Here’s where NYC’s real estate market stands right now

Real Estate

As the pandemic subsides, this summer could be the last chance for New Yorkers to get in on deflated Manhattan real estate prices.

Manhattan prices are de-frosting but are still better than pre-pandemic prices, according to data collected by New York brokerage Douglas Elliman. 

Meanwhile, Brooklyn and Queens renters continued to get discounts compared to pre-pandemic, while buyers in the less-expensive boroughs paid 10% to 20% more than they would have pre-pandemic.

“Compared to national metro markets, Manhattan took off slowly, with a breakneck pace for deal activity starting mid-winter and reaching a peak toward the end of spring. Like other metro markets though, the peak level of activity was record-breaking,” wrote John Walkup, co-founder and COO of NYC-based real estate analytics company UrbanDigs.

Here are the latest housing prices and forecasts so you know what to expect when you hit the market. 

Renters can still get in on deals

The massive deals on New York City rentals a few months ago could be drying up.

“It was inevitable that people would return to the city, and it is inevitable that, as people return, inventory will shrink and prices will go up,” said George Case of Warburg Realty.

As it stands, rental inventory in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens is above five- and ten-year averages, though it has come down in some areas from the glut of inventory on the market in June 2019.

But the market is still below where it was pre-pandemic, so potential renters returning to NYC or moving to the Big Apple for the first time are still poised to score good deals. 

The best deals compared to pre-pandemic prices were in Brooklyn, where Brooklynites got a 9.87% discount, and Manhattanites got about an 8.5% discount in June. Queens renters got a 5.7% discount, in part because prices were already the lowest there, according to Douglas Elliman.

The Post chose to compare Douglas Elliman’s June 2021 rent prices to June rent prices in 2019 since last year’s numbers during lockdown were unusually low. Discount percentages do not account for inflation, which rose 6% from June 2019 to June 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics


8.5% discount | Median: $3,249/mo.

There were the highest number of new lease signings in Manhattan in June on record since 2008, breaking record after record, and available listings have dropped 54.2% since the January record high, according to Douglas Elliman.

But it’s not too late to get a good deal: Typical rent prices grew 1.7% to $3,249 a month compared to May, still down 3.8% compared to June 2020 and down 8.48% compared to June 2019.

Studios, one-bedrooms and three-bedrooms are all below pre-pandemic prices. Compared to June 2019, studios are down 8.01%, one-bedrooms are down 6.99% and three-bedrooms are down 5.58%. 

The only apartment type that is not offering discounts is two-bedroom apartments, which were typically $4,299 a month in June, a 3.59% increase from $4,150 a month in June 2019 before the pandemic.

But the sticker tag isn’t the only thing renters should be looking for. Landlords are giving an average of 1.9 months of free rent as concessions — that’s slightly less than what was being offered a few months ago but still more than was offered pre-pandemic. 


9.87% discount | Median: $2,704/mo.

Brooklyn leasing is booming too, with the fastest-pace June on record since 2008. With 2,141 new leases in June, the borough’s market is 99.9% hotter than it was last year and 81.75% hotter than it was in June 2019, pre-pandemic. 

“Brooklyn feels like a new beginning, a new focus as we shifting our minds to be more about our family,” former Tribeca resident Catherine McKenzie told The Post earlier this month. “Living through the pandemic in Tribeca made us realize that we don’t want to feel like we’re in the heart of things anymore. While [downtown Manhattan] does feel like home, there’s now this idea of feeling more exposed by being in Manhattan.” 

The typical apartment went for $2,704 in June, an 11.3% discount compared to last year and a 9.87% discount compared to the same time pre-pandemic. Median Brooklyn rent rose from $3,000 in 2019 to $3,050 in June during the pandemic.

Landlords in Brooklyn are offering about 1.6 months of free rent in Brooklyn, their lowest level since September, according to Douglas Elliman. That makes Brooklyn rent pricier than it was a few months ago, according to analysts.

In Brooklyn, the bigger the unit, the bigger the discount: studios are offering an 11.2% discount, one-bedrooms are offering a 25.3% discount, two-bedrooms are offering a 26.8% discount, and three-bedrooms are offering a 35.25% discount. 

“As a result [of fewer concessions] net effective median rent rose month over month for the third time in four months,” said Gavzie.

Northwest Queens

5.7% discount | Median: $2,700/mo.

There were 475 new leases in Queens in June, the third-highest monthly total since 2011.

The median rent was $2,700 in June, unchanged from the same time last year but down from $2,864 in 2019.

“Record new leasing activity in Northwest Queens has helped moderate rental price declines,” said Gavzie.

Studios’ median rental price is $2,298 compared to $2,500 in June 2019. One-bedrooms were typically $2,728 compared to $2,850. Two bedrooms were $3,552 and three-bedrooms were $3,400.

“Rental price trends continued to remain weakest in smaller apartments,” said Gavzie.

Landlords are offering 2.5 months free rent, the most in the city, and all apartment types are offering discounts compared to pre-pandemic. 

Buyers can find great deals — sometimes

Listing prices will differ from closing prices.

Buyers looking for the cheapest homes in the city should turn to Queens or Brooklyn. But buyers looking for the best deal might consider Manhattan, where home prices were still down 9.6% in the second quarter, which includes April, May and June.

The Post chose to compare to 2019 pre-pandemic prices to measure recovery (Leading data analysts do not provide monthly purchase data).

Manhattan is de-frosting

9.6% discount | Median: $1.3 million

The typical Manhattan home purchase cost $1.13 million in the second quarter this year. 

That is 12.3% more expensive than prices in the first quarter and 2.1% more expensive than at the same time last year, when the pandemic was raging and Manhattan homes went for a median of $1.215 million. 

But compared to the second quarter in 2019, prices are still down 9.6% from a median $1.215 million, according to Douglas Elliman.

Brokers closed almost 3,000 sales in Manhattan in the second quarter. For comparison, that is 12.5% more than in the first quarter and 12.5% more than the same time last year. 

But it’s still down 13.5%, or about 500 signings, compared to the pace seen at this time in 2019.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there were too many houses on the market available for purchase. In June 2021, inventory had dropped 50% compared to June 2020 as lockdowns were lifting.

But it’s low even compared to historical numbers — there are 10.39% fewer houses on the market compared to the same time in 2019, according to Douglas Elliman.

Still, it hasn’t become a seller’s market — sellers re-listing their homes are offering discounts of about 6.4% compared to 5.9% during the second quarter of 2019 (pre-pandemic). 

Brooklyn buyers forego discounts

11.6% price hike | Median: $910,000

In Brooklyn, the median sales price was $910,000 in April, May and June 2021 — 11.66% more expensive than during the same period in 2019, before the pandemic, when homes typically went for $815,000. 

This quarter’s price is up 1.1% from the first quarter quarter and up 11% from the same time last year when lockdowns had just started lifting. 

Record prices in Brooklyn were set for the third consecutive quarter, pulling more inventory onto the market,” said president and COO of Douglas Elliman Scott Durkin in a press release.

Even so, Brooklyn is selling at a record-setting pace, with 3,427 sales in the second quarter, up 21.4% from the first quarter, up 124.7% from the same time last year, and up 33.81% since the second quarter of 2019. 

Queens is the cheapest, but not the best deal

18.8% price hike | Median price $680,000

Queens homes went for a median $680,000 in the second quarter, up 3% from the winter and up 12% from this time last year, and up 18.8% from this time in 2019.

There were 3,517 sales in the second quarter, up 7.2% from the first quarter, up 118.4% from that time last year and up 16.38% compared to this time in 2019. 

“Price trend indicators set records in Queens as the number of sales doubled from the prior year,” said president and COO of Douglas Elliman Scott Durkin in a press release.

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