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Manhattan and Brooklyn real estate marked by rising prices, low inventory in February

Resale prices have gone up in both boroughs

StreetEasy has released its February market report for Brooklyn and Manhattan and picked up on three things: rising prices for resales, low inventory, and fewer price cuts offered to buyers. Those factors, according to the listings website, “[sets] up this year’s home shopping season to be a competitive one for buyers, especially those looking for lower-priced homes.”

Let’s start with the rising prices. For February, Manhattan’s median resale price rose 1.3 percent over the past year, to $990,142. Brooklyn’s median resale price rose 5.2 percent over the past year, to $569,429. The report found that Upper Manhattan prices grew at the highest rate year-over-year, jumping 7.8 percent to a median resale price of $673,874. The median resale price in East Brooklyn reported the highest year-over-year sale price growth in Brooklyn, up 11 percent to $492,688.

As for low inventory, StreetEasy found there are nearly seven percent fewer homes to choose from than a year ago in Manhattan. The Upper and Downtown Manhattan submarkets saw the greatest drop in inventory among all the Manhattan submarkets, with 23.4 percent fewer homes on the market in Upper Manhattan this February than last, and 7.6 percent fewer Downtown.

In Brooklyn, there were actually two percent more homes on the market overall, but shoppers were limited in certain neighborhoods. There were 19.7 percent fewer homes on the market this February in Northwest Brooklyn, 11.7 percent fewer in East Brooklyn, and 7.4 percent fewer around Prospect Park compared to this time last year.

Finally, February wasn’t a great month for price chops, but it wasn’t the worst either—38 percent of Manhattan homes had a price cut in February, down from a peak of 45 percent in September. In Brooklyn, 26 percent of homes had a price cut, down from a high of 32 percent in September.

StreetEasy’s Senior Economist, Grant Long, recommends buyers move quickly on a good deal, especially in neighborhoods of Upper Manhattan and Eastern Brooklyn. Still, he says, “Growth is still much slower than in years past and may level off in coming months. The skyline is filled with cranes. More homes will be coming on the market, which will likely ease price appreciation, bringing some relief to prospective buyers, especially those interested in higher price points.”

StreetEasy also marked the median rents for the month of February. In Manhattan, the median rent was $3,199, down just .3 percent from a year ago. (That price is also down an average of $70 per month from its August 2016 peak.) Brooklyn experienced a drop too, with its median rent of $2,787 a 2.6 percent decrease from last year. (That’s about $130 below rents at the July 2016 peak.)

Upper Manhattan, which is seeing gains all over the place, reported the largest rent increase across Manhattan, up 3.5 percent to a median rent of $2,392. In Brooklyn, South Brooklyn reported the largest rent increase, up 2.7 percent to a median rent of $1,711. Rents, however, fell in Northwest Brooklyn, North Brooklyn, Midtown Manhattan and the Upper East Side. North Brooklyn reported the greatest drop of the two boroughs—perhaps due to the impending L train shutdown—with rents falling more than 8 percent since last February.