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January was a very busy month for buyers: New signed contracts doubled in Manhattan compared to a year ago and rose sharply in Brooklyn. And intense contract activity has been playing out in the suburban counties ringing the city for at least half a year now.
The burst of activity for Manhattan is the second annual increase since the lockdown ended, according to the latest edition of the Elliman Report, which looks at new signed contacts and new listings on a monthly basis for co-ops, condos, and one- to three-family houses and covers Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Hamptons, North Fork, Westchester County, Fairfield County, and Greenwich, CT.
Manhattan co-ops showed the most activity, with 518 new contracts signed last month compared to 194 in January 2020. New listing inventory for all three housing categories fell sharply year over year in Manhattan for the fourth straight month, the report says.
In Brooklyn, the number of new signed contracts for all three types of housing combined jumped year over year for the fourth, straight month—and January’s new signed contract increase was nearly triple over the prior year.
Single-family houses in Brooklyn saw 151 new signed contracts in January 2021—compared to 26 a year ago. While combined new listings have been growing each month on a year-over-year basis since last June, tracking with demand, they were down last month if you look at single-family houses separately.
On Long Island, new contract activity for all three property types has increased annually each month since July, while new listings were down year over year for the second time in three months.
In the Hamptons, new signed contracts for single-family houses was up 43 percent over January 2020. Listings have surged each month since June—but declined last month. The North Fork saw a similar pattern for new listings.
Over in Westchester, new contracts have leaped for all types of housing each month on a year over year basis since last July, and new listings fell for only the second month since July.
New contracts for all property categories rose steadily in Fairfield and surged for single-family houses in Greenwich—up 67.6 percent compared to January 2020. Inventory is down sharply in Fairfield and rising each month in Greenwich to meet demand, the report says.
Other market reports
Corcoran released a January snapshot of the Manhattan market that concludes that last month was the best January for Manhattan sales since 2014. Over 900 contracts were reported in the first four weeks of 2021, a 28 percent increase year over year.
“The speed and strength of Manhattan’s comeback is exceeding even the most favorable outlook and can be attributed to low interest rates, significant inventory, and increased affordability. To have 2021 start this way stands in the face of anyone who bet against how fast the city would be able to recover and proves, once again, that you can’t count New York out,” says Pam Liebman, president and CEO of Corcoran.
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