2020 NYC Real Estate Outlook

By Elizabeth Kohen | February 26, 2020

Over the past several weeks, buyers seem to have regained an appetite for Brooklyn real estate. We are seeing strong turnouts at open houses and solid offers in quick succession. The market is still favorable to buyers—prices have leveled out, rates are extremely low and there are deals to be found. For listings that are well priced on the cusp of the market and showcased in their best possible light, buyers are finding value and opportunity.

We predict a steady market now through early September. Sales activity tends to wane significantly in the months leading up to an election cycle, particularly a presidential election, and even more so in an unpredictable one, as consumers become tentative and caution inevitably kicks in, so we anticipate a slowdown this September through November, even though fall is typically seasonally strong for sales.

Once the outcome has been decided on November 3rd, provided the economy remains on track we predict the sales market will kick back into gear fairly quickly and pent-up demand will create renewed urgency, so sales will make up for lost time in robust fashion. December is typically the slowest season for sales in our area, so we might not see that uptick until January 2021.

The New York City Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform provided a preliminary report in January of this year proposing an increase in property taxes on multimillion-dollar co-ops and condos in order to create more tax equity citywide. This could affect 90% of all homeowners in NYC, and to take effect would need the approval of both city council and state legislature, which could take years, but it’s something worth tracking.

Fears of a recession still loom along with a slowdown in global growth, trade wars, geopolitical upheaval and inherent risks in being part of the longest economic expansion in US history (10 1/2 years and counting). It’s worth noting that historically Brooklyn real estate values have not been as impacted by prior recessions as the rest of the country and real estate here has proven to be a solid long-term investment.

In our experience, now is the time to take advantage of less heated buyer competition and incredibly low rates (in the low- to mid-3s). Buyers have an incredible—but likely short-lived—window of opportunity, which history suggests may tighten within the next year or two.

As always, we welcome you to contact us for confidential advice and support on your real estate endeavors.

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