New York's residential market just keeps getting hotter

Steven Spinola

President, Real Estate Board of New York

New York City residential sales got off to a strong start in 2013 with an increase in activity and spike in median sales prices citywide, despite the lack of inventory, according to the Real Estate Board of New York’s First Quarter NYC Residential Sales Report.  REBNY’s report is the most comprehensive quarterly review of recorded transactions and includes data from all five boroughs.

Total consideration, the total dollar value of home sales in the five boroughs, for all NYC residential sales during the first quarter of 2013 was $8.1 billion, up 23.4 percent from the first quarter of last year and 7.6 percent from fourth quarter 2012. This quarter’s total consideration is also a post financial crisis high for a quarter.  The last time total consideration was recorded this high for the first quarter was in 2008 when $10.0 billion in residential sales were recorded.

The number of sales of all homes (cooperatives, condominiums, and one-to-three-family dwellings) citywide climbed 11 percent from the first quarter of last year, and four percent from the previous quarter, to 10,012 sales.  Median sales prices in the first quarter of 2013 climbed seven percent from the first quarter of last year to $480,000, which was the highest first quarter median sales price for all homes in the city since 2008.

REBNY’s report shows strong positive signs for the first quarter of 2013 in terms of growth of the total dollar value of NYC home sales, as well as increased activity. Additionally, the luxury market continues to show strength but a broader look at various market segments shows that the residential real estate market has recovered. 

We are concerned about the impact of the lack of inventory.  However, we have seen a steady rise in new housing permits and our brokers are reporting that the pace of new development is increasing. We are confident that the market will continue to improve as we progress into the second quarter of 2013.

In the first quarter of 2013, Manhattan’s total consideration was $4.7 billion, 29 percent greater than the first quarter of last year.  Brooklyn’s consideration was $1.6 billion, 21 percent greater than the first quarter of last year.  Staten Island showed the biggest growth in total consideration with $3.70 million, 55 percent greater than a year ago.

The REBNY report showed the popular neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn took a dip in sales. There were 73 condominium sales in Williamsburg during the first quarter of 2013, a post-recession low for the neighborhood. This is a 52 percent decrease from the first quarter of last year due to a lack of new inventory. The last time there were fewer condo sales in the first quarter in Williamsburg was in 2009, immediately after the financial crisis.

Other points of note from REBNY’s First Quarter 2013 Residential Sales Report:

  • Manhattan neighborhoods with the most home sales this quarter were: the Upper East Side (751 sales), the Upper West Side (550), Midtown East (234), Midtown West (211), Gramercy/Kips Bay (187), Chelsea/Flatiron (185).
  • Brooklyn residential home sales activity was focused in Park Slope (161 sales), Bedford Stuyvesant (153), Gravesend/Mapleton (113), Kensington/Parkville (112), and Bay Ridge/Fort Hamilton (109).
  • Queens neighborhoods with the most home sales were: Flushing (340 sales), Rego Park/Forest Hills/Kew Gardens (319), Jackson Heights/Elmhurst (246), and Springfield Gardens/Jamaica/South Jamaica/Baisley Park (240).
  • Bronx neighborhoods with most residential home sales this quarter were: Riverdale/Fieldston (100), City Island/Pelham Bay/Pelham Strip/Country Club/Throgs Neck/Schuylerville (86), Parkchester/Westchester Square/ Castle Hill/Soundview (69 sales), Woodlawn/Williamsbridge (51).

 To see the full report, log on to the member’s side of www.REBNY.com and go to “Reports/Surveys” and then click on the “First Quarter 2013.”

In other REBNY News:

Don’t miss a great networking opportunity at REBNY’s Finance Committee Cocktail party from 5:30 to 8:30 pm on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 230 Fifth Avenue Rooftop Lounge. The event includes open bar and hors d’oeuvre. Members are encouraged to bring a friend, guest or colleague. Ticket prices are $50. Register online at www.REBNY.com. For more information, contact Ossie Shemtov at oshemtov@rebny.com

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be the keynote speaker at REBNY’s 10th annual Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast on Thursday, May 30th from 7:30 to 10 am at the Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas. Each year, commercial building owners and professionals recognize the achievements of the industry and superlative individuals. Edward V. Piccinich of SL Green Realty Corp. will receive the Edward A. Riguardi Commercial Manager of the Year Award.  We will also present nine other awards at the breakfast, including the: John M. Griffin Community Service Award; Outstanding On-Site Manager Award; Outstanding Portfolio Manager Award; Engineer (Small buildings) of the Year; Engineer (Large buildings) of the Year; Security Professional of the Year; Porter of the Year; Rising Star of the Year and a New Category – Best Engine Room. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please register online at www.REBNY.com. For more information, contact Cindy Ramotar at cramotar@rebny.com.