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Midtown Swaps Out Busy Tourist Activity for New Wave of Homebuying Activity

December 3, 2020

New Yorkers continue to favor artsy neighborhoods like Lower East Side and Williamsburg

This month, Localize released new aggregate data related to New Yorkers’ homebuying trends and the neighborhoods fueling them.

New data insights

Manhattan and Brooklyn experience steady rise in home prices since the same time last year – signaling the pandemic has not spoiled growth

The new data shows the median residential market prices compared to just one year ago are as follows:

Manhattan quarterly data:

2019 Q3 median was $990,000

2020 Q3 median was $1,050,000

Brooklyn quarterly data:

2019 Q3 median was $749,228

2020 Q3 median was $770,000

The trending neighborhoods

As usual, Manhattan remains the pricier destination for home buyers with a surge of residential sales in Midtown during the pandemic. Popular neighborhoods among millennials in Brooklyn such as Park Slope, Williamsburg, Bedford Stuyvesant, and Bushwick are still trending, however.

These neighborhoods are leading the buying trends, perhaps suggesting that millennials are seizing the price drops as an opportunity to exit the renter’s cycle and achieve the “American dream” of home ownership. The data found the top five trending neighborhoods were Bedford Stuyvesant, Lower East Side, Midtown, Park Slope, and Williamsburg. 

“Midtown has really gained in popularity since the end of the summer and since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S.,” said Asaf Rubin, CEO of Localize. “We believe people are already seeing the city bounce back and want to be in the action. Now is the opportunity to try and find something that would normally be out of reach.”

“One of the things Localize is able to do is analyze this data and come up with options and alternatives for prospective home buyers,” Rubin said. “For instance, home prices are likely to surge in the trending neighborhoods, because demand is high, but has the interested buyer in the East Village considered the less pricey but still close neighborhood Alphabet City? Our company’s AI technologies and research data helps put a magnifying lens on any neighborhood in New York City. We’ve worked really hard to make this a differentiating point from real estate competitors,” he added. 

Other findings included:

Location preferences: 50% – 55% of the listings viewed in the Localize site are listings in Manhattan, and 30% of the views are of listings in Brooklyn.

Disparities between buyers and renters:

  • Buyers give more emphasis to having “natural light” in their owned homes than in their rentals. 
  • Renters also appear less worried about neighborhood crime than home owners. 
  • Big differences relatively speaking as it relates to schools’ proximity. More buyers want to be closer to schools than renters. 

House type preferences: Not all buyers who utilize the Localize platform specify their house type preferences, but the company has around 100 buyers a week that do. Of those buyers 4-5% are looking for co-ops, and another 25% don’t mind the difference between a condo and co-op. 35-40% of Localize buyers are specifically looking for a condo.