A new report shows that New York City is getting a head start on the spring home shopping season.
According to StreetEasy.com, the number of homes going into contract in February in New York City reached near record highs in all of the boroughs analyzed. This year, home prices fell dramatically compared to what they were in 2020 before the pandemic.
“We’re now a year into the pandemic, and for many buyers, it’s been a year of window shopping and waiting for the right time to make a move on a home,” said StreetEasy Economist Nancy Wu. “With prices coming down, an abundance of homes for sale, the vaccine rollout picking up speed, and the real chance that mortgage rates are only going to increase, buyers have declared that now is the time to make an offer.”
In Brooklyn, the price index dropped 5.5% last month, the largest in StreetEasy’s data. Regardless, the month saw 773 pending sales, nearly matching October 2020’s high of 774 sales, with a median asking price of $900,000, the lowest since 2015. The number of contracts signed in Brooklyn was just below record highs, showing demand for the area. Williamsburg and Greenpoint had 80 homes enter a contract, which is up from 44 in February 2020.
While Queens home prices were unchanged compared to last year, the number of homes going into contract increased by 31.4% year-over-year. The price index in the World’s Borough was the only one analyzed that did not have a significant price stop, though the Northwest Queens area — the most expensive area of Queens, comprised of Long Island City, Astoria, and Sunnyside — saw a 1.2% drop in price with a median asking price of $845,000. The number of homes going into contract in February 2021 in Northwest Queens doubled compared to last year with 118 sales.
Queens Home Prices Hold Strong, Except in the Most Expensive Nabes
The Queens Price Index was stagnant compared to last February, the only borough we analyzed without a significant drop. However, in Northwest Queens, the most expensive submarket — made up of Long Island City, Astoria, and Sunnyside — prices fell 1.2%. The median asking price there was $845,000, and it was also the submarket with the biggest jump in pending sales. The number of homes that entered contract in Northwest Queens just about doubled from last February, reaching 118 sales. That’s up from 61 last year, just before the pandemic hit the city.
StreetEasy states that the data shows that instead of cutting prices to attract buyers, the sellers are either pricing lower from the start or accepting lower offers during negotiations, therefore facing the fact that they need to remain competitive to move their home off the market.
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