By Steven Spinola
REBNY recently released its 1st Quarter 2015 Residential Sales Report, and the numbers were highly encouraging compared to the 1st Quarter of 2014, which was itself a strong quarter.
These numbers included higher average sales prices and stronger sales volume, as well as other strong increases across the board.
The average sales price of an NYC home increased 12 percent to $898,000 compared to last year’s first quarter of $801,000, which was once again driven by the large price increases in Manhattan and the up-and-coming Brooklyn, and homes sales increased to 11,216, eight percent higher than last year’s first quarter.
Condos in Manhattan had the greatest impact on the overall average sales price of homes in New York, rising 28 percent over last year’s first quarter to $2,344,000, with the number of sales increasing a further 11 percent.
More closings at 157 West 57th Street are partly responsible for this impressive increase, as six sales of over twenty million dollars were recorded during the quarter. The home sales market in Brooklyn and Queens also saw a strong average price increase of 12 percent and 7 percent, respectively, and the two boroughs also had sales volume increases of 15 percent and 8 percent respectively over the first quarter of last year.
Total consideration for all residential sales in New York City during the first quarter also made a considerable jump compared to the 1st Quarter of 2014, jumping up 21 percent to $10.1 billion.
Total consideration for Manhattan was $5.5 billion for the first quarter of 2015, up 21 percent from the first quarter of last year. In Brooklyn, the total consideration of residential sales was $2.2 billion, an increase of 29 percent compared to last year’s first quarter.
The Upper East Side was the leading Manhattan neighborhood in terms of home sales, seeing 630 this quarter. Brooklyn home sales activity was focused on the increasingly-popular Bedford Stuyvesant, which had 173 sales. Rego Park/Forest Hills/Kew Gardens were at the forefront in in terms of Queens neighborhood sales with 397, and the Bronx neighborhood with the most residential home sales this quarter was Parkchester/Westchester Square/Castle Hill/Soundview, with 108 home sales.
REBNY also recently released its first quarter 2015 Broker Confidence Index, which was also particularly high.
This quarter’s Broker Confidence Index was 9.05, although there was a rising concern among brokers regarding the potential impact of rising interest rates which seem likely this year. Because of this, general broker confidence in the market six months from now is a slightly lower 8.88.
Commercial Broker Confidence is also a strong 9.24 this quarter, with many brokers reporting seeing a strong market throughout Manhattan – Chelsea in particular.
One concern brokers had was with financing, however, which contributed to the slightly lower confidence in the market six months from now, 8.94. Brokers also expressed concern regarding the expectation of the Federal Reserve Bank raising interest rates before the end of the year, although moderate rate increases implemented at a reasonable pace could resolve this issue.
Residential Broker Confidence was 8.86, with brokers remaining positive about the robust sales market and the growing popularity of multiple neighborhoods.
There has also been a marked increase in rentals in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Riverdale in the Bronx, although concerns regarding a lack of inventory in the market still remain an issue for residential brokers. Some buyers are being pushed out of the market due to low inventory causing prices to increase, which is reflected in residential brokers’ confidence in the market six months from now dipping slightly to 8.82 from last quarter’s 8.97.
All in all, the first quarter of 2015 was a very strong and encouraging one. Despite minor concerns among brokers regarding the future, their performance and faith in today’s market ensured that 2015 started off the right way.
As we move forward into summer, I look forward to seeing this trend of improvement over 2014 continue to increase, and also commend members of our industry for a particularly outstanding start to the year.
In other REBNY news:
May 8 is REBNY’s next Residential Brooklyn Seminar from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at St. Francis College! This seminar, titled “How to Create an Exceptional Customer Experience: How It Was Is Not How It Is,” will explore how to be a unique differentiator for yourself in the workplace, how to deliver a wildly successful experience for each and every one of your customers, key strategies for reinventting your customer experience model, and more! The seminar features guest speaker Mike Staver, and is free for REBNY members. For more information, contact REBNYResidentialEvents@rebny.com.
REBNY’s Finance Committee Cocktail Party is on May 11 at 230 Fifth Avenue Rooftop Lounge! From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., bring a friend, guest, or colleague to this fun event, where REBNY members and their colleagues will be able to network and take part in an open bar and a delicious selection of hors d’oeuvres! Tickets are $35 per person if registered by May 4th, or $50 per person if registered afterward. For more information, contact Desiree Jones at DJones@rebny.com.
Request for Potential Pre-Kindergarten Spaces: The New York City Department of Education (DOE) is seeking to identify space for September 2015 that could be converted for pre-K programs in order to offer full-day, high-quality, free pre-K to every four-year old in New York City through the Pre-K For All Expansion. To find out more information about the space requirements, or to submit a property for consideration, please visit the DOE’s web site at http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/EarlyChildhood/support/prekspace.htm