New listings rise in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but fail to meet fierce demand

Manhattan contract activity increased at four-times the rate of new listings in September

(Unsplash / Andre Benz)
(Unsplash / Andre Benz)

More homes are being added to the market in New York City, reversing a months-long trend of year-over-year declines, but they’re no match for robust demand.

New listings in both Manhattan and Brooklyn rose year-over-year in September for the first time in four months, according to a report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

But amid sustained demand from buyers, the uptick in supply was modest compared to the number of contracts signed.

New listings rose 8.4 percent in Manhattan last month compared to the same time last year. Contract activity, on the other hand, jumped 35.6 percent. One- to three-family homes saw the most dramatic increase in contract activity, up a remarkable 357.1 percent year-over-year, while new listings grew by 15.9 percent.

“There’s still inventory to be burned off, and with the heavy volume of sales activity in the city, we have until the early part of next year before inventory starts tightening,” said Jonathan Miller, who authored the report.

It’s a similar story in Brooklyn, which has seen contract signings rise annually for the past fifteen months.

The trend stands in contrast to Long Island, where low supply is causing fewer deals to be signed. Both metrics fell compared to last year, when demand boomed six months into the pandemic.

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Excluding the Hamptons and the North Fork, new listings for single-family homes on Long Island were down 32.7 percent, while activity was down 31.1 percent. For condos, new listings fell 29.3 percent and activity was down 20 percent.

In the Hamptons, new listings declined by nearly half compared to last year, with 154 homes added and 144 contracts signed. In the North Fork, 31 listings were added and 42 contracts were signed.

In Westchester County, inventory declined faster than contract activity: New listings fell 54.1 percent for single-family homes, while contracts fell by 39.7 percent. For condos, new listings were down 39.2 percent and contracts sank by 29.4 percent.

The market in Fairfield County, Connecticut, didn’t shut down to the same extent as in New York. It saw an uptick in signed contracts in September — a 21.6 percent increase for single family homes and a 93.8 percent increase for condos — but a steep drop in the number of new homes on the market, which fell 59.5 percent for single-family homes and 52.8 percent for condos.

Greenwich had a similar narrative to Westchester and Fairfield counties combined, Miller said, adding that if there were more homes available, demand would be even higher.

Sixty homes were added to the market in September, while 84 contracts were signed. Contract activity was down 46.3 percent for single-family homes while listings were down 44.9 percent. Among condos, activity fell 21.7 percent, while listings were down 73.9 percent.

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The flurry of deals can be attributed to low mortgage rates and vaccinations making residents feel safer. (iStock)
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