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Home Prices vs. Housing Supply

Home prices in Manhattan are rising and so is the housing inventory, according to the May 2018 StreetEasy [1] Market Report. Inventory in Manhattan rose 16.7 percent, following a trend that was seen across the Big Apple, where sales inventory often reaches a high in May, StreetEasy said in its blog.

According to the findings of the report [2], while sale prices rose in Manhattan to an average of $1.15 million, the price rise in the area was led by Upper East side where home prices rose 1.9 percent to more than $1 million. However, the report pointed out that one out of six homes sold received a discount. "Sixteen percent of homes for sale were discounted, an increase of 3.6 percentage points year-over-year," the report said.

On the other hand, for sale homes spent a lesser time on the market at 55 days, three days less than a year ago. According to the report, homes on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side lingered longer by 10 and 17 days respectively.

The report also found that despite the rise in inventory and prices, recorded sales dropped across Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens with the largest annual fall in sales recorded in Upper East Side, Midtown, and the Rockaways.

"Sellers are betting on a wave of demand from the peak shopping season, but this summer's market has turned out to be a crowded one," said Grant Long, Senior Economist at StreetEasy.

Like Manhattan, the number of homes selling at a discount reached an all-time high in Brooklyn as well as Queens. While the share of home sales with a price cut rose 3.3 percentage points to 12.4 percent in Brooklyn from the same time a year ago, they rose 3.5 percentage points to 11.1 percent in Queens.

Looking ahead at the home buying season, Long said that more affordable homes were the hardest to find in these areas and sold quickly. "Higher-end homes, particularly those joining the market from the ongoing stream of new development, will be pressured to lower prices or linger on the market," Long said. "This summer is poised to offer an excellent negotiating opportunity for buyers with big budgets."