In Competition for Residential Apt Buyers, Bklyn Edges Out Manhattan

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New Yorkers are starting to choose Brooklyn over Manhattan according to new residential sales data. Brooklyn is already the most populous of the five boroughs of New York City, boasting 2.6 million residents. Photo Credit: DumboNYC
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By: Benyamin Davidsons

New Yorkers are starting to choose Brooklyn over Manhattan according to new residential sales data. Brooklyn is already the most populous of the five boroughs of New York City, boasting 2.6 million residents.  As per a recent article in Crain’s NY, Brooklyn also seems to winning the battle for new buyers post-pandemic.  New Brooklyn developments units are outselling those in Manhattan, as New Yorkers seek out larger space and more greenery, as per data from Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing.  Between March 13 and June 13, Brooklyn went to contract on 132 residential units while Manhattan had only 98 sales through the pandemic.  So, Manhattan only scored 43 percent of sales between the two, the data shows.

Brooklyn homes are also selling out faster than Manhattan homes.  The data shows Brooklyn came in at an average of nine new sales per week, while Manhattan only made seven sales per week. “Over the last eight to ten years, there’s definitely been a rivalry as Brooklyn has transformed from a secondary option for buyers to a primary option,” said Stephen Kliegerman, president of the real estate marketing firm.  “With the increase in condo offerings and the increase in levels of quality and design in Brooklyn,” he said, “the competition between Manhattan and Brooklyn has become more fierce.”

The coronavirus, forced people all over the country to stay put in their homes for several months.  When the pandemic hit, residents realized they would like to have more spacious homes, and an outdoor space of their own.  Brooklyn undoubtedly offers more space for the money.  In Brooklyn, the median list price per square foot is $716, compared to Manhattan where half of the units are $1,371 and up, as per Zillow.  “At the moment, I think this is a market under significant change that’s sorting itself out,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, “but I don’t necessarily see this as a temporary phenomenon.

One third of all the homes sold as per the data, featured some form of outdoor space, such as a yard, deck or balcony, compared with only 11 percent last year.  Most of those outdoor spaces were in Brooklyn.  Brooklyn also offers more public spaces and parks that are walking distance.

Downtown Brooklyn was the star location, boasting 16 sales.  Kliegerman attributed the neighborhood’s popularity to its proximity to Lower Manhattan and other parts of Brooklyn. People are turned off by public transportation, he said, making walkability crucial.  In Manhattan, most of the sale were in the Upper West Side and Upper Manhattan, with 28 and 20 units sold respectively.  Those neighborhoods were similarly popular for their outdoor spaces and nearby parks, said Robin Schneiderman, the managing director of Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing.

Sales prices in Manhattan were 18 percent lower this year compared to 2019, as per the report.  Brooklyn prices too were down 16 percent.  “Brooklyn development has previously relied heavily on rental development much more so than Manhattan,” said Miller. “The recent uptick in condo development reflects the market’s search for more affordable product.”

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