REBNY Residential Sales Brokers Predict Pick Up in Market

New York City’s residential sales market remained steady in the First Quarter of 2012 according to the Real Estate Board of New York Residential Sales Report while the Residential Brokers Survey revealed that brokers expect a bright future in the upcoming months.

REBNY’s First Quarter 2012 Residential Sales Report shows NYC’s average home sale prices and sales volume remained steady in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same time last year, while the number of sales citywide jumped 16 percent compared to Fourth Quarter 2011.

Prices and sales for NYC homes are virtually unchanged from a year ago which holds the market stable. Buyers are taking advantage of favorable conditions like low mortgage rates, competitive prices and adequate inventory.

Citywide, the number of sales increased to 9,033 in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 7,796 in the last quarter and 8,999 in the first quarter of 2011. Average home sales price citywide dipped by one percent to $723,000 from the first quarter of last year. 

Sales activities in Queens and the Bronx have shown steady growth as well as the one-to-three family homes in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, and Brownsville, according to the report. Queens saw the most sales of any borough in the first quarter of 2012, with 2,919 transactions compared to 2,592 last year, a 13-percent increase.  The total dollar value for homes sales in Queens rose over 10 percent since last quarter as well as the first quarter of 2011.  Bronx home sales increased 14 percent to 549 transactions in the quarter compared to 482 last year.

Compared to last quarter, condo sales proved to hold up the strongest within the residential market especially in the boroughs outside of Manhattan.  Queens saw a 36-percent increase in condo sales with Long Island City leading the neighborhoods with a 53-percent increase from the previous quarter.

Other points of note from REBNY’s First Quarter 2012 Residential Sales Report:

• The average price of a home in Manhattan was down two percent from the first quarter of 2011 to $1,387,000, compared to $1,409,000 last year.  Brooklyn average sales prices increased two percent to $557,000 compared to last year and Staten Island average prices were up three percent to $427,000. Queens and Bronx average home sales prices were down slightly by two and six percent respectively.

• Manhattan neighborhoods that posted the most sales were the Upper East Side and Upper West Side with 543 sales and 478 sales respectively.  Other strong neighborhoods were Midtown West with 214 sales and a 58 percent increase in average home price and Gramercy/Kips Bay with 224 sales and a 16 percent increase in average home price.

Based on the first quarter results and an improving economy, we expect a pick-up in pricing and activity going forward.

That promising outlook is echoed by the brokers who are out there every day and who shared their firsthand accounts of the state of the market through REBNY’s 2012 Residential Brokers Survey.

Of those brokers, 69 percent reported that the first quarter of 2012 was better than the previous quarter. Additionally, 76 percent of brokers reported that they expect the second quarter of 2012 to be better than the first, a 16 percent increase from last quarter.

Their optimism was based on the improving activity in the market.  The survey found that 70 percent of brokers reported completing executed contracts of sale this quarter, a 9 percent increase from last quarter. 

Another highlight from the first quarter of 2012 was that 74 percent of brokers reported they closed rental transactions at or above asking prices, which is a 13 percent increase from this time last year.  Additionally, 26 percent of the brokers reported closing sales at or above asking price, a 9 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2011 and a 4 percent increase from the first quarter 201.
It is the brokers who feel changes in the market first and we count on them to help us gauge where the market is headed.

The broker survey also found some good news for coop board approvals with a near perfect record of 99 percent of brokers reporting that they received a coop board approval in less than 90 days from the time a completed application was submitted.

As for consumer’s most desired features/amenities, the findings were similar to last quarter’s findings and the top four were first, a doorman building; second, laundry in the unit; third, private storage space; and fourth, an on-site fitness center.

Based on REBNY’s First Quarter 2012 Residential Sales Report and its Residential Brokers Survey, it looks like the market remains steady with strong gains in some areas and brokers foresee a strong outlook for the next few months.

For the full 2012 Residential Sales Report visit www.rebny.com or REBNY’s consumer real estate listings web site, NY1Residential.com.

In other REBNY News:

There’s still time to hit the green or the courts for REBNY’s Spring Golf & Tennis Outing on Monday, May 21 at the North Shore Country Club in Glen Head. The event includes a full day of golf or tennis with breakfast, lunch, cocktails and dinner included. Golfers pay $425 and tennis players are $315. Sponsorships opportunities are still available.

For more information, contact Kathleen Gibbs at kgibbs@rebny.com or 212-616-5246.

Don’t miss out on the upcoming Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast 7:30-10 am on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at The Hilton New York Grand Ballroom, 1335 Avenue of the Americas.

REBNY will present Gaston Silva of Vornado Realty Trust with the Edward A. Riguardi Commercial Management Executive of the Year Award; Edward Fallon of Brookfield Properties with the John M. Griffin Community Service Award; Patricia Revellese of SL Green with the On-Site Manager of the Year Award; Brian McCann of Cushman & Wakefield with the Portfolio Manager of the Year Award; Joe Bruno of Cushman & Wakefield with the Engineer of the Year Award; Elizabeth Taylor of Boston Properties with the Security Professional of the Year Award; Keith Garcia of Paramount Group with the Porter of the Year Award; and Maritza Mohr of Boston Properties with the Rising Star of the Year Award.

Sponsorship and ad space in the Journal are still available. Register online at REBNY.com. For more information, contact Cindy Ramotar at cramotar@rebny.com