New York City's residential sales market witnessed a six year-high in sales values, or total consideration, in the third quarter as rising interest rates on mortgages and increased competition continued to encourage buyers to act briskly and decisively.
Total consideration, the total dollar value of all home sales in the five boroughs, was $11.3 billion in the third quarter, an increase of 32 percent compared to the third quarter of last year and up 38 percent from the last quarter, according to the Real Estate Board of New York's (REBNY) Third Quarter New York City Residential Sales Report released today.
The third quarter marked the highest total residential sales consideration New York City has recorded since 2007.
Manhattan's total consideration was $6.6 billion last quarter, an increase of 30 percent from the third quarter last year and 38 percent from the second quarter. Brooklyn, with the second highest total for the boroughs, had $2.2 billion in total consideration for residential sales, 31 percent higher than the third quarter of last year and 43 percent greater than last quarter.
The rise in sales values appears to be the result of mortgage rates creeping up through the quarter and uncertainty about their future direction. Also, residential rents, which continue to be high, show no sign of receding, making a stronger case for home ownership.
"With uncertainty in the mortgage markets, buyers now have to become more firm in their decision to buy," says Steven Spinola, President of REBNY. "Mortgage rates are still near historical lows, so the attractiveness of buying should remain into the next quarter."
Citywide home sales volume for all homes (which includes cooperatives, condominiums and one-to-three-family dwellings) increased 28 percent to 14,073 transactions compared to last year. The median sales price of a home citywide increased four percent from the third quarter last year and the previous quarter to $515,000. The average sales price rose three percent citywide in the third quarter to $806,000.
This was also the second consecutive quarter where increased activity in the market was not focused only in the Manhattan apartment market and prime Brooklyn areas. Sales in both Brooklyn and Queens for one-to-three family dwellings were at post-recession highs of 1,888 and 2,409 respectively.