Brooklyn home sales drop nearly 40 percent, prices fared a little better

By Sara Polsky | October 15, 2008 11:49PM

Home prices in Brooklyn fell in the third quarter compared to a quarter
earlier and year-over-year, according to a market report
released by Prudential Douglas Elliman today. While sales increased
between the second and third quarters this year, they slowed dramatically between third-quarter 2007 and third-quarter 2008.

“The availability of financing continues to play an important role in restraining the flow of sales activity in Brooklyn, not unlike anywhere else,” said appraiser Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, who prepared the third-quarter Elliman report.

The median sales price of a Brooklyn apartment was $510,000 in the third quarter, a 2.9 percent drop from the previous quarter and a 5.6 percent decrease from third-quarter 2007, the report shows.

The number of sales in the borough, the report found, plummeted 38.2 percent between third-quarter 2007 and third-quarter 2008. The number of sales did increase, however, 13.1 percent between the second and third quarters this year, largely due to closings on new developments, Miller said.

Home prices and sales figures varied widely throughout the borough. The median sales price increased only in North Brooklyn, which includes Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The median sales price in North Brooklyn was $641,497, up 10.5 percent from the second quarter and 6.9 percent from the third-quarter 2007. But that market, which Miller calls “the product of new development,” accounted for only about eight percent of the borough’s sales in the third quarter.

The East Brooklyn market, covering Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, and East New York, tumbled a sizable 20 percent in median sales price since the third quarter of 2007. Miller attributed the slump to foreclosures and speculative development.

Sofia Kim, vice president of research at Streeteasy, said the data that Streeteasy has gathered is similar to that found in the Miller Samuel report.

“I would agree with the trend that prices have decreased,” Kim said. Streeteasy tracks data on the Brooklyn market and hopes to release its first Brooklyn market report next quarter.

Meanwhile, the Corcoran Group’s third-quarter Brooklyn report released yesterday in partnership with PropertyShark listed a higher median sales price and a shallower decline in sales. Corcoran determined that the median apartment price in Brooklyn increased 8 percent to $623,000 from last year and that sales in the borough decreased 18 percent over the past year.

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