Market Update – September 2023

I hope you had a great summer!

Over the past month the market has been moving at a slower pace.  While this is typical for August due to seasonal factors,  this summer’s slowdown was more pronounced than in prior years. While both supply and demand were down, it was supply that fell further. Consequently, given the relative strength of demand, we continue to see price support across much of the market.

While early September typically experiences a post-Labor Day lull, activity usually picks up towards the end of the month and into October.  Hopefully, we begin to see that happen soon.

Brooklyn Real Estate: Resilient but Uncertain

Despite a decline in both supply and demand, the Brooklyn real estate market has been resilient. Presently, there are 2,936 properties available for sale, marking a 4.2% decrease for the year, a 7% drop from the previous month, and an 11.8% decline when compared to the same period last year. This downward trend has been evident since late spring and is expected to persist for a few more weeks. If historical cycles hold true, we can hope to see more supply from mid-September to mid-November. The pivotal question revolves around whether macro factors, notably interest rates, exert more influence than these seasonal trends and ultimately shape homeowners’ decisions to list their properties for sale.

New listings in Brooklyn have been remarkably low this August, standing at 580 units compared to the historical August average of 960.

Pending sales serve as a key indicator of demand, representing properties currently under contract. The data and charts in this report have been graciously provided by UrbanDigs. Their pending sales measure specifically tracks properties under contract with a contract signing date within the past six months.  So far this year, this measure has shown significant growth, with a  51.7% increase year-to-date, 5.7% upturn from the previous month, and 8.5% increase year-over-year.

What sets this year apart is the persistence of this upward trend in pending sales throughout the summer. Traditionally, the measure tends to decline during the summer months. This may be an indicator of continued demand strength in the Brooklyn market for this year.

Liquidity Pace offers more real-time insight into demand dynamics by tracking the 30-day moving average of contract signings. The chart below reveals a recent downturn in the pace of contract signings in Brooklyn over the past couple of months. Since Pending Sales looks back six months, it takes some time to reflect new contract signing activity.  As we move forward, it’s likely that we will start to observe a decline in the Pending Sales measure as well.


Monthly contract signings currently stand at 533 units, a figure that falls below the historical August average. I’s worth noting that the deviation from the historical average is not as pronounced as seen in the monthly new listing data.  

Additionally, what stands out in this chart is the trend of new listings being almost fully absorbed by new contract signings. This underscores the competition buyers in Brooklyn continue to face when attempting to secure new supply.

The Market Pulse can serve as a valuable gauge of buyer and seller dynamics within the market as it tracks the interplay between supply and demand. While it’s important to acknowledge that this measure isn’t perfect given data lags, it nonetheless furnishes useful insights into the broader market sentiment.

In Brooklyn, the Market Pulse has displayed a consistent upward trajectory since the beginning of the year and currently signal’s a seller’s market. This underscores the persistent challenge that buyers face when making and negotiating offers.

In terms of luxury properties priced above $2 million, townhouse sales have outperformed their historical August average, while condos are slightly above their average, and co-ops are right on track with the historical average. As we enter the active season, it will be interesting to see how the market evolves in the coming months.

Manhattan Real Estate: A Changing Landscape

Manhattan’s real estate market is also experiencing declines, albeit more rapidly than Brooklyn’s. The total available properties stand at 5,964, marking a minimal year-to-date decrease of 0.1%, a 9.2% drop from last month, and a 5.8% decline year-over-year.

Monthly new supply in Manhattan is currently at 787 units.  This represents a 20.4% decline from the prior month and a 10.7% decline from same time last year.  Monthly supply in August is also below the historical August average of 952.  In contrast to Brooklyn, while supply has declined in both markets, Manhattan appears to have been declining at a faster rate.

Pending sales currently stand at 2,910 units, representing a 9.7% increase from the previous month and a 17.8% increase from the prior year. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, the Liquidity Pace has been on a decline, currently transitioning into a historically low liquidity range. 

Monthly contract signings in Manhattan fell to 799 units this month. That represents a 1.7% monthly decline in the 3% year-over-year decline . August contract signings were just below the historical August average in Manhattan of 841 units.

The Market Pulse appears to be on the rise, but there is a caveat. Given the lagging nature of the Market Pulse and more recent Liquidity Pace data that shows a decline in liquidity, Manhattan may be in more of a neutral market on a real time basis.

A noteworthy trend in Manhattan’s luxury market, defined as properties priced at $4 million and above, is that Condo contracts are above their historical August average, while co-ops and townhomes are on par with the historical average dating back to 2008. Additionally, when comparing contract signings in August for luxury developments versus resale, resale properties are surpassing their historical August average, while new developments are slightly below their average.


Both Brooklyn and Manhattan’s real estate markets show a reduction in supply, albeit at different rates. Brooklyn’s market remains resilient with relatively strong demand, whereas Manhattan is a bit more mixed.

For both markets, the imbalance between low supply and high demand is indicative of a moderate seller’s market. That being said, we’ll need to see how September shakes out as recent liquidity through the end of the summer has fallen off.

Investors and potential buyers in Brooklyn will likely continue to face competition on many properties due to robust demand and diminishing supply. In contrast, Manhattan’s market could offer some more breathing room.  As always, I caution you against generalizations in this market.  It’s important to recognize that our real estate landscape is not a single, monolithic market. Instead, it’s comprised of diverse micro-markets across the city. Performance varies substantially by neighborhood, property quality, and pricing strategy. 

If you’d like to dig deeper on more specific properties and neighborhoods as either a seller or buyer or if you would like assistance or advice, please feel free to contact me.

That’s all for now. Have a great month!

All the Best,