Home sellers in New York City are in for a challenge this spring. Those who plan to list their properties for the first time in the next few months will have to contend with the large amount that didn’t sell last year.
While unemployment is dropping in the city, meaning New Yorkers are hopefully doing a little better financially, the main holdup for sellers was that prices were too expensive, StreetEasy found. Of the homes that sold since last spring, 70% closed below their initial asking price, compared to 62% of those listed during that season in 2017, it reported. Buyers secured a median discount of 5.5%, or $44,000, off the median asking price of $800,000.
Sellers in Manhattan fared particularly badly, as 77% of properties in the borough sold below their asking price, compared to 68% in Queens and 61% in Brooklyn.
Leniency with pricing was key for those who did find buyers, the report found. Homes that sold below their asking price were initially listed for a median of 1.2% above the median value for their neighborhood and bedroom count. Those that went unsold, however, were priced roughly 6.4% above their relative median.
Though many of the properties listed last spring were taken off the market as this winter set in, StreetEasy expects most of them to be advertised again as the weather thaws between March and May. Therefore, homes that are new to the market will have more competition than ever, the site predicts.
To face the challenge head-on, its experts recommend that sellers again prepare to lower their prices. Those who fail to sell their properties often stubbornly hold out for a buyer who will fall in love with what they’re offering and see why it commands such a high value, they said. But for most, that buyer never comes.
“Sellers in New York City are undeniably going to be facing heightened competition this year as a wave of leftover inventory from last spring adds to the supply of new homes sure to be listed over the next several months,” explained StreetEasy senior economist Grant Long. “Those that have priced their homes optimistically must be willing to offer substantial price cuts, or risk spending several more months trying to find the right buyer.”