Brooklyn and Queens Q2 sales fall at highest rate in decade

Pandemic triggers plummet, but median home price goes up

TRD New York /
Jul.July 10, 2020 02:30 PM
(iStock)

(iStock)

Brooklyn home sales fell last quarter at the highest rate in 10 years, as the pandemic wiped out the real estate industry’s critical spring market.

But it’s not all bad news for sellers. In the same time period, the median Brooklyn home price increased to a record $820,000, according to the latest market report from Douglas Elliman.

“What’s been happening in the market on a pricing basis is that the market has continued to flirt with records, no matter what the conditions,” said Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, who authored the report. However, he noted that “the bulk of the closings in the second quarter had some link to the first quarter.”

The sales and inventory figures underscore the full effect of the shutdown, which saw would-be sellers pull their listings or delay putting their properties up for sale, and prevented brokers from conducting in-person showings. Overall, there was a 40.5 percent drop in Brooklyn sales, year over year, and a 21 percent decline in listing inventory.

In Queens, sales fell 46 percent year-over-year, the biggest drop in more than a decade. Listing inventory fell by almost 20 percent.

Yet, just as it was in Brooklyn, the median home price in Queens went up last quarter: a 6.2 percent increase to $607,350, the report shows.

In both boroughs, listing discounts were also up last quarter. In Brooklyn, the average discount was 5.2 percent, up from 4.4 last year. In Queens, the average discount was 4.5 percent, up from 3.1 percent.

Still, Miller cautioned against viewing the figures as a template of what’s to come, noting the extreme nature of the shutdown. “I think the mistake is to look at this like this is some sort of moment where this is how it looks going forward,” he said. “I’m not saying things will look like they did in February, but this is a snapshot of what the market looks like when it’s turned off.”

“The bigger question, really, is how quickly does it bounce back?”

Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at [email protected]


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