Long Island home contract signings down 13% from pre-pandemic level

Manhattan deals rise 17% from August 2019 as housing market normalizes

Tri-State /
Sep.September 02, 2021 07:00 AM
 After a rush for suburban houses, condos in the ’burbs are seeing more interest too. (iStock)

(iStock)

Contracts for single-family homes on Long Island, excluding the Hamptons and the North Fork, were down 13 percent last month from two years ago, according to a report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

Homes worth $400,000 and more saw an increase in contract signings, while homes worth less saw fewer deals, in part because lower-wage earners have been hit hardest by the pandemic, tighter lending standards and rising home prices. Condo sales, a small portion of the Long Island market, were up 3 percent.

In the Hamptons, contracts were down 13 percent compared to August 2019. Meanwhile, there were 63 percent more listings as homeowners looked to capitalize on the hot market. The North Fork’s story was similar with contract activity falling 17 percent from two years ago. Unlike the Hamptons, however, new listings fell from that time, by 15 percent.

“We’re not seeing the same influx of new inventory that the Hamptons did. That’s largely because the Hamptons has a much higher price point than the North Fork in general,” said Jonathan Miller, the author of the report.

In Westchester County, 598 contracts were signed, or 3 percent less than two years ago. New listings also fell 26 percent to 501 following rampant sales in 2020 when buyers snatched up homes outside of the city. It is taking a while for that inventory to be replaced, Miller said.

Fairfield County, on the other hand, had strong activity over the past two years with 1,472 contracts signed, a 55 percent increase from two years ago. Only 656 homes are available, down 39 percent since 2019. Contracts in Greenwich were up 57 percent from 2019, and available units were up 40 percent.

Brooklyn homebuyers inked deals for about 600 contracts in August, a 142 percent increase from the same month two years ago. Meanwhile, the number of new listings on the market rose 6 percent to 700.

“Insatiable demand with new signed contracts is pulling supply into the market,” said Miller.

Manhattan homebuyers, for their part, signed nearly 1,000 deals last month, or 17 percent more than two years ago. The number of new listings kept pace, although it was 42 percent lower than in August 2019.

That downward trend is likely to continue for the remainder of the year, said Miller.

In the suburbs — Long Island and Westchester — contract signings experienced deep declines year-over-year, but the numbers were similar levels to 2019. It’s a sign that the markets are normalizing, Miller said.






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