From the Fed:
Construction and Real Estate
Residential real estate markets in the District have shown increasingly widespread signs of improvement in recent weeks. New York City apartment rents, which had flattened out in the final months of 2012, have accelerated in early 2013 and are reported to be up 6-7 percent from a year ago in Manhattan and by somewhat more in Brooklyn. With respect to the city’s co-op and condo market, a major appraisal firm reports that sales volume has strengthened, while the inventory of apartments for sale is down sharply to one of the lowest levels on record. Most of the new development is at the upper end of the market, while low inventories across the rest of the spectrum have begun to drive up selling prices across New York City, as well as in Westchester County and Long Island. Multiple offers (bidding wars), though hardly the norm, are becoming more frequent across the region. Prime areas of Brooklyn, where market conditions are particularly strong, are reported to be seeing a good deal of commercial-to-residential conversion. Similarly, an expert on northern New Jersey’s housing market reports continued improvement in market conditions: the volume of distressed properties there has been shrinking, with noticeably fewer homes moving into delinquency or foreclosure recently. Still, prices have moved up only modestly, held back by a slow foreclosure process. Buffalo-area Realtors also report strong market fundamentals–declining inventories and fairly rapid price appreciation.