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Study: City Real Estate Market Reaches Record Number Of Closes

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The weather wasn't the only thing heating up this spring, as a new report finds the real estate market was red-hot, setting new records for rentals. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report.

Despite low inventory and fierce competition, city real estate buyers signed more contracts this spring than ever before, according to a new report released by StreetEasy.com

"This was probably the hottest spring selling season that we have seen," says Sofia Song, the vice president of research at StreetEasy. "We had a record number of closes, to 4,200 signed contracts in Manhattan this quarter. That is up 35 percent from last quarter and 22 percent from a year ago."

Song says the buying rush that started at the end of 2012 just increased as the city moved into the second quarter. With low interest rates, more buyers are trying to get in before they get priced out.

While low inventory has been an issue, this quarter things eased a bit as more owners realized it is a good time to sell.

"Inventory went up about 8 percent this past quarter, but we are still down 11 percent from a year ago. I think a lot of owners have finally realized that it's a seller's market," Song says.

The report finds demand increased across the board, especially for entry-level buyers. Studio contracts were up 33 percent from this time last year and one-bedrooms were up 25 percent. There was also strong demand for luxury homes, with a 40-percent jump in the number of contracts signed for homes over $3 million.

All this demand helped significantly reduce time on the market.

"Properties sat on the market on average 102 days this quarter and that's down 33 percent from this time last year," Song says.

So will this market feeding frenzy continue? She says yes, for now, as rising mortgage rates will push some buyers to strike now.

"I think buyers may be incentivized to lock in a rate, find a property and close on the deal quickly because rates will rise, but at the end of the day if you look at it, rates are still relatively low," Song says.

To see a full copy of the report, click here.

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