Getting Ready

A record number of NYC sellers listed properties in February, a sign the market may be shifting

By Jennifer White Karp | March 23, 2022 - 3:00PM

"The recent rise in home prices should motivate even more sellers to list their homes for sale,” says Casey Roberts, StreetEasy spokesperson.

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Rising prices, surging demand, and low inventory in the New York City sales market has left many buyers on the sidelines in recent months, so what is the outlook for the traditional spring selling season? Will buyers who have been unable to find a place in NYC now have a better chance?

That appears to be the case: A batch of February market reports indicates that new listings in NYC are increasing, which could help ease the inventory shortage.

A new report from StreetEasy notes that 4,078 new sellers listed properties last month, the most to come onto the market in any February that StreetEasy has tracked. The previous high was in February 2018, when 3,538 listings were added to the market.

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However, total existing sales inventory is still low—an indication of just how few properties there have been available for buyers in recent months. StreetEasy data shows a total of 16,622 NYC listings for sale in February, 549 more than there were in January, making February 2022 total inventory 12.2 percent lower than in February last year.

The latest uptick in listings appears to be a sign that seasonality is returning after two years of disruption to traditional selling patterns

“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,” says Casey Roberts, StreetEasy spokesperson.

When there is lots of demand from buyers, sellers don’t feel pressure to negotiate. But a shift may be coming. The report notes that the sale-to-list price ratio recently dropped. This ratio compares the difference in price from the original listing and the closing price and is an indicator of how close properties are selling to their asking prices.

StreetEasy notes that in January, the median sale-to-list price ratio for Manhattan homes was 98.7 percent, meaning that the borough’s sellers were very close to getting their original listing price. In February, that number dropped to 90.9 percent, a sign that there’s a little more room for buyers to negotiate lower prices before closing.

A recent edition of the Elliman Report tracked contract signings and new listings for Manhattan and Brooklyn. It found an increase in most types of housing: Listings for Manhattan co-ops were up 15.1 percent last month compared to February 2021, new listings for Manhattan condos were up 30.8 percent while listings for one-to-three family houses were down 25 percent.

In Brooklyn, the report notes that February new listings were up annually for the first time since October. Brooklyn co-op listings increased 21.3 percent last month, condo listings increased 24.9 percent, and listings for one-to-three family houses were up 31.1 percent.

 

Jennifer White Karp

Managing Editor

Jennifer White Karp steers Brick Underground’s editorial coverage of New York City residential real estate and writes articles on market trends and strategies for buyers, sellers, and renters. Jennifer’s 15-year career in NYC real estate journalism includes stints as a writer and editor at The Real Deal and its spinoff publication, Luxury Listings NYC. She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the New School.

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