NYC sees end-of-year residential sales surge, especially in Brooklyn and Queens

February 10, 2021

Photo by Jeffrey Blum on Unsplash

After three consecutive quarters of decline, the total residential sales volume and residential transactions in New York City during the final quarter of last year increased considerably. According to a new report released this week by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), total sales increased to $9 billion in Q4 2020 from $6.5 billion in Q3, a roughly 40 percent increase in sales volume. Notably, the outer boroughs drove the surge in sales, with a sales volume increase of 90 percent in Brooklyn and 69 percent in Queens during this period.

The report found there were 9,397 residential transactions in the final quarter of 2020, up from 6,305 sales in the quarter prior. The increase follows three consecutive quarters of decline in transactions. Looking at quarterly changes by borough, residential transactions increased by 73 percent in Brooklyn, 56 percent in Queens, 52 percent on Staten Island, 39 percent in the Bronx, and 18 percent in Manhattan.

However, the citywide transaction volume still decreased year-over-year, with three of the five boroughs seeing a decrease in the number of transactions in 2020 compared to 2019, pointing to a longer recovery from the pandemic for the industry.

According to REBNY, the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine as well as the increase in federal funding for state and local governments are vital for the city’s economic recovery. Last month, the group said broker confidence is on the rebound after hitting record lows last year. A REBNY survey released last month said its broker confidence index was at 4.35 out of 10 during the fourth quarter of 2020, a 41 percent increase from the third quarter.

“Last year was a historically difficult one for New York City and the real estate industry that fuels its economy. This end-of-year surge in home sales is another positive sign that the City has begun down a long road to recovery,” James Whelan, president of REBNY, said.

“This momentum can be maintained and accelerated by securing much needed state and local aid from the federal government, successful vaccination and rapid testing efforts, and strong local, State and federal leadership that promotes more economic activity and an improved quality of life for all New Yorkers.”

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