In these NYC neighborhoods, buyers hold the upper hand

With New York home prices on the decline and listing inventory on the up and up, it’s a relatively good time to be a buyer in New York. Nowadays as listings can linger on the market, buyers have a special edge in negotiating sales prices.

Listings and data website StreetEasy has identified the top neighborhoods across the city where a lack of demand means listings are slower to move from for sale to sold, giving buyers the upper hand in negotiating price. To suss out which neighborhoods offer the most negotiating power, the website’s data analysts crunched its numbers on median days on market, the percentage with a price cut, and sale-to-list price ratio. The website also factored in how often StreetEasy users contacted agents about listings compared to 2018.

StreetEasy broke their data into three price tiers that correspond with a neighborhood’s median sales price in 2019: Under $700,000, from $700,000 to $1 million, and over $1 million. The neighborhoods where buyers have the most negotiating power within those price points varies wildly. It’s unsurprising, with the city’s glut of luxury condos, that buyers in the upper echelons—that is, those who are house shopping in the seven-plus digits—have the most bargaining power right now.

Last year, buyers house hunting in neighborhoods with a median sales price below $700,000 typically paid about 97 percent of that asking price, while buyers shopping in neighborhoods with a median sales price above $1 million typically doled out 90 percent of the ask.

Buyers on a budget under $700,000 can usually expect to spend up to 97 percent of the asking price in Jackson Heights—one of New York City’s most buyer-friendly neighborhoods at the moment. Over 2019, listings in the Queens neighborhood had a median price of $459,000 and typically sold at a slightly discounted $445,230. Other buyer-friendly markets with a median sales price below $700,000 include Rego Park, where the median sales price in 2019 was $429,999 and the sale-to-list price ratio was 95 percent; Sheepshead Bay ($699,000, 93 percent), East Flatbush ($649,000, 97 percent); and Brighton Beach ($619,500, 94 percent).

Buyers have a bit more negotiating power in neighborhoods where the median home price falls between $700,000 and $1 million. Areas like Midtown East, where the median sales price in 2019 was $899,000, listings typically sold at a 6 percent (or $54,000) discount. The other neighborhoods best for buyers looking to spend between $700,000 and $1 million are Bayside, where the median sales price in 2019 was $717,000 and the sale-to-list price ratio was 93 percent; Gravesend ($799,000, 93 percent); Flushing ($786,668, 93 percent); and Bay Ridge ($739,000, 94 percent).

Buyers looking to dish out more than $1 million on a new pad in 2020 will find the best deals in Midtown, where the median sales price in 2019 was $1.85 million with a sale-to-list ratio of 90 percent. Other neighborhoods best for buyers looking to surpass $1 million are the Financial District, where the median sales price in 2019 was $1.34 million and the sale-to-list price ratio was 93 percent; the Upper East Side ($1.54 million, 93 percent); Tribeca ($4 million, 93 percent); and Battery Park City ($1.2 million, 92 percent).

Thinking of selling? Neighborhoods where home sellers hold the upper hand differ dramatically, with nine out of 10 of those neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Selling in Crown Heights, Clinton Hill, or Williamsburg? The negotiating power is on your side.