million. North Fork contract signings were also significantly higher.

“The regional story is that the housing markets across the region, overall, are still faring much better than they were a year ago, but they essentially stabilized — plateaued — since July,” Miller said. “Manhattan continues to crawl out of the hole it dug itself in after lockdown, but for the most part it still has not achieved parity with the prior year.”