New York’s New Real Estate Database Is (Nearly) A Total Bore

The ever-powerful Real Estate Board of New York unveiled its not-so-powerful ResidentialNYC.com database this week, which should have been a thrilling development for house-hunters (and for real estate voyeurs who obsess over how much neighborhood listings are going for).

After all, wouldn't it be grand to see all of New York's real estate listings on one lip-smacking page?

But the massive firms Corcoran and Elliman and their copious subsidiaries decided not to share their listings with the REBNY Web site, which turns out to be a tragedy.

For example: If you happen to be searching for listings in Carroll Gardens, you’ll find just eight properties for sale–and zero for rent on ResidentialNYC. And the Financial District, which should be positively dripping in new listings, is dominated here by a development called District, an oily-looking condo from the nightlife gal Amy Sacco.

Even in an overly-hot neighborhood like Williamsburg, the Web site shows just two rentals and 17 sales listings. Park Slope is a tad better: There are three rental listings. Or, say, you’re looking for sub-$4,000 listings in the Village, or maybe Brooklyn Heights? You’ll have six options each.

Things get much better up on the Upper East Side, where there are almost 400 sales listings. The Upper West Side shows 200 sales listings (though, on the downside, only 40 rentals.)

ResidentialNYC simply won’t do much good until the big boys jump aboard too, along with the smaller brokerages that already plunk their listings on the public database. That’s not quite likely: Corcoran, for its part, said it would rather “focus its efforts” on the firm's own Web site.