Fall selling season has officially arrived! In October, contract signings in Manhattan and Brooklyn both increased annually across all the types of residential properties that we track for the first time in 18 months. According to a report by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman, it could be a sign that the market is stabilizing, especially as the Fed opted not to raise rates again in early November and subsequently announced it will hold its federal funds rate steady through most of the first half of next year. While the increase in activity is tied to the residual effects of the pandemic and last year’s market free fall after mortgage rates jumped, the uptick is definitely bringing some exciting momentum back to the City.
In Manhattan, that momentum included the first increase in new listings hitting the market in 16 months. With a rise in activity and inventory, prices surged week over week throughout October. In the first week of the month, 26 contracts were signed for homes asking $4 million or more, with a combined asking price of $228.7 million—the highest luxury market sum since mid-July. That’s a strong turnaround from last month’s Labor Day slump. Of those 26 homes to enter contract, 17 were condos, six were co-ops and three were townhouses.
While according to a report from the New York Building Congress, the City is poised to notch its worst year of housing production since 2012, that’s paving the way for office-to-residential conversions to make some noise. Most notably, architect Daniel Burnham’s famous Flatiron Building at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway is going residential after 120 years as offices.
In Brooklyn, home sales fell by nearly a third last quarter compared to the same point in 2022, but October saw a particularly strong increase in newly signed contracts in the luxury market as the month progressed. Homes in Brooklyn Heights regularly ranked among the priciest in the borough’s weekly market reports. But while activity picked up, new listings continued to decline for the 15th consecutive month, keeping prices at a premium.
In Westchester, newly signed contracts have slipped annually for the 28th straight month and new listings continued to decline, keeping the market tight. But home prices have remained relatively consistent throughout the county, rising just 1.6 percent from the prior year. Four-bedroom homes showed their popularity with a year-over-year price increase of 6.6 percent.
Activity was also up in Miami. Newly signed contracts rose year over year for the first time in nearly 24 months and new listings expanded for the second month in a row. Seasonally, this is right on schedule—as the temperatures in Florida dip to the mid-80s, luxury real estate’s busy season is ushered in. Buyers and sellers are both flocking back to the South Florida market, and we love the return of predictable seasonality!