It’s not just luxury home listings that are piling up in New York City. Even units for less than US$1 million — within reach of far more people than a Billionaires’ Row penthouse — are hurting for buyers.

In Manhattan, the inventory of sub-US$1 million apartments surged 27 per cent in June from a year earlier to 3,087, the most for the month since 2013, according to StreetEasy. Such listings jumped 17 per cent to 2,738 in Brooklyn, and climbed six per cent to 2,314 in Queens, a borough usually sought out for its relative affordability.

Buyers at all price points are taking their time to shop around for the best deal — if they make a purchase at all. When combined with listings over US$1 million, Brooklyn and Queens both had the largest number of available homes for June since 2008, according to StreetEasy. Total inventory in Manhattan hasn’t been this high for month since 2011.

“There are a lot of options out there, so be picky,” said Grant Long, senior economist for the listings website. “The power is in your hands to negotiate.”

Another surge of listings is expected in September, a time when many homeowners try to recapture buyer attention after a summer break, according to Long.

If purchases don’t clear some of the supply before then, “what’s added in the fall will push us undoubtedly to the highest inventory levels that the city has ever seen,” he said. “Unless sales pick up, we are going to see lower prices.”


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