NYC Real Estate Market Visualization

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Did you ever wonder where the most popular neighborhoods are in New York City? Where the most expensive neighborhoods are located at? What kind of properties are people buying and what is their median price? With these questions in mind. I started my project hoping to map all the answers out.


About the data source

The data is found from the NYC Department of Finance Rolling Sales Data.

NYC Department of Finance Rolling Sales Data update their dataset monthly and you are able to find sales record dated back to 2003. For this particular project, I used sales records from the time period of March 2017 to February 2018. The variables I focused on are Boroughs, Neighborhoods, Building Types, Sales Prices and Sales Date. I have also cleaned out all the zero sales prices due to transfer of ownership. In addition, I cleaned out tax class 3 and tax class 4 properties which are mostly made up of office buildings, gas stations, factories, etc.

For detailed coding and data cleaning process. Below is a link to my GitHub repository:

Now that we have our data set with residential property sales for the past 12 month, Let us discover what it looks like!


Exploring the Shiny App

Here is the link to my Shiny App. Feel free to explore for yourself in any neighborhood or building types that interests you:

After mapping out the entire year worth of transactions amount by neighborhood. The answer to our first question becomes quite clear.

  • The most popular neighborhood in Manhattan is Upper East side!

Close 5000 properties were sold during the past 12 months, making it 5 times more than Midtown, coming second with a transaction amount of 1015. With that difference in transaction, Upper East Side is most sought after regardless of other many locations in Manhattan. This can be due to several reasons from fancy restaurants, shopping experiences on Madison Avenue, the close proximity to many cultural museums and beautiful Central Park.

But what kind of apartments are buyers trying to buy? Let’s take a look at the pie chart for sales breakdown by building types:

  • 80% of  the sales are made among elevator apartment coops and elevator apartment condos.

If we have numbers for the total population of building types in Manhattan, we will better understand if this is due to elevator apartments are the majority of buildings in Manhattan or people just prefer buying apartments with elevator.

When is the peak season for NYC real estate market? The bar graph will give you a trend analysis through out the year. We can see that

  • Most of the sales happen during the summer time.

This makes sense since summer time is the best time for most buyers to go out and explore options without the worry of the cold or possibly the commitment to their children’s school activities.

What about price?

  • Flatiron/SoHo/Tribeca turned out to be the most expensive neighborhood.

Flatiron can be for the reasons of being close to the action, Madison Square Park, close to many office buildings and 5th Ave. While SoHo is located at the lower side of Manhattan, filled with cute boutiques, high-end shopping and restaurants. Tribeca is slowly turning from its old industrial buildings to residential lofts that are located alongside the Hudson River with many trendy boutiques and restaurants.

Why the change? Take a look at the Pie chart we find our answer.

  • Luxury rental buildings are driving the median sales price up for these neighborhoods to accommodate the buyers interested in living the New York Dream.

Now we have take a closer look into Manhattan real estate market. What is happening to other boroughs? I created a heat map for the transactions for all 5 boroughs. The size of the bubbles are according to the sales price.


We can see that not surprisingly most of the high sale price transaction still took place in Manhattan, especially around Central Park and downtown. But some neighborhoods in other boroughs are on the rise. For example, Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Long Island City/Flushing in Queens.  Large sales are also taking place in Bronx.

You can check all the detail records and filter by boroughs and sales price range on the data table on the third tab.

Further Development:

There are still so much that can be done with this data set and a lot more to find. In the future, I will like to enhance the apps in the aspect of:

  1.  Add  more metrics into the sales price. Including measures like per square footage price for better comparison among building types and neighborhoods.
  2. Including sales record dated 3 years back to better understanding the price trends, for example, YoY, MoM, QoQ comparison.
  3. Apply machine learning to predict future sales price and spot good investment opportunity.




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