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Record High Sales Inventory and a New Tech Workforce Will Alter the NYC Real Estate Market in 2019

Between transportation shake-ups, interest rates and inventory on the rise, and an anticipated influx of tech job seekers, the NYC real estate landscape will face some significant shifts in the new year, according to StreetEasy’s 2019 NYC housing market predictions.

StreetEasy’s 2019 Predictions

  • It will (still) be a good time to be a buyer. The number of homes listed for sale on StreetEasy hit all-time highsduring 2018, and that number will climb even further in 2019. Sellers will need to take much greater measures — including significant price cuts — in order to move their homes off the market.
  • Queens’ popularity — and prices — will surge. Prices in Queens have risen at a consistently faster pace than in Brooklyn or Manhattan, yet remain relatively affordable. Amazon’s plans to move into Long Island Citywill boost the borough’s prices even more.
  • For renters, Downtown Manhattan is back. With interest rates and sales prices high, renting will be more attractive than buying for many New Yorkers in 2019. While still expensive, Downtown Manhattan has a renewed attractiveness, as rents in many newly chic outer-borough neighborhoods have surpassed those in several Manhattan areas.
  • With the L train closure looming, North Brooklyn rents have a ways to fall. The market for rentals along the L train has steadily weakened in 2018, as longtime residents decamp for more convenient neighborhoods. Still, many renters in Williamsburg may have underestimated the inconvenience of the shutdown — and there’s likely more room for rents to fall as renters flee in 2019.
  • NYC megaprojects will be put to the test. 2019 will be a pivotal year for judging whether or not some of the city’s enormous building projects will live up to the hype. New towers in areas including Hudson Yards and Two Bridges will debut and could determine the fate of other planned megaprojects around the city.
  • New tech workers won’t buy condos. Sellers hoping to flip their luxury condos to the flock of new Amazon and Google employees will likely be disappointed. While their average annual salary is well above the city median, most of the new tech employees entering the workforce will have neither the means nor desire to buy multimillion-dollar condos.

“Despite 2018’s spike in sales inventory, more New Yorkers will still look to sell. Between this and an onslaught of new megaprojects opening up, there will be plenty of homes added to an already saturated market, pushing inventory to highs we haven’t seen since the financial crisis. This doesn’t mean the market is due for a crash – the city’s ongoing economic growth means that there are still home shoppers willing to put money down on a good deal. But the market cooling that we’ll likely see in 2019 will motivate sellers to adjust asking prices to more realistic levels — giving buyers a great opportunity to be picky, negotiate and shop around for the right home,” StreetEast Senior Economist Grant Long said in a statement.

“For renters, expect competition to remain high. With rising interest rates, federal tax policy changes and a ton of new construction throughout the city, renting remains an attractive option for many New Yorkers. Strong demand will push rents upward, particularly in the city’s most central neighborhoods. One exception will be in North Brooklyn, as longtime residents flee to avoid the L train shutdown next spring. We’ve seen that market steadily weaken, but our bet is that there’s even more room for rents to fall.”

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