Press Release

The Real Estate Board of New York Reports Dramatic Decrease in Residential Sales in First Quarter of 2020


May 12, 2020

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REBNY’s Quarterly Residential Sales Report Underscores Need for Effective Economic Recovery Policies at the City, State and Federal Levels

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the City’s leading real estate trade association, reported that New York City’s total sales volume and total residential transactions decreased significantly to reach lowest points since Q1 2014 and Q4 2011, respectively, according to its Q1 2020 Quarterly Residential Sales Report released today.

From January 1 to March 31, 2020, citywide total residential sales volume decreased 16% year-over-year, from $10.5 billion to $8.7 billion, with each of the five boroughs experiencing declines. Citywide residential transactions also decreased 16% year-over-year, from 10,382 to 8,702 sales, with all five boroughs seeing a decrease in the number of transactions. The data does not reflect the expected significant decline in market activity as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis and subsequent Executive Orders including the stay-at-home order issued March 20.

“Market indicators have warned New Yorkers that the housing market was entering a downturn even before the Coronavirus pandemic caused an unprecedented public health and economic crisis in New York City,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “As we expect to see residential sales again decrease next quarter, now more than ever, we must collaborate on effective and sensible policies at the City, State and federal levels to jumpstart New York City’s economy.”

The real estate industry, which serves as the fundamental driver of New York City’s economic engine, represented more than half (53%) of the City’s total annual tax revenue in the last fiscal year. The industry employs hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from building service workers to brokers and generates essential revenue for the City of New York to maintain the salaries of first responders, fund infrastructure improvements and provide for public services like schools, libraries and parks.

Other key findings from the Q1 2020 Quarterly Residential Sales Report include:

  • Manhattan condominium and cooperative total sales volume decreased 35% year-over-year.


    Brooklyn’s condominium and cooperative total sales volume did not see significant changes.

  • The average sales price of a home (condominium, cooperative, and one-to-three family dwellings) in New York City in Q1 2020 was $1.01 million.


    Average home sales price remains flat year-over-year.

  • REBNY reports more than 8,436 active and 5,039 in-contract listings in Q1 2020 across Manhattan and Brooklyn and expects this number to remain flat as there are minimal transactions occurring in today’s market as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.

The Quarterly Residential Sales Report is New York City’s most comprehensive compilation of residential sales data. The report captures the citywide and by borough breakdowns of closing data for condominiums, cooperatives and one-to-three family dwellings. Additionally, for the first time, the Quarterly Residential Sales Report now captures the active and in-contract data for Manhattan and Brooklyn as a result of REBNY’s new partnership with Perchwell, New York's premier real estate data and analytics platform. This report also includes by borough maps indicating the City’s “hottest neighborhoods” by sales activity including the Upper East Side and Midtown West.  

Download the Q1 2020 Quarterly Residential Sales Report here. For more information about REBNY research reports, visit

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The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association. Founded in 1896, REBNY represents commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, and salespeople; banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, and contractors; corporations, co-partnerships, and individuals professionally interested in New York City real estate. REBNY conducts research on various civic matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes, and other city, state, and federal legislation. REBNY regularly publishes market data, policy reports, and broker surveys. In addition, REBNY provides for its members: informational, technical, and technological resources; networking and charitable service opportunities; qualifying and continuing education courses; professional education programs, seminars, and designations; career-changing awards; legal advice; and a wide range of additional member benefits. For more information, please visit