Catch me if you can: BK and Queens homes selling at record speeds

Inventory is low, making for fast-paced markets in the boroughs

Jul.July 07, 2016 09:00 AM

In Brooklyn and Queens, homes are flying off the market.

The absorption rate in Brooklyn — the pace at which homes are sold — was 4.2 months, the fastest seen in the borough in at least eight years, according to Douglas Elliman’s latest sales report. At the same time, listing inventory plunged 37.4 percent from the same time last year.

“The market is being challenged in terms of being able to replace these sales with new supply,” said Jonathan Miller, author of Douglas Elliman’s latest sales report. “With the inclining absorption rate, the market is losing the battle.”

The median sales price in Brooklyn rose to $659,000, an 8.9 percent year-over-year jump and the 15th consecutive increase by quarter. The number of sales also jumped 8.8 percent compared to the second quarter of last year.

Frank Percesepe, executive vice president of the Corcoran Group’s Brooklyn and East End teams, said that the lack of inventory will likely continue to push up prices and drive buyers deeper into Brooklyn for more affordable prices. Still, a separate report released by Corcoran said the second quarter of 2016 was the third strongest season since 2011. The number of closed sales in the borough was 9 percent higher than the average number of sales over the past five years, according to the report.

“We would be doing that much more business if there was more inventory at the lower part of the market,” he said.

In Queens, the absorption rate was 5.1 months, down from 6.1 months the year before, according to the Elliman report. Year-over-year, listing inventory dropped 14.5 percent while the median sales price rose 20.8 percent to $465,000. Miller said the demand in Queens is largely due to “spillover” from Brooklyn.

“As prices increase in Brookyn, Queens is seeing higher demand and price pressure as a result,” he said. “Bottomline is, both of these boroughs remain tight housing markets.”

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