Image of Gramercy Park Manhattan

For-sale inventory in Gramercy Park is up 29 percent this year.

As StreetEasy reported earlier this summer, a flood of new inventory has hit the New York City housing market, especially in Manhattan. Along with rising inventory, the market is seeing a higher share of properties with price cuts, and significant drops in prices in some neighborhoods. These shifts suggest what just about every New Yorker resigned to a lifetime of renting has been waiting for years to hear — that New York City is finally becoming a buyer’s market.

“Heading into 2019, sellers who are unwilling to budge on price are going to face an unforgiving market,” said Grant Long, StreetEasy’s senior economist. “Many sellers will have to make difficult pricing decisions in early 2019.”

And with 2019 upon us, we found five Manhattan neighborhoods that are best bets for buyers and where sales inventory is up by more than 20 percent annually. According to Long, these conditions are a good indication buyers will have substantial negotiating power, “particularly with another wave of inventory set to hit the market as the home-buying season heats up in the spring.”

Inwood: Ample Inventory and Some of the Borough’s Lowest Prices

  • Annual Increase in Sales Inventory: 23%
  • Median Asking Price: $399,900, down 11%

Inventory in Inwood increased substantially in Q4 of 2018 and is up 23 percent since the last quarter of 2017. In the same time, median prices dropped 11 percent to $399,900, the lowest in the borough. The combination of a surplus of inventory and significant decreases in median asking prices is likely to mean good opportunities for buyers. It is worth noting, however, that prewar buildings dominate the neighborhood’s housing stock. That means buyers should expect to find a high density of co-ops, some of which may lack amenities like central air or laundry in-unit, and which may be in need of renovation. As well as facing a co-op board approval, buyers in Inwood should be prepared to encounter a high density of income-restricted HDFC units.

Price $365,000
Space 1 bed, 1 bath
Neighborhood Inwood

This classic Inwood co-op comes with a spare room, tons of closet space and a thoughtful mix of prewar details and simple updates. The listing price becomes even more appealing when you factor in the spaciousness of this 1-bedroom. Spanning 700 square feet, this unit’s price per square foot is $521, nearly unheard-of by Manhattan standards. Monthly maintenance fees of $478 add to the value.

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Lower East Side: Don’t Let Seven-Figure Prices Discourage You

  • Annual Increase in Sales Inventory: 45%
  • Median Asking Price: $1.58 million, down 2%

Although a seven-figure median asking price might seem to disqualify the Lower East Side as a best bet for buyers, keep in mind that Downtown Manhattan’s median asking price was recorded last quarter at $1.995 million. With inventory levels soaring and asking prices beginning to drop, buyers should not let aggressive sellers’ strategies discourage them. Flattening prices and the substantial increase in inventory will help make this desirable downtown neighborhood a good hunting ground for buyers.

Price $679,000
Space 1 bed, 1 bath
Neighborhood Lower East Side

This 1-bedroom co-op offers a generous floor plan and stunning views of the Williamsburg Bridge from practically every window. With monthly maintenance fees of $784, the property certainly offers value. But, the location on Grand Street and the FDR Drive, is far from public transportation. Buyers can potentially use this as bargaining chip.

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Battery Park City: Prices Stagnating as Inventory Rises

  • Annual Increase in Sales Inventory: 24%
  • Median Asking Price: $1.4 million, down .3%

Buyers will again encounter seven-figure median asking prices in Battery Park City, but don’t count out this quiet, high-rise enclave. Historically, the neighborhood is one of the least expensive areas in Downtown Manhattan, and as of December 2018, prices remain flat. Stagnating prices and a major increase in sales inventory offer buyers ample options and serious potential for negotiation.

Price $570,000
Space 1 bed, 1 bath
Neighborhood Battery Park City

In Battery Park City, you can expect apartments to come with luxury amenities, and this unit is no exception. The building has a full-time doorman, gym, roof deck and concierge service. This listing has been on the market since October without a price change, which means motivated buyers may have opportunity to negotiate with the sellers.

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Gramercy Park: Opportunity in a Tony Neighborhood

  • Annual Increase in Sales Inventory: 29%
  • Median Asking Price: $1.524 million, down 4%

A small area best known for its gorgeous private park, Gramercy can be a difficult neighborhood for new buyers to access. Current market conditions suggest, however, that the tides may be turning. Inventory has jumped as prices cool. The neighborhood median asking price is substantially lower than the borough-wide median of $1.995 million, which positions this paragon of Manhattan exclusivity as somewhat more buyer-friendly.

Price $649,000
Space 1 bed, 1 bath
Neighborhood Gramercy Park

This co-op offers many of the amenities of a luxury condo, including a full-time doorman, concierge and parking garage. Although it comes with plenty of perks and a good price, be warned that some of the images in the listing show renderings after a hypothetical remodel.

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Morningside Heights: Prices Drop as Inventory Soars

  • Annual Increase in Sales Inventory: 31%
  • Median Asking Price: $725,000, down 2%

Like Inwood, Morningside Heights is known for its prewar housing stock, high density of co-ops, and high share of HDFC units. Although the median asking price is substantially higher in Morningside Heights than in Inwood, it still remains well below the borough-wide median, and prices are plateauing, too. The neighborhood’s relative value, coupled with increasing inventory, lays the groundwork for buyer-friendly conditions.

Price $850,000
Space 2 beds, 1 bath
Neighborhood Morningside Heights

This clean and efficient 2-bedroom co-op is located in a classic prewar Morningside Heights building. The apartment has a compact layout, with large windows throughout, and generous closet space. The appliances are basic, but given the reasonable price, they get the job done. This place has been on the market for two months without a price cut, which suggests there may be opportunity to negotiate.

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[This post has been updated and republished.]

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