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Buying a home in NYC? You'll have the most negotiating power in this neighborhood

In some New York City neighborhoods, home buyers have all the power. In others, it's a sellers' game. StreetEasy analyzed the best neighborhoods for both.
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The best neighborhood for buyers is Midtown, Manhattan, according to a new report from real estate site StreetEasy. Photo: Public Domain Pictures

House-hunting is hard, and it’s a different game in every neighborhood. Whether you’re looking to buy a new home or sell your old one, you’ll face a lot of competition for either action throughout the five boroughs.

Here’s some insider info: the most buyer-friendly neighborhoods are in Manhattan, and the most seller-friendly areas tend to be the outer boroughs, according to a new report from StreetEasy.

StreetEasy released on Thursday an analysis of the best neighborhoods in New York City for both buyers and sellers, but what makes a neighborhood “good” for either of those actions?

For the report, StreetEasy Senior Economist Grant Long looked at how quickly homes in an area go off the market, how often they have their prices cut and how great the difference tends to be between a house’s asking price and its selling price.

Buyers want to have some negotiating power when it comes to a home’s price, and they have the most wiggle room in Manhattan — unfortunately, where things tend to be more expensive to begin with.

The best neighborhood for buyers is Midtown for the second year in a row, according to the report. There, more than a third of listings had price cuts.

In the top 10 best buyer areas, only two weren’t in Manhattan: Dumbo and Long Island City. Long Island City was the least expensive neighborhood on that list, with a median asking price of $1.1 million in 2017.

When homes are listed for cheaper, the buyer has less room to negotiate. But “those unable to afford million-dollar homes need not be discouraged,” Long wrote in the report, because more than 9,000 homes were listed on StreetEasy in 2017 for $500,000 or less.

These cheaper units are more in demand, though, so they tend to spend less time on the market.

"Our latest report clearly illustrates the two different dynamics we’re seeing in the NYC sales market, where high-end buyers are enjoying more bargaining power than ever, while the lower and more affordable end of the market remains incredibly competitive," Long said in an email. "We see this play out in the areas that rose to the top as most favorable for buyers with all but two located in pricey Manhattan, while neighborhoods where sellers have the upper hand tend to be in the outer boroughs which offer more affordable housing options."

When it comes to selling your home, you don’t want to cut the price or have it listed for a long time, and this is where the outer boroughs have benefits. For sellers, Flushing is the best neighborhood overall.

Of the top ten neighborhoods for sellers, six were in Queens and four in Brooklyn. In each of these markets, homes spent less than 65 days listed — compared to at least 84 days in the best buyers markets. 

"No matter where you’re looking, New York City’s housing market is competitive and fast-moving," Long said, "so it’s important for buyers – particularly those that are focused on the affordable end of homes  – to be ready to act fast when they find the right home within their budget."

See more info on all New York City neighborhoods with the interactive map below.

 

 
 
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