New listings in Manhattan, Brooklyn rise for first time in 4 months

January brings measure of optimism to beleaguered market

(Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
(Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

The new year brought some good news for Manhattan and Brooklyn homebuyers and agents: New listings went up in January for the first time since September in both boroughs, according to Miller Samuel’s monthly report for Douglas Elliman.

Though the uptick is a positive sign for an inventory-starved market, new listings were still lower than they were a year ago or before the pandemic. In Manhattan, new co-op listings were down 27 percent from January of last year and new condo listings by 22 percent. In Brooklyn, the drops were 22 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

In both markets, high mortgage rates and low inventory continued to drive down contract signings. With financing expensive and few homes on the market, buyers are hesitant to pull the trigger.

“It’s a two-pronged issue,” report author Jonathan Miller said. “Mortgage rates aren’t the sole reason that demand has cooled. Supply is also chronically low and restraining activity.”

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New co-op and condo contracts fell in Manhattan by 49 percent and 51 percent, respectively, from a year ago. In Brooklyn, the drops were 56 percent and 64 percent.

Miller said he expects a “year of disappointment” both for sellers, who will have no choice but to lower their prices, and for buyers, who won’t be impressed by the discounts.

“Sellers are disappointed because they’re not getting 2021 prices. Buyers are disappointed because they’re not getting the affordability that they want.”

But even with the challenges, the New York City housing market isn’t all doom and gloom.

“The consumer and the public narrative about the housing market is more negative than [the market] actually is,” Miller said. “We’re starting to see the market move ahead of pre-pandemic conditions for the first time in Manhattan, though it’s been happening in Brooklyn for 3 months.”