New report shows NYC's residential market was strong in 2012

Steven Spinola

President, Real Estate Board of New York

The New York City residential sales market had its strongest year overall in 2012 since the financial crisis of 2008 in terms of total consideration, according to the Real Estate Board of New York’s Fourth Quarter 2012 New York City Residential Sales Report.

Total consideration, the total dollar value of home sales in the five boroughs, for the entire year was $30.3 billion. The increase over last year is attributed to the growing confidence in the real estate market and improving economic conditions citywide. REBNY’s report is the most comprehensive quarterly review of recorded transactions and includes data from all five boroughs.

Based on these numbers, NYC’s market continues to show clear signs of a recovery from the financial crisis. The fourth quarter of 2012 performed better than the same time period a year before, and we’re seeing continued improvement. 

The anxiety about the fiscal cliff crisis at the end of the year and impending changes in tax law that would have impacted sales appears to have a stimulating effect on sales activity in Manhattan, where prices and sellers are more likely to be affected by these changes.  In the other boroughs, where the average home sales price is significantly lower than Manhattan, these issues appear to have had less of an impact.

In addition, 2012 had the second highest total number of sales since 2008 at 39,381 homes.  In 2010, there were 41,039 sales, but that figure was boosted by the home-buyer tax credit program.    

For the fourth quarter of 2012, Manhattan’s total consideration was $4.4 billion, 49 percent greater than the fourth quarter of last year. 

Brooklyn’s consideration was $1.4 billion, 25 percent greater than the fourth quarter of last year.  While in Queens, total consideration was $1.2 billion, 18 percent greater than a year ago.

Additionally, average sales price of a NYC home during the fourth quarter of 2012 was $775,000, a 12 percent increase from the fourth quarter 2011 average.

Compared to the fourth quarter 2011, the average price of a home in Manhattan increased eight percent to $1,383,000. In Brooklyn, prices increased nine percent to $589,000 and Queens saw a six percent average price increase to $419,000. 

The Bronx average sales price decreased one percent to $347,000 indicating that its recovery is the weakest of the five boroughs.

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

  • Manhattan neighborhoods with the most home sales this quarter were; the Upper East Side (751 sales), the Upper West Side (574), Midtown West (240), Midtown East (229), Gramercy/Kips Bay (198), Chelsea/Flatiron (177).
  • Brooklyn residential home sales activity was focused in Bedford Stuyvesant (156), Park Slope (135 sales), Williamsburg (123), and Brooklyn Heights (106).
  • Queens neighborhoods with the most home sales were; Flushing (333 sales), Rego Park/Forest Hills/Kew Gardens (325), Jackson Heights/Elmhurst (233), and Richmond Hill/South Ozone Park/Woodhaven (206).
  • Bronx neighborhoods with most residential home sales this quarter were Riverdale/Fieldston (85), City Island/Pelham Bay/Pelham Strip/Country Club/Throgs Neck/Schuylerville (80) Parkchester/Westchester Square/Castle Hill/Soundview (70 sales), Woodlawn/Williamsbridge (67).

To see the full report, log on to the member’s side of and go to “Reports/Surveys” and then click on “4th Quarter 2012.”

In other REBNY News:

REBNY’s Residential Management Council, in a continuing effort to expedite the management selection process for residential building owners and boards of directors, has created a new online catalogue of New York City’s most proven residential property management companies.

This catalogue outlines residential management firms, their focuses, as well as their contact information. By providing these half-page profiles to those owners and boards requesting information, the management selection process is streamlined.

The catalogue aims to facilitate this connection between residential building owners and the most-proven residential management firms in New York City. REBNY provides these management firms access to a vast information network that ensures they are always informed on new regulations and best practices.

To view the catalogue, log on to the member’s side of , go to “Just for Managers” and under “Management” click on “Residential Property Managers Catalogue.”