$8B in apartment sales about more than just numbers

By Steve Spinola

The New York City’s residential sales market fared well city-wide during the first quarter of 2014. According to REBNY’s first quarter sales report, the only one of its kind that covers all five boroughs, average sales prices in Brooklyn and Manhattan have reached an all-time high, with residential sales in Queens and Staten Island significantly outpacing the volume seen in the first quarter of 2013.

REBNY’s Residential Sales Report is the most comprehensive quarterly review of recorded transactions available and includes data citywide, with information on each borough and its neighborhoods. The City saw impressive growth not only in sales pricing, but also in the volume of those sales. This is due to many factors, among which includes buyers continued confidence in not only in the real estate industry, but the city’s economic stability as a whole. This confidence is bolstered by record low interest rates.  As a result of buyer confidence and favorable financing, the total dollar value of all home sales in the five boroughs saw a three percent year-over-year increase to $8.3 billion.

Safe streets and jobs contribute to apartment sales.

Safe streets and jobs contribute to apartment sales.

Especially noticeable is the rate at which Brooklyn is growing, with average sales prices for condos hitting a record high of $734,000, an eight percent increase from last year. The borough’s one-to-three family homes also reached top average sales prices this quarter of $748,000, increasing six percent from last year. Activity in Brooklyn was mostly focused in Bedford Stuyvesant, Park Slope, Gravesend/Mapleton, East New York/Spring Creek, Bushwick/Wyckoff Heights, and Williamsburg.

Queens and Staten Island, while having lower average sales prices compared to Brooklyn or Manhattan, are still showing double digit percentage sales increases year-over-year, which reflects the overall strength of the housing market. In fact, these two boroughs brought in the largest year-over-year percentage increase in sales in the City. Following the same trends as 2013’s fourth quarter report, we are now seeing residential activity extending beyond Manhattan and spreading to the outer boroughs, which contributes to the city’s steady and sustained housing demand. For example, average sales prices of one-to-three family homes in Flushing during this quarter rose 14 percent from 2013’s first quarter, equaling $736,000. The number of one-to-three family home sales in that area also increased, going up 16 percent over the same period to 170.

Manhattan also achieved substantial gains in the first quarter with condo median sales prices increasing 19 percent to $1.25 million. Co-op average sales prices rose six percent to $1.2 million, and the total consideration for residential transactions in Manhattan was $4.5 billion.

It is encouraging to see New York City’s total residential sales consideration steadily increasing. I believe that this consistency paints a larger picture of our city as an ideal place to live, to work, and to raise a family. As the real estate market continues to improve, we should remember that our success is tied directly to the success of the city—a growing population, safe streets, successful schools, a growing job base, and the preservation of affordable housing for New Yorkers of all income. We expect these strong and positive market indicators to continue for the remainder of 2014.

Read the full report.

 In other REBNY news:

April 25 is REBNY’s Rental Clinic Seminar, “Ten Things Agents Should Do Daily To Build Their Business,” led by Jeffrey M. Shleider of Miron Properties, LLC, and “Rentals For Sales Agents (Who Don’t Usually Do Rentals)”, led by Luciane Serifovic of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The event is from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., free for REBNY members, and limited to 100 people. To make a reservation visit rebny.com, and for more information contact Yesenia Perez at yperez@rebny.com.

May 6 is REBNY’s Commercial Seminar, “Negotiating in the Current Market Conditions,” located in REBNY’s Mendik Education Center at from 8-10 a.m. The event is $10 for members, and $15 for Non-Members. To register visit www.rebny.com, and for more information contact Ossie Shemtov at oshemtov@rebny.com.

On May 6, the Sales Brokers Committee will present its Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award at the 70th Annual Cocktail Party at 101 Club. The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $60. For more information and to register, please visit rebny.com or contact Desiree Jones at djones@rebny.com.

May 15 is REBNY’s seminar, “The Secrets of Top Brokers and Industry Leaders.” This seminar is free, and for REBNY members only. Register at www.rebny.com, and for more information contact Jay Perez at yperez@rebny.com.

On May 29, REBNY is holding its 11th Annual Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast at the Hilton NY in the Grand Ballroom. Coffee will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and the program will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. For more information contact Cindy Ramotar at cramotar@rebny.com.

June 10 is the Residential Brokerage Annual Owner/Manager Luncheon from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m at the New York Athletic Club at 180 Central Park South. The event is for REBNY members only and $35 per person, and for more information contact Indi Jaipal at ijaipal@rebny.com.

On June 10, the winners of the Retail Deal of the Year 2013 Awards will be announced at a cocktail party hosted by the Retail Committee.

June 18 is the Brooklyn Committee’s cocktail event at the Brooklyn Winery from 6 to 9 p.m.