Hit hard by the pandemic, New York City’s real estate market is proving its resilience once again. As the vaccine rollout increasingly allows life to approach normal, buyer appetite has returned with a vengeance. Specifically, 8,343 residential sales closed in Q2 2021 across the city, marking an 88% year-over-year (Y-o-Y) increase compared to the lockdown-depressed figures of Q2 2020.

Pricing trends, too, were strong in Q2 and the NYC median came in at $764,000 — up 13% Y-o-Y and 10% higher than Q2 2019. Looking at the 50 most expensive neighborhoods in NYC, in particular (actually represented by 55 neighborhoods due to a number of ties), prices were mostly on the rise, as well, although not quite across the board.

29 neighborhoods heated up — 24 of which rose at double-digit rates, including four locations where the median sale price rose by more than 50%. Conversely,16 neighborhoods experienced year-over-year losses in median prices. Of those, nine were located in Brooklyn, five in Manhattan and two in Queens. At the same time, year-over-year figures were unavailable for 10 neighborhoods due to an insufficient number of closed sales in Q2 2020.

Explore the interactive map below for at-a-glance price and sales insights into NYC’s most expensive neighborhoods in Q2 2021:



Notably, 40 of the 55 neighborhoods in our ranking of the priciest in the city experienced double-digit year-over-year gains in sales activity and only four saw sales activity contract. More precisely, 28 neighborhoods more than doubled their sales year-over-year; three neighborhoods closed more than three times as many residential sales as they did in Q2 2020; and three areas even quadrupled their sales volume compared to last year.

However, it’s important to note that sales activity in Q2 2020 had dropped to an unprecedented low. As such, most of the year-over-year gains in sales simply represent a return to pre-pandemic market activity, further boosted by a pent-up appetite from buyers who were reluctant to participate in last year’s restricted conditions and uncertain economic outlook.

Manhattan Claims 9 of the 10 Most Expensive NYC Neighborhoods; DUMBO Tops Brooklyn

Overall, the 55 neighborhoods that posted the 50 highest median sale prices in Q2 were dominated by Brooklyn with 24 entries and Manhattan with 22, while Queens supplied nine neighborhoods – a familiar mix. Also keeping in line with usual trends was Manhattan’s domination of the 10 most expensive neighborhoods in the city, as the borough claimed nine of NYC’s 10 priciest locations.

By comparison, Manhattan claimed only six of the 10 most expensive locations in the city during the unusual conditions of Q2 2020. That stat was significantly influenced by depressed sales activity, which hit some of the city’s priciest neighborhoods especially hard — including Hudson Yards, one of the five most expensive neighborhoods in the city for several years now. Nevertheless, Hudson Yards surged back in 2021 to close Q2 with a median sale price of $5,714,000, making it the #1 most expensive neighborhood in NYC by far.

Under pandemic pressure, Hudson Yards residential sales slowed so drastically that the number of sales was insufficient to establish accurate metrics in Q2 2020. As a result, reliable year-over-year differences were also absent. However, compared to Q2 2019, Hudson Yards’ median was up an impressive 48%.  Even so, sales activity remained low, with only six sales closed in Q2 2021 – 89% fewer than during the pre-mansion-tax buying frenzy of Q2 2019, which fueled 56 sales in Hudson Yards.

Long one of the priciest locations in the city, at $3,250,000 TriBeCa was the #2 most expensive NYC neighborhood in Q2 2021, even in the face of a 13% Y-o-Y price decrease. Here, residential sales were up 90% Y-o-Y, bringing the neighborhood to pre-pandemic levels of transactional activity, recording 91 deals in Q2 2021. Previously, 48 deals closed in TriBeCa in Q2 2020, whereas the neighborhood recorded 100 sales in Q2 2019.

Hudson Yards’ return to the top spot — and TriBeCa’s steady performance — meant that SoHo held steady as the #3 most expensive neighborhood in NYC, posting a Q2 2021 median sale price of $2,619,000. Here, too, the three-fold year-over-year increase in sales was an artificial figure, representing merely a (partial) recouping of the pandemic slowdown.


Down two spots compared to the same period last year, Little Italy came in at #4 with a $2,750,000 median. Its 27% Y-o-Y drop was due to a significant percentage of the quarter’s sales closing at a noticeably lower price point than the neighborhood’s usual pricing territory: Of the 13 deals closed in Q2 2021, seven sales at 75 Kenmare St. closed at a $1.75 million median, and as result Little Italy was one of four neighborhoods among the city’s 10 most expensive to log year-over-year price drops.

Little Italy was followed by the Flatiron District at #5 with a $1,925,000 median and at #6 by Hudson Square, another top 10 neighborhood that logged negative price trends. At $1,848,000, Hudson Square came in 9% below year-ago figures. Its sales activity was a more complex story: while Hudson Square did indeed record a 322% Y-o-Y surge in sales, that percentage actually translated to an increase from 18 sales in Q2 2020 to 76 deals in Q2 2021.

Historically, Hudson Square sales trends tend to fluctuate significantly quarter to quarter and year over year, as Hudson Square stats are quite sensitive to larger amounts of sales in new buildings. For example, of the 76 deals record in Q2 of the current year, 34 originated at luxury condo building 77 Charlton. Hudson Square sales surged similarly in Q2 2019, artificially inflated by a large volume of sales at the then-new 565 Broom Street, which originated 40 of the quarter’s 64 residential sales.

To the south, the Theater District-Times Square area marked the second-sharpest rate of price growth among the 50 most expensive neighborhoods in NYC and claimed the #8 position with a median sale price of $1,731,000, following a 66% Y-o-Y surge. The acceleration was fueled by clusters of significantly higher-priced deals closing on Billionaires’ Row, among which were eight units that traded hands at a $9.5 million median at Central Park Tower and seven units that sold at 220 Central Park South at a $33 million median.

Coming in at #9, DUMBO was the only neighborhood outside of Manhattan to make it onto the list of the city’s 10 priciest in Q2 2021. As a result, DUMBO was Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhood yet again, despite a 28% Y-o-Y price drop that took the neighborhood’s median sale price from north of $2 million last year to just $1.49 million in Q2 2021. That drop was partially fueled by 8 of its 28 sales closing at 98 Front St. at a noticeably lower price point than the neighborhood median.

Manhattan Sales Up 112% Y-o-Y, Brooklyn Leads Price Growth with 18% Y-o-Y Increase

At the borough level, Manhattan remained the most expensive and, due to a 14% Y-o-Y increase, its median sale price returned to over $1 million, closing Q2 2021 at $1,125,000. What’s more, transactional activity also returned in force, more than doubling borough-wide.

In fact, the 3,346 residential sales closed in Q2 2021 represented a 112% gain on year-ago figures. However, sales also dropped in Manhattan at the sharpest rate last year: Q2 2020 closed with sales activity down 65% Y-o-Y. Consequently, much of that 112% increase is a return to pre-pandemic sales levels. But the surge also reflects some pent-up demand entering the market, since Manhattan’s Q2 2021 sales activity was actually also 7% above Q2 2019 — a quarter that was unusually active itself due to the impending mansion tax.

And, just as Manhattan was marked by a significant return of buyer appetite and double-digit price gains, Brooklyn too, followed. Hit less harshly in terms of sales activity during the pandemic, transactional activity here grew 86% Y-o-Y to recoup last year’s Q2 losses. In fact, Brooklyn’s 2,242 residential sales also represented a 26% increase over its Q2 2019 figures.

In terms of price trends, Brooklyn also had the sharpest year-over-year increase among the four boroughs: Its $828,000 median sale price was up 18% Y-o-Y and 15% higher than Q2 2019 figures. Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhood was DUMBO, which claimed #9 in the city with a $1.49 million median due to a 28% Y-o-Y drop.

Brooklyn’s #2 most expensive neighborhood was Cobble Hill with a $1,385,000 median sales price. Its median contracted, as well — decreasing 5% Y-o-Y — which brought the neighborhood down from the city’s eighth-priciest last year to just missing out on the top 10 this year.

Downtown Brooklyn, on the other hand, became the borough’s #3 most expensive, following a 79% Y-o-Y increase. That surge brought the neighborhood’s median from Q2 2020’s $765,000 to its current $1,368,000, lifting it 31 spots among the city’s most expensive neighborhoods to become #13 in NYC. But, more important, Downtown Brooklyn’s 79% jump also marked the sharpest price increase among the city’s top neighborhoods.

Next up was Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn’s #4 most expensive borough with a $1,335,000 median following a 35% Y-o-Y drop. As a result, Carroll Gardens marked the sharpest price decrease among the city’s 50 most expensive neighborhoods.


Queens also presented positive year-over-year trends, with the borough’s median sale price rising 6% to reach $550,000 — 19% higher than the $463,000 median recorded in Q2 2019. Similarly, Queen sales activity also recovered by a significant margin, rising 67% Y-o-Y. But the 2,280 sales closed here in Q2 2021 were still a slight 3% below Q2 2019 figures.

Of the nine neighborhoods that ranked among the city’s 50 priciest in Q2 2021, five — Malba, Neponsit, Hollis Hills, Belle Harbor and Ditmars Steinway — had such depressed sales activity in Q2 2020 that accurate metrics could not be identified. As a result, reliable year-over-year changes couldn’t be determined, either.

Hunters Point was the #1 most expensive Queens neighborhood, rising 11% Y-o-Y to reach $985,000. After Hunters Point, Malba and Neponsit were the borough’s most expensive neighborhoods with medians of $983,000 and $971,000, respectively. No Queens neighborhoods surpassed the $1 million mark.

Explore the interactive table below for our snapshot of New York City’s 50 most expensive neighborhoods in Q2 2021: