In a February report for Douglas Elliman, Miller Samuel’s Jonathan Miller said, “The consumer and the public narrative about the housing market is more negative than [the market] actually is.” It’s the perfect reminder: Don’t get frustrated or discouraged by comparisons to the home prices, transaction volume, or mortgage rates of the outlying pandemic years because experts are actually seeing the market move ahead of pre-pandemic conditions.

In fact, data from January shows demand in the luxury sector is up 33 percent from the pre-pandemic average. Overall activity has been dropping from the highs of the 2021-2022, but some of the city’s trophy condo projects closed the value gap with a bounty of high-dollar deals. Most of this activity was concentrated in Manhattan, where 30 of the 32 deals asking $4 million or more took place. In February, the number of newly signed contracts in Manhattan was up for condos and co-ops. At the same time, new listings expanded for the second month. The uptick is a positive sign for the market’s return to normalcy and a particularly welcome one for buyers.

After a cooling sentiment swept Brooklyn and median asking prices dropped five percent in January, the borough saw an increase in contract signings in February. Twenty-one contracts for homes asking $2 million or more were signed in the second week alone. That’s the highest weekly tally since before the winter holidays. On the whole, contract activity in Brooklyn remained more than 30 percent above pre-pandemic levels, and Brooklyn Heights continued to be the borough’s hottest ticket. A townhouse and a condo in the neighborhood notched the two priciest deals of the month. Meanwhile, new listings declined for the fourth time in five months, making Brooklyn the only market we track that didn’t see a rise in new inventory in February.

In Westchester, market activity picked up as new listings expanded for the second month. Capitalizing on the new inventory, the number of newly signed contracts increased more than 40 percent month over month for both single family homes and condos.

In Miami, the number of new listings rose for the first time in eight months as 2,145 new options entered the market. Transaction activity followed suit. While sales volume ebbed and flowed weekly throughout February, the average sales price and price per square foot maintained an upward trajectory and closed the month at $819,679 and $748 respectively.

To close this month’s recap, we’re excited to share the newly released Douglas Elliman | Knight Frank Wealth Report. Now in its 17th edition, this annual report compiled by research teams around the world highlights pertinent topics affecting ultra-high-net-worth-individuals. In addition to recapping 2022—NYC’s luxury market saw prices rise 2.7 percent—this year’s report predicts a shift in investor strategies and comments on the global mobility of wealth through real estate opportunities and the next phase of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG).