< All Press

City real estate rebounds to new highs since recession, figures show

Last year was the strongest for city home sales since the recession struck in 2008, new real-estate figures show.

Buyers in all five boroughs plunked down $30.3 billion for 39,381 homes—from the smallest railroad flats to Fifth Avenue mansions, according to the Real Estate Board of New York.

That’s about 10 percent more than the $27.4 billion buyers spent on 37,034 homes in 2011 — but still a lot less than the $42.7 billion New Yorkers forked over for 58,393 home sales in 2007, says analyst Mike Slattery.

“The market continues to improve. The economy continues to get better, and New York gets stronger with jobs and population. The city is a safe and desirable place to be — locally, nationally and internationally,” Slater explained.

The Upper East Side and the Upper West Side saw the most sales in the fourth quarter of 2012 — 751 and 574, respectively.

That’s a 60 percent increase from the same time frame in 2011 for the Upper East, and a 40 percent increase for the Upper West, REBNY said. The average sale price was $1.8 million for the Upper East and $1.5 million for the Upper West — both increases from last year, records show.

“They’ve always been strong, solid markets, with a balance of co-ops, condos and new construction, which is the right assortment of components to give continuing appeal to buyers,” Slattery said.

Midtown West followed, with 240 sales, along with 229 sales in Midtown East.

Gramercy and Kips Bay had 198 sales, and Chelsea and Flatiron had 177.

In Brooklyn, Bedford-Stuyvesant fared best with 156 sales, followed by 135 sales in Park Slope and 106 in Brooklyn Heights — all big double-digit percentage increases.

Williamsburg had 123 sales in the fourth quarter of 2012, but that’s 13 percent less than last year.

In Queens, Flushing saw the most sales — 333 — followed closely by 325 sales in Rego Park, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens.

In Manhattan, sale prices increased 8 percent to $1.48 million when comparing the fourth quarter of 2012 with the fourth quarter of 2011.

Brooklyn prices jumped 9 percent during the same period to $589,000, and Queens prices increased 6 percent to $419,000.

Only The Bronx fared worse — decreasing 1 percent to $347,000.

“Incomes kept up with prices. There’s not a lot of unemployment. People want to be here, and it’s an international city,” said Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman.

Baby boomers who fled the city are coming back to live here as empty-nesters, while families who fled are returning as well.

“People who moved to the suburbs 10 years ago are moving back,” Herman said.

Get Weekly Insights and Research

Housing Notes by Jonathan Miller

Receive Jonathan Miller's 'Housing Notes' and get regular market insights, the market report series for Douglas Elliman Real Estate as well as interviews, columns, blog posts and other content.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter

#Housing analyst, #realestate, #appraiser, podcaster/blogger, non-economist, Miller Samuel CEO, family man, maker of snow and lobster fisherman (order varies)
NYC CT Hamptons DC Miami LA Aspen
Joined October 2007