The luxury building boom that has added hundreds of high-end condos to the New York City market may have done more than attract foreign buyers and assure NYC’s place among best bets for real estate investment. It may also have detracted from a story line that better reflects the aspirations of many New Yorkers who aren’t multi-millionaires but are simply looking for an affordable place to hang their hat.

In other words: A majority of New Yorkers want a bargain at the lowest price possible.

This Brooklyn Heights co-op listed for $315K has been saved by 1,027 users.

At StreetEasy, we asked our data analysts to run the numbers in regard to how much traffic listings on our site get according to different price points. What we found was that in a city that has some of the highest-priced real estate in the country, if not the world, it is the more relatively affordable units that get the most eyeballs.

This Lenox Hill co-op for $399K has been saved by 597 users in 21 days.

Key Findings of Search Behavior on StreetEasy in 2016:

  • Most-searched properties in all five boroughs are between $400K to $600K
  • Most competitive price range(s) in Manhattan and Queens are between $200K to $400K and $400K to $600K
  • Most competitive price range in Brooklyn is $400K to $600K
  • Listings between $1 million and $2 million translate into the greatest number of potential buyers who contact listing agents or brokers

Overall, New Yorkers are searching for relatively affordable homes, and hoping to find a “deal” or “bargain.” The most competitive price ranges are the same for Manhattan and Queens, and about the same (though on the higher end of the spectrum) in Brooklyn. This may be surprising to some who would assume that Manhattan would be much higher than Queens or Brooklyn. In the Bronx and Staten Island there wasn’t enough data to draw a clear conclusion.

Percentages of Search Behavior

Drilling down into the search numbers, StreetEasy found that:

  • 13.7 percent of all searches were for properties listed between $400K and $600K
  • 13.3 percent looked at units priced between $600K and $800K
  • 12.3 percent looked at properties listed between $800K and $1 million
  • 9.6 percent of all searches looked at residences priced between $200K to $400K

The number of searches per $200,000 increments between $1 million and $2 million dropped off considerably, except for $1.4 million to $1.6 million range, which registered 8.1 percent of all site searches. This suggests that buyers in that $1 million to $2 million range had greater flexibility to move up in price, perhaps spreading their searches over a greater number of price points.

This London Terrace Tower co-op at 470 W. 24th St. in Chelsea is listed for $1.25M, a price point aggressively sought by NYC buyers.

Over Half of NYC Listings Are Under $1M

Another interesting find was that almost 30 percent of all NYC listings are between $200K and $600K. Listings between $600K and $1 million make up another 24 percent of overall listings. That means over half of all NYC listings on StreetEasy are under $1 million. For the category of more aggressively-sought listings between $1 million and $2 million, over one-fifth of all NYC listings fall into that range.

Again, these results seem to suggest that in spite of our fixation with super-tall residential towers studded with multi-million dollar units, the majority of potential buyers in NYC have far less lofty ambitions. To further bolster that notion, our data shows that the number of days a listing remains on the market directly correlates to its price.

Listings Under $600K in MN Have Shortest DOM

Listings in Manhattan under $600K were sold in a median of less than 48 days in 2016. For context, homes in Manhattan spent a median of 64 days on market in Q4 2016. In Brooklyn, an even hotter market, we found that listings under $1 million stayed on the market less than 43 days, compared to a borough median of 49 days for all properties in Q4. Business throughout all price ranges was much more brisk in Brooklyn, where the median time on market for all homes under $2.2 million was 54 days or much less. In Queens, listings under $1 million also lasted less than 52 days.