Signed Manhattan, Brooklyn Home Contracts Jump in February

New listings rose 73% in Manhattan, fell 7% in Brooklyn

New York apartment buildings
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Signed contracts for homes in Manhattan and Brooklyn jumped in February from the previous month, a sign that deals are picking up even as higher mortgage rates and a lack of housing inventory weighs on demand.

The number of contracts signed rose 51% in Manhattan, to 677, and were up 59% in Brooklyn, to 337, according to a report by Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Key Takeaways

  • Signed contracts for homes in Manhattan and Brooklyn surged in February from the previous month.
  • Still, signed contracts dropped 38% from a year ago in Manhattan and by 40% in Brooklyn.
  • New listings in Manhattan jumped by 73%, and fell 7% in Brooklyn.

The trend was "a greater than seasonal uptick in newly signed contracts in February," according to Jonathan Miller, author of the reports.

Manhattan also recorded a 73% jump in new listings to 1,718. It was the borough's second straight monthly gain, suggesting that the shortage of available properties for sale may be easing. New listings in Brooklyn fell about 7% to 538.

While the Manhattan and Brooklyn markets are showing signs of recovery, they remain far behind where they were a year ago, as high interest rates drive up the cost of buying and dampen demand.

Signed contracts in Manhattan dropped 38% from February 2022, when average rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage were 3.6%, compared with 7.05% now. In Brooklyn, signed contracts dropped 40% in February from a year earlier.

In Manhattan, co-op contracts fell 38% from a year earlier to 395, with declines in every price category except one. Deals between $5 million and $10 million rose 30% from a year earlier.

Signed contracts for Manhattan condos fell 37.5% from February 2022, to 278. Condo deals for less than $500,000 doubled to six from three, while every other price category fell. There were no sales of more than $20 million; last February there were three. Otherwise, the biggest decline for condos was in the $2 million to $4 million category, which declined 50% to 67 contracts.

In Brooklyn, co-op contracts fell 22% to 91. Sales between $1 million and $2 million rose 21% to 17, while co-op deals between $2 million and $4 million jumped 250% to seven.

Signed contracts for Brooklyn condos fell 52% to 152. Condos for less than $500,000 were the only category that increased from a year earlier, rising 7% to 15.

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  1. Douglas Elliman Real Estate. "The Elliman Report; February."