The sales market still has a long way to go, but there are bright spots in Brooklyn and Queens.
Both Brooklyn and Queens hit new medium sales records in the final quarter of 2020. as more shoppers looked beyond Manhattan for more space at relatively lower prices.
Median retail price reached $ 875,000 in Brooklyn, up 9.4 percent year over year, and $ 668,000, up 9.5 percent in Queens. The median sales price in Manhattan was $ 1.05 million, up 5 percent, but mostly due to a surge in new luxury sales – the starter and resale markets are anemic, Miller said.
Growing interest in the boroughs outside of Manhattan, like the surge in sales in the suburbs around the city at the start of the pandemic, could indicate a permanent change in buying patterns among New Yorkers, many of whom have less reason to travel to Midtown regularly for work – and Brooklyn was a major beneficiary.
"It felt like something out of 2006," said Kristina Leonetti, a Compass agent who fought a series of bidding wars in Brooklyn last quarter, recalling the shopping spree before the Great Recession. "We didn't expect that kind of answer."
In a new report, StreetEasy predicted that eight out of ten neighborhoods it monitors will be in Brooklyn by 2021, based on user traffic and sales and rental prices. Top markets included Greenpoint, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush and Greenwood.
Brooklyn's popularity has been at the expense of Manhattan, where longtime renters, attracted by near-record-low mortgage rates and relatively affordable rates, are seeking deals that take less account of the Manhattan commute.
In Brooklyn, "we saw increased activity in the $ 500,000-2 million range, and it was no coincidence that we saw decreased activity there in Manhattan in the fourth quarter," said Garrett Derderian, director of market intelligence at brokerage firm Serhant.