The state of the New York City real estate market took some twists and turns in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The year saw many people leaving the city in favor of more suburban properties and as a result, rents were reaching record lows and apartments stayed vacant for longer.
Each year, StreetEasy makes a set of predictions and recently released its predictions for 2021. According to StreetEasy, New York City has a long road to recovery following the pandemic.
New York City was hit hard by job losses and the resulting weakened economy. According to StreetEasy data, in October 2020 the median asking rents in Manhattan had dropped to $2,880, the lowest level seen since 2010, while rental inventory had a 123% boom citywide that same month. StreetEasy predicts that even with the higher amounts of real estate inventory, the rental demands won’t reach pre-pandemic levels right away due to contingencies revolving federal aid, the COVID-19 vaccine and how many New Yorkers leave for good.
Despite this, StreetEasy says that buyers made a comeback over the summer when the economy began to reopen. In-contract deals began to soar, with Brooklyn hitting a new record of 824 pending sales in October. StreetEasy’s data found that when the city wasn’t under lockdown, sellers are more likely to negotiate, so they predict that 2021 will follow suit if the city can avoid another lockdown.
StreetEasy does note that New Yorkers who were wealthier that held on to their jobs even saw a financial boost from this year’s rally in tech stocks. In 2021, these New Yorkers with the means will take advantage of this market.
During the height of the pandemic, many feared the death of New York City as we know it. While the city is far from dead, many New Yorkers did leave the Big Apple for greener pastures. After surveying 1,500 New Yorkers, StreetEasy found that 22% of New Yorkers had left but with plans to return, or had already returned by the time of the survey in October. The data shows that while some New Yorkers have temporarily left, there is no evidence that permanent moves out of the city are happening on a larger scale as a result of COVID-19.
However, for those who are staying in New York (those who are looking to return), StreetEasy believes that Brooklyn will be the go-to borough. With inventory at an all-time high and reduced rental prices, Brooklyn has plenty to offer homebuyers and renters. According to StreetEasy data, those surveyed said that extra space (47%), outdoor space (38%), in-unit laundry (36%), and proximity to parks and public green spaces (31%) were bigger priorities than they were pre-pandemic, all of which is available in Brooklyn at a lower price point compared to Manhattan. That being said, StreetEasy predicts that Manhattan will still be desirable as more New Yorkers are now able to afford to live there.
Read the full report on streeteasy.com.