Manhattan’s median sales price reached a record high of $1,161,496 in the second quarter of 2019, a steep 11% increase from a year prior, according to a new report from the listings site StreetEasy.
The hike was driven by buyers in the luxury market hurrying to close deals before the revised mansion tax took effect on July 1. The tax, which previously took 1% from sales of $1 million or more, will now rise incrementally from 1.25% for $2 million to 3.9% for $25 million and above.
Spurring more hope for the city’s sales market, which has lagged this year, the number of new sales contracts in Manhattan rose 6.4% compared to the second quarter of 2018, StreetEasy found.
The site’s findings are in line with other second quarter market reports, including data from Douglas Elliman, which found that the number of pending sales rose 12.5% to 2,957 from 2018. Its median sales price went up 10.5% year-over-year to a record $1.215 million.
In the outer boroughs, StreetEasy found that pending sales spiked 6.4% from 2018 in Brooklyn and 15.9% in Queens. Their median sales prices remained stagnant however, at $711,410 in Brooklyn and $516,374 in Queens.
But despite the increased sales activity, inventory in all three boroughs still reached record levels in the second quarter, StreetEasy found. Brooklyn and Queens had their highest numbers of homes for sale in the history of its data collection, at 8,249 in Brooklyn, a 13% rise year-over year, and 4,895 in Queens, up 14.5%.
Manhattan, meanwhile, had 13,543 homes on the market, its largest inventory since 2011. Its neighborhood of Tribeca had the top median sales price at $3,998,088. The Upper Easy Side had the most inventory, with 2,897 properties on the market, though that could be due to the area’s massive geographical size.
“Lower mortgage rates, a strong economy and steady job growth have kept demand for homes in New York City high, helping give the sales market a much-needed boost after a year of weakness,” StreetEasy senior economist Grant Long explained. “The looming mansion tax also spurred a flurry of sales activity in the second quarter, as sellers and buyers raced to close ahead of the July 1 deadline.”
However, “while this comes as encouraging news for sellers, it remains to be seen how well this market will be able to absorb the surplus of homes currently for sale across price points,” he added.