The Real Deal New York

Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn headline new development price gains in Brooklyn

April 26, 2012 10:00AM

Though a lack of inventory has driven down sales activity for new developments in Brooklyn, it has also kept prices steadily rising, according to a new development market report released today by MNS. New development sales volume fell 38 percent in the first quarter from $141 million during the final three months of 2011, as the number of sales decreased 47 percent during that period and 75 percent on an annual basis.

At the same time, however, the median sales price per square foot rose 2 percent quarter-over-quarter and 14 percent from the same period a year earlier. Overall, prices slipped 1 percent on a quarterly basis but remain 9 percent greater than where they stood the prior year quarter.

Williamsburg remains Brooklyn’s sponsor sale hub, as 37 percent of all transactions last quarter occurred in the neighborhood. Nearly half of those were found in Douglas Development’s Edge condominium, which was the city’s top-selling development for the fourth consecutive quarter — and not because of significant price cuts. In fact, unit PH2F in the north tower experienced the highest per square foot price of any unit in the borough last quarter at $1,135.

The neighborhood continues its steady price increases, as the median sales price per square foot of a new development in Williamsburg rose to $782 in the first quarter, up 5 percent from the final quarter of 2011 and 16 percent from the first quarter of that year.

Downtown Brooklyn posted the greatest quarterly price increases, as the median price per square foot increased more than 15 percent to $716. Also of note, Dumbo awoke from three quarters without a sponsor sale to find its total median sales price increase more than 32 percent to $900,000. Finally, after several quarters hovering just below the $1 million mark, median sales prices in Brooklyn Heights finally joined Prospect Heights in the seven figures, thanks to three-bedroom units comprising 43 percent of all sales — up from 22 percent the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, prices in Greenpoint fell 11 percent per square foot from last quarter as studios made up half of all sales in the neighborhood. And while Fort Greene experienced a 13 percent increase in the per square foot price metric, the overall median sales price fell 27 percent in the last nine months in the neighborhood thanks to a fluctuating supply of sponsor units.

Looking forward, with demand high and inventory frustratingly low, MNS said it expects double-digit price increases in the second quarter borough-wide. — Adam Fusfeld