Real estate activity in the Northeast is picking up, but residents still appeared hesitant to move into Manhattan last month.
Residential sales contracts in the Big Apple fell 31 percent when compared with the same period last year, according to a report by Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants for Douglas Elliman, with the largest decline seen among the most expensive listings.
There was a 75 percent decline, for example, in signed contracts in the $4 million to $4.99 million range.
On the other hand, activity in the suburbs was booming.
Deals valued at more than $4 million increased six-fold in Greenwich, Conn.
On Long Island, deals valued at more than $400,000 comprised the largest share of annual gains in single-family contracts signed, data showed, and that excludes the expensive Hamptons area.
In the Hamptons, specifically, single-family contract totals were described as continuing a “torrid upward pace,” two-fold what they were last year.
On the North Fork of the island, they were also nearly double the total seen last year.
Westchester County in New York and Fairfield County in Connecticut, had significant increases year over year.
The downward trend appears to be isolated to Manhattan itself and not the surrounding boroughs.
In Brooklyn, for example, contracts were up around 30 percent year over year. Researchers characterized new contract activity as rising “sharply from April lows.”
Jonathan Miller, author of the report, did caution that there were indications that some suburban markets showed signs of peaking in August, including Westchester.
New data from United Van Lines also indicated a strong interest in leaving New York City where moves are comparable with the same period last year at a time when fewer people throughout the U.S. are moving.
So far in 2020, 67 percent of moves throughout the state altogether are outbound, which is a 4 percentage point increase over 2019.
Even moving companies have described an “insane” uptick in moves out of Manhattan.
Besides nearby suburbs, Florida remains a popular destination for those fleeing the Northeast. The latest data from United Van Lines shows moving interest to Florida from New York City is up 10% year over year.
From New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, collectively, there is a 4 percentage point uptick in actual moves to Florida compared with last year.
The top states that have seen the largest uptick in move-ins when compared with move-outs are Vermont, Idaho, Oregon and South Carolina.