Spring home shopping season is around the corner, and with heightened demand and fewer listings available on the market, it’s set to be a competitive one for prospective buyers. The good news is that inventory is coming back onto the market, which should ease some of the pressure homebuyers are feeling. 

In February, 4,078 sellers listed their home on the market across New York City. That was the highest number of new listings to come onto the market in any February on StreetEasy record – a sign that the market is still rebounding amid the pandemic recovery. The previous high was in February 2018 when 3,538 homes were added to the market. 

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    Sales Inventory Rose but Remained Lower Than Last Year 

    After three months of for-sale inventory falling, StreetEasy data shows there was an increase in available homes between January and February. There was a total of 16,622 NYC homes for sale in February, 549 more than there were in January. Still, inventory was 12.2% lower than it was in February last year, so there remains room for inventory to fully recover.

    According to Mike Biryla, a licensed real estate salesperson at Triplemint and a StreetEasy Expert, the uptick in listings is a sign the home shopping season is returning.

    “As the weather gets nicer, many sellers find it an opportunistic time to showcase their properties as the term ‘tree-lined street’ becomes a reality,” says Biryla. “An increase in listings also brings an increase in buyers, so it’s very important to have a solid understanding of what matters most in your home search. That way, as more and more apartments come onto the market, you’ll be in the right position to move forward quickly and find the home of your dreams.”

    Many Sellers Aren’t Offering Price Cuts, But That Could Change Soon

    The number of homes offering price cuts is a good indicator of how strong buyer demand is. In February, 8.1% of New York City for-sale listings advertised a price cut. That’s the same amount as last February, but lower than the 10.2% in February 2020, prior to the pandemic. As of February, the median asking price for a home in NYC was $950,000 – stable from a year prior. 

    More price cuts may be coming, though. The sale-to-list price ratio in New York City is dropping, which means that sellers are taking cuts between their original list price and their closing price. In January, the median sale-to-list price ratio for Manhattan homes was 98.7%, meaning that the borough’s sellers came very close to getting their original listing price. In February, that number dropped to 90.9%. That means a home originally asking $1M sold for $909,000. Although fewer sellers may be advertising price cuts, this data shows that buyers are still negotiating and getting lower prices before closing. 

    Manhattan Homes Under $1M on StreetEasy Article continues below

    Homes Are Coming Off The Market Nearly a Month Faster Than Last Year

    The median time on market for a home in New York City was 88 days in February – 28 days faster than last year. Out of the boroughs analyzed for this report, homes in Brooklyn moved off the market fastest at 79 days. Buyers will likely notice homes moving just as quickly (if not quicker) heading into peak shopping season. 

    “It’s been two years of unpredictability in the New York City market, but this data shows that the seasonality of the sales market is back,” says Casey Roberts, StreetEasy Home Trends Expert. 

    “This spring will be competitive for homebuyers, but the increase we’re seeing in new inventory is promising. The recent rise in home prices should motivate even more sellers to list their homes for sale, making it easier and more likely for buyers to find and win a home they love.”

    Find out more about the sales and rentals markets in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens below.

    Manhattan Prices & New Inventory Climbing while Rents Break Record

    In Manhattan, 1,926 homes were added to the market in February. That’s 25.6% more than the previous year, which is good news for Manhattan buyers. In total across the borough, there were 8,099 homes for sale in February – down 17.5% from last year. 

    The median asking price in Manhattan in February was $1,470,000 – 8.9% higher than last year, but down $25K from January, when it was $1,495,000.

    Manhattan Rentals Under $3,000 on StreetEasy Article continues below

    Median asking rents reached a new high of $3,800 in Manhattan. That’s 36% higher than last year. There were 10,327 rentals available in Manhattan in February, 66% fewer than last year. This year-over-year decline was the smallest since September 2021, a sign that the dramatic declines in rental inventory could be cooling off soon. 

    Brooklyn Sale and Rental Price Growth Break StreetEasy Records 

    In Brooklyn, 1,180 homes came onto the sales market in February. That’s 23.6% more than the previous year. Across the borough, there was a total of 4,423 homes for sale in February – down 12.1% from last year.

    The median asking price in Brooklyn was $928,000 – a 3.2% uptick from last year, and the largest annual increase since May 2018. 

    Brooklyn Homes Under $1M on StreetEasy Article continues below

    On the Brooklyn rentals market, median asking rents reached a record of $2,800. That’s 16.7% higher than last February. Rental inventory was down 53.3% from last year, with 8,563 rentals available across the borough. That was only 5% lower than how much inventory was available in February 2020 (before the pandemic hit NYC), so while inventory is tight, it isn’t too different from what was available pre-pandemic. 

    Queens Sales Prices Were Down, But Rents Were Way Up

    Queens was the only borough analyzed for this report that saw an annual decline in median asking prices. The median asking price in Queens in February was $588,000 – down 3.6% compared to last year. 

    There were 755 new homes added to the Queens market in February – 15% more than were added last year. Total sales inventory was stagnant compared to last year, with 3,072 available homes on the market. 

    Queens Rentals Under $2,500 on StreetEasy Article continues below

    The median asking rent in Queens was $2,300 in February, up 15% from last year. Median asking rents have stayed the same for three months now. Rental inventory dropped 42.8% year over year, with 4,057 available rentals across the borough. Compared to Brooklyn and Manhattan, Queens rental inventory has remained relatively stable throughout the pandemic. 

    For more data to help navigate the NYC home shopping process, view all StreetEasy Market Reports for Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, with additional neighborhood data and graphics. Definitions of StreetEasy’s metrics, monthly data, and interactive charts from each housing market report can be explored and downloaded for free via the StreetEasy Data Dashboard.

    Editor’s Note: In March 2020, New York City’s housing market temporarily froze as the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S. in earnest. In 2021, the real estate market roared back to life, with demand returning to both the rentals and sales markets. Year-over-year data comparisons over the next few months will be made against the housing recovery that began in early 2021. Assuming 2022 is more typical of a “normal” year in housing than 2020 or 2021 were, with times of little to no activity followed by massive spikes in demand, we expect many of our year-over-year measures will show significant losses over last winter and spring. We urge you to use caution in extrapolating too much from year-over-year measures in the coming months, and we will always try to provide appropriate context to anchor reported changes in metrics to what is normal or expected.