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Limited New Listings Joining the Market Remains A Challenge For Buyers

While affordability is improving, mortgage rates need to decline further for many sidelined buyers to rejoin the market
Permits Filed for 952 Bedford Avenue in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

NYC buyers looking to purchase a home are facing a new challenge in the shortage of new listings to choose from. In March, just 4,114 homes were listed for sale, 1.6% fewer than a year ago. New listings continue to decline in NYC, while they are rising nearly 20% across the country. The declining number of newly listed homes suggests NYC homeowners, regardless of current mortgage status, remain reluctant to trade in for a new home at today’s much higher rates amid an uncertain economic climate. Limited new listings also signals a competitive spring season in the sales market this year.  

The median asking price in NYC was $1.1M in March, 10.4% higher than a year ago. According to StreetEasy data, there were 27 “million-dollar neighborhoods” in New York City alone where the typical asking price was above $1M, an increase from 24 in March 2023. 

Despite high asking prices, buyers are now regaining the upper hand with ample room for negotiation. The typical NYC home received 95.2% of its asking price in March, slightly higher than 94.6% a year ago. The current median sale-to-list price ratio is close to what it was in March 2019 (95.1%), when a glut of unsold condos led to a buyer’s market in NYC. It’s also well below March 2022 (97.1%) when sellers held the edge amid inventory shortages. 

Limited New Listings Will Keep the Sales Market Busy

While buyers will likely see room for negotiation this spring, limited new listings will keep the sales market competitive. Due to declining new listings, the market in Brooklyn will likely be more competitive than other boroughs this spring. In Brooklyn, just 1,072 homes were new to the market in March, a 4.8% decline from a year ago. Combined with resilient demand from buyers, the borough’s median asking price soared 17.8% year-over-year to nearly $1.1M — the highest since StreetEasy tracking started in 2010.

Competition among buyers for well-priced listings is fueling bidding wars in Brooklyn. Of all listings sold in the borough, 21% — about one in five — were sold above asking in Q1. This is double compared to Manhattan, where one in ten homes was sold above asking.

Buyer Demand For Brooklyn Brownstones Increases

In Brooklyn, 645 homes entered contract in March, an 8.8% decline from last year, but the townhouse market in the borough saw a strong start to spring. Across “brownstone Brooklyn,” including neighborhoods like Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, and historic districts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, 26 townhouses entered contract in March, compared to 14 in February of this year and 31 in March 2023. Despite the slower pace of sales earlier this year, the Brooklyn townhouse market’s current sales volume is similar to Manhattan, where 24 townhouses entered contract in March.

The median asking price of townhouses in brownstone Brooklyn was $3.9M in March, up 15.6% from a year earlier. The neighborhoods that saw the most townhouses entering contract in the borough were Park Slope (13), Carroll Gardens (4), and Boerum Hill (3).