Trends & Data

StreetEasy Predicts 2016 New York City Housing Market Trends

Record-high rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Slowing price growth in the ultra-luxury sales market.

Fierce competition for a dwindling supply of homes in Upper Manhattan.

These were some of the most significant trends in the New York City real estate market in 2015. But, what is in store for 2016? What neighborhoods will likely emerge as the hottest markets for renters and buyers? We put to work our extensive market data to forecast some of the leading trends that will shape the city’s sales and rental markets in the coming year.

Slower Growth Forecasted in 2016

New York City’s sales and rental markets will ease into a slower rate of growth in 2016, according to StreetEasy forecasts[i]. While the costs of housing will remain high, New York buyers and renters can take small comfort in knowing that price growth is expected to be slower in 2016 than in years past.

The median sale price in New York City is expected to grow by 2.2 percent in 2016, 3.5 points lower than the 2015 growth rate of 5.7 percent. The cooling in price growth will occur in each of the city’s boroughs, with the greatest slowdown expected in Queens (4.6 percent lower) followed by Brooklyn (down 2.9 percentage points), Manhattan (down 2.1 percentage points), and the Bronx (down 0.7 percentage points). See the chart below for a complete breakdown of forecasted growth rates by borough.

Extremely low rental vacancy rates and a cooling in the sales market means rent price growth will likely exceed sales price growth in 2016.[ii]  The city’s median rent price is forecasted to rise 3.2 percent to $3,055 – one point higher than the forecasted growth rate for sales prices. Similar to the sales market, however, growth in rent prices will be slower in 2016.

Sales Rents
2016 Median Resale Price 2016
Sales Price Growth
Sales Price Growth
2016 Median  Rent Price 2016
Rent Growth
Rent Growth
New York City $622,769 2.2% 5.7% $3,055 3.2% 4.2%
Manhattan $990,922 2.6% 4.7% $3,192 2.9% 4.1%
Brooklyn $536,440 2.4% 5.3% $2,700 2.3% 2.4%
Queens $320,123 1.8% 6.3% $2,527 4.5% 6.6%
Bronx $194,624 -3.7% -3.1% $1,611 5.2% 9.8%
Staten Island $325,942 -1.2% 0.1%

Upper Manhattan Prices Will Climb the Fastest

Resale prices in Upper Manhattan will remain low relative to the rest of Manhattan in 2016. However, lower prices will give way to even stronger competition and rapid price appreciation in neighborhoods like Central Harlem, Hudson Heights and Inwood. According to StreetEasy’s forecasts, sales prices in the Upper Manhattan submarket are expected to rise 10.2 percent to $683,428, roughly four times the growth rate projected for New York City overall.

Upper Manhattan enters 2016 with strong growth momentum from this year. In 2015, the median sales price grew by 15.7 percent over the course of the year. Buyers seeking value will continue to bid up prices for homes above 110th Street in Manhattan. Expect this market to be among the most competitive in the city in 2016.

Slight Cooling of Manhattan’s Luxury Market Will Continue

Amid signs of a possible glut of supply and slowing demand for homes at the top end of the market, Manhattan’s luxury market is expected to cool in 2016. Prices in Manhattan’s top end of the sales market peaked in February 2015 and have seen eight consecutive months of decline through October, according to the latest data available. As of October 2015, the median sales price of the highest priced homes was 2.2 percent lower than last year and the only segment of the market in Manhattan or Brooklyn to see an annual decline.

Prices for this specific set of homes, among the most expensive in the country, saw robust growth throughout 2014 as developers rushed to meet exploding global and investor demand for premium real estate in New York. Annual growth slowed in 2015 and as supply catches up with demand, expect prices to decline in 2016.

Brooklyn Renters Will Be the Most Burdened in 2016

Renters in NYC will be even more rent burdened in 2016 than they were in 2015, largely due to rent growth far outpacing the city’s income growth[ii]. According to our analysis of forecasted rent-to-income ratios, the typical New York household is forecast to spend 65.4 percent of its total annual income to afford median rent in 2016, up from 58.7 percent in 2015. Brooklyn will have the highest burden (65.7 percent) — nearly six points higher than last year.

Renters in the Bronx will have the second highest burden with a forecast rent-to-income ratio of 52 percent, followed by Manhattan (48.8 percent) and Queens (41.4 percent). See the chart below for comparisons between 2015 and 2016 projected rent burdens by borough.

2016 Rent-to-Income Ratio
New York City 65.4%
Manhattan 49.2%
Brooklyn 65.7%
Queens 51.7%
Bronx 56.9%
Staten Island





Jamaica Tops List of Hottest Neighborhoods in 2016

StreetEasy’s annual list of the city’s hottest neighborhoods is a reflection of where New York apartment shoppers are expected to turn their attention in the coming year. Queens will see a surge of new demand in 2016, according to the StreetEasy Hot Market Index, which ranks all of the city’s neighborhoods using a series of key performance indicators.[iii]

Five of the top 10 hottest neighborhoods are in Queens, with Jamaica topping the list.The rise of Jamaica is due to a number of favorable factors, including a healthy growth in population since 2011, strong growth in interest among buyers and renters, comparatively low prices and convenient access to the New York City subway and Long Island Railroad systems.What is true in Jamaica is also true in greater Queens. Strong competition in Manhattan and the Prospect Park submarket of Brooklyn may push more buyers to Queens, but there is a pull factor as well. Relatively lower prices, easy access to large job centers in Midtown Manhattan and Long Island City, and more living space for families will pull more New York buyers and renters towards Queens in 2016.


[i] Median resale price is forecast using the StreetEasy Price Forecast, a 12-month projection of resale prices derived from the StreetEasy Price Index. Full methodology for the StreetEasy Price Forecast can be found here.

[ii] Median rent is forecast using the StreetEasy Rent Forecast, a 12-month projection of rent prices derived from the StreetEasy Rent Index. Full methodology for StreetEasy’s Rent Forecast can be found here.  The StreetEasy Rent Indices are calculated for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Rent data for Staten Island is insufficient and is therefore not included in this analysis

[iii] Rent-to-income ratios for 2016 are calculated by forecasting median rent based on StreetEasy listings and median income among renter households in New York City. A 12-month forecast of median household income for New York City and each borough is derived from the latest available U.S. Census income data and Employment Cost Index (ECI). Income data at the census tract level is fitted to StreetEasy neighborhoods using a crosswalk methodology. Full methodology for StreetEasy’s income forecast calculation is here.

[iv] We identified the hottest neighborhoods of 2016 using the StreetEasy Hot Market Index, which takes into account four key performance indicators: Annual change in sales price, annual change in rent price, recent population growth and annual change in StreetEasy page views per listing. Population growth is derived from 2011 and 2014 Census ACS data.

Alan Lightfeldt

Alan Lightfeldt is a data scientist at StreetEasy. Previously, he was a research assistant at the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, a joint research center between the NYU School of Law and the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. His research focused on subsidized housing programs and the effects of real estate-owned (REO) properties on communities. He received a master's degree in urban planning from New York University and a bachelor's degree in international political economy from the University of California at Berkeley.

  • Rent continues to rise as incompetent mayor and government officials proceed to keep the status quo in one of the most wildly inefficient housing markets in the country. No news here.

  • ruthpapazian

    Mr. Lightfeldt: What effect (rents, home sales, and the “hotness” index) will Metro North service, which means a 30-min trip to midtown, have on the neighborhoods of Morris Park and Baychester (two of the four planned stops in the East Bronx)? Thanks for your insights.

    • native new yorker

      Is that connection a done deal? Thought switching and capacity issues at Penn Station were holding it up.

      • ruthpapazian

        It is written into the 2015-2019 capital program, and the funding has been secured. So in that respect it’s a done deal. The service is supposed to begin in 2019, but is dependent on the platforms at Penn Station being freed up. As with any undertaking this large and complex, I am expecting the timetable to slide. Still, my question about Morris Park and Baychester isn’t theoretical, as this service will come on line at some point.

    • Alan Durand Lightfeldt

      Hello Ruth, that’s a great question. We don’t have exact data on the Metro North expansion plans, but transit accessibility ranks high in the minds of New Yorkers as they search for their next home. This is one of the biggest reasons that neighborhoods such as Jamaica and Pelham Parkway are expected to see growth in demand in 2016.

  • ben

    The problem with this analysis is that it doesn’t include rental data from the roughly half (1m of the 2.2m rental units in buildings classified as multiple dwelling, which means 6+ units) of all apartments in the 5 boroughs that are rent stabilized and have long-term tenants whose apartments never show up on Zillow/Streeteasy for rent.

    To say that the “average” new yorker is going to spend 65% of his or her income on rent while excluding half the apartments in city, which happen to also be the ones that the cheapest and not even ONCE mentioning this fact in your blog post is really a huge oversight.

    I revoke your title as “data scientist” and bid you good day. I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR!

    • Alan Durand Lightfeldt

      Hi Ben, thanks for your comment. That’s correct, we include rental listings on StreetEasy, which may not include all rent-subsidized or regulated units. So the interpretation of our numbers is: the typical New York City household would need to spend 65% of its annual income on market rate rents. New York has a highly regulated rental market, but for those who can’t qualify for subsidies or aren’t lucky enough to be called on the lottery, this is the increasingly unaffordable reality. Thanks for reading.

  • CaveJohnNYC

    The Data also only includes the information on Streeteasy. I can not see how there is Data from all of the Listing and sales resources from the Bronx, for instance. Where the listings are Primarily on the Westchester MLS service, which does NOT share it’s information with Streeteasy, Trulia, Or Zillow on a consistent basis. There is also the Bronx/Manhattan MLS which does not share with anyone. The Long Island MLS has the Majority of the data for Queens and a large portion of Brooklyn data.

  • dan

    Im sorry but Coney Island? seriously?

  • Nice article. I do agree that in Queens home prices will cool off in 2016. The fed rate hike has already created an urgency to buy and we have a lot of seller’s getting ready to list in January to take advantage of the higher prices while inventory is still low. I personally feel like we’ll see more inventory hit the market this year, and that coupled with the ongoing decrease in sales through the end of 2015 will likely lead to a cool down in price gains… Just my opinion of course:) In any case, great write up, thanks for sharing!

    George Herrera
    Realtor & Co-Owner of the Queens Home team at Keller Williams Realty.


    Jamaica on the map should be right side of Kew Gardens Hill where Jamaica Estate is.


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  • YesCubanB

    Pelham Parkway definitely makes sense. Grew up there and it’s always been a decent area. All the hidden gems are being discovered unfortunately. Also with that planned Sunset Park-Astoria streetcar running right through Ft. Greene (my current home) and Clinton Hill, I’m guessing rents will be jacked up even more. It’s already such a depressing thing to see that Sbux next to the Chipotle on Myrtle every time I pass by. What can you do though? I keep hearing that West New York, NJ is nice.

  • Jessica Spaulding

    Hi Alan are there any areas that have been identified as affordable? Or rents still under the 1,600 mark for one bedrooms


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