It’s almost a fact that at any given point in time, new housing— be it residential apartments or houses— are always on the rise somewhere in New York City. But what you may not have realized is that there are many neighborhoods where finding a home for sale may as well require a wait list to make it easier since owners hardly ever opt to sell their homes and when they do, there is a high possibility that you won’t find them online since many sales are advertised in ways that don’t involve the internet (believe it or not).
In a newly published piece, The New York Times has taken a close look into the city’s neighborhoods where new inventory is tight and residential sales turnover is low. Using data from StreetEasy, the Times found that turnover rate in the four boroughs (Staten Island was excluded since there wasn’t enough data available) was 15 percent overall from 2010 to 2017 but much lower in neighborhoods where for-sale signs are few and far between.
In Richmond Hill, Queens, where homes for sale are commonly advertised through word-of-mouth and sold by means of off-market deals, the turnover percentage was a mere nine percent. Brooklyn also had its pockets where homes are occupied for generations and barely make their way to the market, especially in Bushwick where the turnover percentage is three percent. In Manhattan, Marble Hill and Chinatown were found to have just five percent and nine percent turnover rates, respectively, while the Bronx’s Melrose neighborhood had a turnover rate so low that it doesn’t even calculate to a full two percent.
Meanwhile, neighborhoods with the highest turnover in each borough were found to be Upper Carnegie in Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, Forest Hills in Queens, and Riverdale in the Bronx.
Real estate guru Jonathan Miller explained to the Times that higher prices in other places have encouraged property owners within these impervious neighborhoods to stay in place.
Nevertheless, when prospective buyers do score, the deal can be like hitting the lottery. Ernest Gutierrez and his wife Jennifer Deeb lucked up when they scored a Victorian home with seven bedrooms in Richmond Hill for $780,000 in an off-market deal. There were bidders who offered more for the home, but the sellers, who had occupied the house since 1961, were moved by the young couple’s promise to keep the character of the 110-year-old home just the way it is. In other words, cash may not always be king; sometimes it’s the little things that matter most in these types of transactions.
- Neighborhoods That Play Hard to Get [New York Times]