- Hudson Yards & TriBeCa retain lead positions for third consecutive year
- 2021 NYC median sale price hits $750,000, setting new record
- City-wide sales on track to reach 40,000 deals — the highest figure in a decade
- 35 neighborhoods surpass $1 million median sale price
- Sales heat up in all but two locations, 23 neighborhoods post triple-digit gains over 2020
- Manhattan home to nine of city’s 10 most expensive neighborhoods
- Brooklyn claims four of the five neighborhoods with sharpest gains in median sale price
- Neponsit, Malba & Hunters Point lead Queens with medians over $1 million
The onset of the pandemic hit New York City’s real estate market particularly hard, causing sales to drop 32% in 2020 compared to 2019 as the city’s median sale price ticked up a mere 1%. But as widespread vaccinations took hold and the economy began to recover, so did buyer appetite in the city.
As a result, sales activity in 2021 surged 79% over last year’s figures, reaching 38,383 ACRIS-registered transactions between January 1 and December 8, suggesting that, by the end of the month, sales will have surpassed 40,000 unique deals. Likewise, the NYC median sale price also rose significantly, climbing 14% to reach $750,000 for 2021. Consequently, both NYC’s sales activity, as well as its pricing trends, reached their highest figures in 10 years.
35 of NYC’s Most Expensive Neighborhoods Post Medians Over $1 Million
Of the 54 neighborhoods that posted the 50 highest median sale prices (the result of a number of ties), 35 neighborhoods recorded positive price gains, including seven neighborhoods where year-over-year increases hit 20% or more. Of these, two were located in Manhattan and five were in Brooklyn — including the highest rate of price growth, which was claimed by Bedford-Stuyvesant’s 29% year-over-year (Y-o-Y) gain.
Notably, the number of neighborhoods with medians of $1 million or more also rose — up from 29 last year to 35 this year. Consequently, the number of NYC neighborhoods with median sale prices above the $1 million threshold increased by 21% Y-o-Y. Of these, 17 are located in Manhattan, while 15 are in Brooklyn and three in Queens.
The price increases of NYC’s most expensive neighborhoods were also evidenced by the #50 highest median sale price: While Brooklyn’s Crown Heights claimed it in 2020 with a $775,000 median, Manhattan’s Turtle Bay grabbed the last spot in our ranking this year with an $840,000 median sale price — 8% higher than last year’s lowest pricing threshold on our list.
On the other end of the spectrum, 15 neighborhoods logged price declines — including Central Midtown, which had the sharpest price contraction, dropping 52% Y-o-Y. In particular, this came as the result of sales drying up at the MoMa-adjacent 53 West 53 supertall skyscraper — which accounted for nearly one-quarter of the neighborhood’s 2020 sales — whereas, this year, the luxury condo project provided only 2% of Midtown’s sales total. Thus, Central Midtown crashed from the #7 priciest last year all the way down to #47 in 2021.
Explore the interactive map below for at-a-glance price and sales insights for NYC’s neighborhoods in 2021:
Sales activity was on the rise in nearly all of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods, with only Queens’ Belle Harbor and Brooklyn’s Gowanus trending down at -5% and -13% Y-o-Y, respectively. Otherwise, the rest of NYC’s most expensive neighborhoods saw a frenzy of transactional activity as buyers, sidelined by the pandemic last year, returned to the market with an increased appetite.
Accordingly, sales activity more than doubled in 23 neighborhoods. In fact, the number of sales surged by 202% and 278% Y-o-Y in the Flatiron District and Hudson Square, respectively. But the absolute sharpest growth rate was claimed by DUMBO, which went up by a staggering 342% Y-o-Y.
Hudson Yards & TriBeCa Lead in Pricing for 3rd Consecutive Year
The 54 neighborhoods that posted the 50 highest median sale prices in 2021 were dominated by Manhattan and Brooklyn, with 23 and 21 entries, respectively, with Queens supplying an additional 10 neighborhoods — a familiar mix. Specifically, nine of the 10 priciest neighborhoods in NYC were from Manhattan, with Brooklyn represented by only Vinegar Hill at #7.
As usual, pricing levels in the Bronx were not high enough to rank any neighborhoods among the city’s priciest, although the borough’s median did grow 12% compared to last year’s figures, reaching $365,000.
Returning to the most expensive areas, Hudson Yards remained the #1 most expensive NYC neighborhood in 2021 for the third consecutive year. Its median sale price ticked up 5% Y-o-Y, closing the year at $4.75 million. Transactional activity also increased here, going from 23 deals in 2020 to 44 sales closed year-to-date (YTD). And, after sales slowed so much when the pandemic hit that accurate metrics could not be determined in Q2 2020, this uptick represented a significant recovery for NYC’s newest neighborhood.
Similarly, TriBeCa retained its spot as the #2 priciest NYC neighborhood for the third consecutive year, coming in at a $3,495,000 median in 2021. Prior to Hudson Yards taking off, TriBeCa had ruled NYC’s neighborhood rankings for several years. The exclusive neighborhood also saw major recovery throughout 2021: Its median sale price increased 11% over 2020 figures, while transactional activity shot up 83% for a total of 363 closed sales YTD.
Another veteran of NYC’s most expensive neighborhoods, SoHo placed #3 following a 9% Y-o-Y bump in its median sale price, stabilizing at $2,675,000. This increase — coupled with Little Italy’s 14% price decrease — reversed the two neighborhoods’ rankings compared to 2020. As a result, Little Italy was NYC’s #4 most expensive neighborhood at $2,365,000.
Sales, however, were on the upswing in both areas, with transactional activity surging 167% Y-o-Y in SoHo — the seventh-sharpest increase among the city’s priciest neighborhoods — while Little Italy logged 34% more sales than it did in 2020’s transactionally depressed market.
Not to be outdone, Hudson Square retained its 2020 position as NYC’s #5 most expensive neighborhood. Its median was virtually unchanged, closing 2020 at $2.1 million and 2021 at $2.09 million, despite a 278% increase in sales — the second-sharpest sales acceleration among the city’s top neighborhoods.
Brooklyn Logs Sharpest Price Increases in NYC, DUMBO Sales Surge 342% Y-o-Y
At the same time, Brooklyn placed just one neighborhood among the city’s 10 most expensive. And, it wasn’t the usual neighborhoods of DUMBO, Cobble Hill or Carroll Gardens, all three of which experienced year-over-year median sale price contractions as sales activity surged.
Rather, Brooklyn’s priciest neighborhood and NYC’s #7 most expensive was Vinegar Hill at $1.54 million. Notably, Vinegar Hill was absent from 2020 rankings due to insufficient transactional activity. Sales in this neighborhood tend to fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter, which makes Vinegar Hill’s presence among the city’s priciest neighborhoods a sporadic one. In fact, this year’s ranking with 16 sales is just above our minimum threshold of 15 closed sales to determine accurate annual metrics.
Moreover, Vinegar Hill’s position as Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhood was also determined by DUMBO’s -13% Y-o-Y price decline. The latter closed 2020 at $1,625,000, but, as sales activity recovered in 2021, its median sale price later dropped to $1,409,000 — making DUMBO Brooklyn’s #2 priciest neighborhood. This drop also pushed DUMBO out of its recurring spot among NYC’s 10 most expensive neighborhoods, landing at #11 city-wide.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn’s #3 priciest neighborhood was Carroll Gardens, which also saw its median slip, dropping 3% Y-o-Y to stabilize at $1,408,000. As such, Carroll Gardens was also the 12th priciest neighborhood in NYC, down one spot compared to last year.
In terms of sales activity, Brooklyn was also home to the sharpest rate of increase in NYC, as sales in DUMBO surged 342% — going from 38 deals in 2020 to 168 in 2021. At the same time, Cobble Hill sales activity nearly tripled, rising from 44 last year to 129 year-to-date.
Conversely, Brooklyn also claimed one of only two neighborhoods among the city’s 50 most expensive where sales slowed compared to 2020, with Gowanus recording 13% fewer sales in 2021 than in 2020. However, Gowanus went against the grain in 2020, when its transactional activity surged 113% over 2019 levels. The spike was fueled by sales at 554 Fourth Ave. and LUNA at 229 Ninth St., which, together, accounted for 52% of 2020’s residential sales in Gowanus.
While sales activity may have decreased in Gowanus, the Brooklyn neighborhood also claimed one of the sharpest median sale price increases among the city’s priciest neighborhoods. In fact, the five highest median sale price increases in NYC were claimed by five Brooklyn neighborhoods and Manhattan’s Chinatown (due to one tie).
Specifically, Bedfod-Stuyvesant logged the sharpest increase at 29% Y-o-Y, which lifted its median by nearly $200,000 to $888,000. That finish was the result of 14% of its sales recording medians of $970,000 and $957,000 at 567 Marcy Ave. and 92 Stockton St., respectively.
Greenpoint claimed the city’s second-sharpest price gain at 28% Y-o-Y, which lifted its median sale price by $266,000 to close 2021 in the million-dollar category at $1.2 million. Not far behind, Brooklyn Heights had the third-highest increase in NYC at 27%, rising nearly $300,000 Y-o-Y to reach $1,385,000. That was after 67 of its 321 sales originated at One Clinton with a whopping $3.1 million median sale price.
Next up, Gowanus tied with Downtown Brooklyn for the fourth-sharpest rate of increase — 26% Y-o-Y — which pushed both neighborhoods’ medians above $1 million. In both cases, the rise was the result of concentrated sales at new developments, where the median sales prices far outpaced the neighborhoods’ usual pricing levels. For example, Downtown Brooklyn closed 2020 at $894,000, but later surged to $1.12 million due to 134 sales closing with a $1.9 million median at the luxury mixed-use development of Brooklyn Point.
Malba Median Drops 22% Y-o-Y, Neponsit Claims Priciest Queens Neighborhood
Although Queens has yet to rank among the 10 most expensive NYC neighborhoods, it was nonetheless present among the city’s 50 priciest with 10 neighborhoods. In fact, Queens’ three priciest — Neponsit, Malba and Hunters Point — all featured medians of more than $1 million. And, nine of the 10 areas that it ranked among the city’s top neighborhoods also experienced price gains.
In particular, Queens’ #1 most expensive neighborhood in 2021 was Neponsit with a $1,225,000 median sale price, followed by Malba at #2. Although Malba had led Queens in terms of pricing during the last few years, Neponsit’s median increased 9% Y-o-Y.
It then overtook Malba as the latter underwent a 22% Y-o-Y price contraction, dropping from 2020’s $1.35 million to $1.05 million — and that occurred as the result of a larger number of smaller-sized homes trading hands this year compared to last. Specifically, the average Malba home sold in 2020 was 2,640 square feet, whereas the average home sold here in 2021 was 2,114 square feet in size.
Meanwhile, Hunters Point was Queens’ #3 most expensive neighborhood, following a 17% Y-o-Y increase that lifted it into million-dollar territory with a $1,039,000 median. Notably, that increase of $148,000 was the highest price increase among Queens’ most expensive neighborhoods — both in absolute dollars, as well as growth rate.
Likewise, transactional activity heated up here, too: Nine of Queens’ 10 priciest neighborhoods logged double- or triple-digit increases over 2020 figures. To that end, Malba had the sharpest rate of increase at 164%, but, it must be noted that that translated into an increase of just 18 more deals for a total of 29 sales in 2021, compared to just 11 last year.
And, logging the third-sharpest rate of sales acceleration among Queens’ top neighborhoods at 110% Y-o-Y, Hunters Point saw the highest increase in terms of actual sales numbers, rising from 2020’s 352 to 741 closed residential sales year-to-date.
Conversely, Belle Harbor was one of only two of NYC’s 50 most expensive neighborhoods that actually saw sales ease. It recorded 5% fewer sales than in 2021, which translated to 35 closed deals — two fewer than in 2020.
Overall, although 2020 was a year marked by historically low sales activity, the pent-up demand of last year was fully released onto the market: NYC sales were up 79% Y-o-Y, with 38,383 deals registered in ACRIS by Dec. 8 — a number that is projected to surpass 40,000 by the end of the year.
At the borough level, sales increased 41% in the Bronx; 52% in Queens; and 80% in Brooklyn, and in Manhattan, where sales dried up at the sharpest rate in early 2020, sales activity surged by a whopping 113%, totaling more than 15,000 deals.
Similarly, prices were also on the upswing, with NYC’s median reaching a new record at $750,000 — up 14% over 2020 figures. Manhattan’s median also rose — albeit at a more tempered rate of 7% Y-o-Y to reach a record $1.1 million. Queens’ median also rose 10% to close 2021 at $570,000, while the Bronx experienced a 12% median sale price increase to reach $365,000. Last, but not least, Brooklyn claimed the sharpest median sale price increase of the four boroughs, logging a 14% hike to reach $810,000.
Explore the interactive table below for the full list of New York City’s 50 most expensive neighborhoods in 2021:
|Rank||Borough||Neighborhood||Median Sale Price 2021||Y-o-Y Change||Number of Sales 2021||Y-o-Y Change|
|8||Manhattan||Theatre District – Times Square||$1,522,000||-16%||251||98%|
|18||Brooklyn||Columbia Street Waterfront District||$1,200,000||-3%||55||96%|
|21||Manhattan||Upper East Side||$1,150,000||10%||3143||116%|
|24||Manhattan||Upper West Side||$1,100,000||-16%||2890||102%|
|33||Manhattan||Lower East Side||$999,000||-5%||336||114%|
|34||Brooklyn||Lower East Side||$995,000||-15%||281||30%|
|35||Manhattan||Battery Park City||$990,000||9%||169||111%|
|36||Queens||Ditmars – Steinway||$958,000||15%||36||112%|
|46||Manhattan||Clinton – Hell’s Kitchen||$875,000||5%||460||117%|
Median sale prices were calculated based on closed residential property sales recorded in ACRIS between January 1 and December 8, 2020, and January 1 and December 8, 2021. Residential asset types included were single family homes, condos and co-ops. Package deals were excluded.
Median sale prices were calculated only for neighborhoods that recorded at least 15 sales between January 1 and December 8, 2021. Year-over-year changes in median sale prices or the number of sales were calculated only for neighborhoods that also recorded a minimum of 15 sales between January 1 and December 8, 2021 and a minimum of 11 sales between January 1 and December 8 2020. Additionally, median sale prices were rounded to the nearest $1,000.
The boundaries of some Manhattan neighborhoods may vary, as data on several small neighborhoods is included in stats for larger areas. For example, Central Park South is included in the Theatre District-Times Square area; NoLita is included in Little Italy; NoHo is included in Greenwich Village; and Carnegie Hill, Lenox Hill and Yorkville are all included in the Upper East Side.