2019 New York real estate trends | Do buyers have upper hand?

- To rent or to buy? To sell or to hold? Where will you find the best real estate deals in New York this year? StreetEasy senior economist Grant Long says prices are continuing to fall in a lot of places in the city and buyers continue to have the upper hand in negotiations. The trend started in 2018 and Grant expects it to continue into 2019.

A record number of homes came on to the market in 2018, Grant says, and a lot of them are still sitting there. He expects even more price cuts and more inventory on the market this year.

The exception? Queens. It's becoming more popular and pricier. Grant says homes in Astoria, Long Island City, and Sunnyside offer attractive commutes and are becoming really popular, especially with the new Amazon announcement.

But StreetEasy isn't convinced that the employees at Amazon's new HQ2 will buy up all the condos in the area. Grant says a lot of the homes in Long Island City are still really expensive.

The Amazon news is really good for developers who are trying to sell units but Grant says that doesn't mean that someone making $150,000 is going to want to buy a 500-square-foot apartment for $600,000 or $700,000.

For renters, downtown Manhattan is back. Grant says tax reform is weighing on people's minds and mortgage rates are higher than they were a year ago. That's making renting more popular than buying.

Grant says that people who have the money to buy but choose to rent instead are looking at really expensive neighborhoods, like those in downtown Manhattan.

So what else is in focus in 2019? StreetEasy will be watching to see if the new mega-developments Hudson Yards on the West Side and Two Bridges on the East Side will be successful.

As for the hot neighborhoods in 2019, Grant says Downtown Brooklyn, East Flatbush, and the Lower East Side were top of the list when the L-train shutdown was happening. Let's see if it stays that way or if Williamsburg makes a comeback.

Mott Haven in the Bronx is also one of the top five neighborhoods this year.

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