The Real Deal New York

Brooklyn home inventory hasn’t been this low in a decade

Absorption in BK and Queens remains at “blistering” speed, according to Q3 report
By Miriam Hall | October 12, 2017 09:00AM

Clockwise from left: 17 Prospect Park West and 13-33 Jackson Avenue #7D

Demand for homes in Queens and Brooklyn continued to outpace supply throughout the third quarter of 2017, pushing residential prices to new highs.

In Brooklyn, the median sale price hit $790,000, which is $5,000 below the record price hit in the borough last quarter, according to the quarterly report from Douglas Elliman.

Brooklyn inventory reached 1,826, a 30 percent decrease on this time last year and the lowest level since the second quarter of 2008, the report found. The luxury median sale price, which represents the top 10 percent of the market, remained the same at $2.5 million, the report said.

The absorption rate in the borough hit 1.9 months, a rate Jonathan Miller, the CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report, describes as “blistering.” By comparison, in the third quarter of 2016 absorption in Brooklyn was at 2.9 months. The number of sales hit 2,914, a year-over-year increase of 6 percent.

“The market is trying to find its peak, it doesn’t appear to be close to it yet,” said Miller. “We’ve seen the same old story for the last several years — it’s very tight and fast moving.” He added the borough is “on the cusp” of seeing the average sale price break the $1 million threshold. The average hit $981,623 in the quarter.

A report from the Corcoran Group that examined the same time period found that market-wide closed sales in Brooklyn were the strongest they’ve been in 9 years, up 31 percent. Contracts signed increased by 15 percent year over year, according to the brokerage.

Townhouses in the borough hit an average price of $1.2 million, according to a separate report from Brown Harris Stevens, a 16 percent increase on last year.

In Queens, the median price hit $550,000, a 10 percent increase on the same time period last year and a record high. The borough is seeing similar trends to Brooklyn, with rising demand, tepid supply and increasing prices. The borough is benefiting from buyers who have been priced out of Brooklyn, according to Miller.

Listing inventory increased by 4.5 percent from last year to hit 4,486. The absorption rate was 3.5 months, compared to 3.4 months last year. The days on market was 81, down from 92 last year and the listing discount was 2.8 percent, up from less than a percent last year. The luxury median sale price was $1.3 million, up 6 percent on last year.

“A bit part of the drive is the Brooklyn spillover … there are New Yorkers who are seeking out greater affordability,” said Miller.