Home listings surge in Manhattan, Brooklyn won’t spur market

Bump from August is seasonal and not enough to overcome headwinds

Manhattan, Brooklyn Home Listings Up But Contracts Flat
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

A dramatic uptick in September listings is a sign of life for the Manhattan and Brooklyn housing markets, but it won’t be enough to move either one, according to one analyst.

Listings more than doubled last month in the city’s two premier markets, compared with August, according to data collected by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman. But Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller, who authored the report, says the month-over-month rise was typical for the season and is mitigated by how low inventory was previously.

“It’s good news — it’s helpful for transactions to have product out there and competition, but I’d look at it as helpful, not definitively changing the market,” said Miller.

New signed contracts fell year-over-year in Manhattan for the 16th straight month and in Brooklyn for the 17th straight. But the rate of decline is falling, which suggests the market is stabilizing after coming down from a frenzied 2021 and early 2022.

The market remains tight for familiar reasons: High interest rates have would-be sellers clinging to their mortgages, and buyers cannot afford to borrow as much as they once could.

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The increase in listings, meanwhile, is more or less in line with historical norms for September, when the market typically picks up from a period of late summer inactivity preceding Labor Day.

“We seem to be stuck for the time being in this mode of limited supply which is holding back or restraining the level of sales we would see if we had adequate supply,” said Miller.

He added that as a result of the tight market, prices are not likely to fall.

In Manhattan, new signed contracts leveled off near winter levels for one- to three-family buildings and co-ops, while condo deals fell below 200 for the first time since January. In Brooklyn, newly signed contracts fell across all three inventory types, with co-op deals falling for the fourth consecutive month, despite listings shooting up across all categories.

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