Brooklyn sales price hits record in third quarter

Median value of transactions 8.8 percent higher than before financial crisis

Oct.October 09, 2014 12:01 AM

Brooklyn sales prices have been rising for two straight years, topping pre-recession highs. The upward climb continued in the third quarter.

The borough’s median sales price increased 4 percent to a record $587,515 during the third quarter, according to Douglas Elliman’s quarterly sales report. That’s 8.8 percent higher than the pre-financial crisis high of $540,000 in the third quarter of 2007.

“There has been a dynamic shift in the way buyers, and renters for that matter, view Brooklyn,” said Yuval Greenblatt, an executive vice president at Elliman. Although certain submarkets in Manhattan have surpassed pre-recession levels, the borough as a whole has not. By contrast, he said, strong demand and some new inventory in Brooklyn has driven up prices.

According to the report, the volume of sales in Brooklyn slipped 2 percent during the third quarter, which Greenblatt attributed to the inventory crunch. “You can’t sell if it’s not available,” he said. He noted that the listing discount in Brooklyn during the third quarter was -0.7 percent, meaning buyers were paying over the asking price. Luxury median sales price increased 5.3 percent to nearly $2.1 million.

In its own third-quarter report for the Brooklyn market, which was also released today, the Corcoran Group said the average new development price rose 20 percent to $960 per square foot, a six-year high. Resale prices also rose, up 18 percent to $758 per square foot.

Low inventory is driving both trends, said Frank Percesepe, regional senior vice president of Corcoran’s Brooklyn office. “It’s supply and demand. There’s a huge demand and very little supply,” he said. “When those apartments hit the market, they’ve been able to achieve very high prices.”

In a similar vein, the Queens sales market grew during the third quarter, according to the Elliman report, with the median sales price climbing 6.2 percent to $395,000. Although the volume of sales declined nearly 20 percent, the average sales price rose 3.7 percent to $462,999 as luxury prices outpaced the rest of the market.

Against the backdrop of a strong sales market, Brooklyn rental prices slipped for the second month after 14 months of increases, according to Elliman’s September rental report, which was also released today. Rental prices rose in Manhattan and remained stable in Queens.

The median Brooklyn rent was down 3.8 percent to $2,743, which was still $519 less than Manhattan.

In Queens, median rental prices dropped 6.2 percent to $2,495, $248 less than Brooklyn.

In its own rental report released today, Citi Habitats noted that average Manhattan rental prices increased each month during the third quarter. The average rent in September was $2,881.

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