This story was originally published in August 2020.
“Rare find,” real estate ads often say. But here’s something that truly is: data on home sale prices per square foot for an entire borough.
The Real Deal delved into property records to find out which Brooklyn neighborhoods were the most and least expensive by the most fundamental measure — space.
TRD’s analysis is more revealing than the more common metric of median price, which can be distorted by changes in the types of homes sold.
We found that while Brooklyn residential sales nosedived in the Covid-wracked second quarter, space only got a tiny bit cheaper. For sales of all one- to three-family residences in Brooklyn, the average price per square foot edged down just 1 percent, to $507, from the same period last year.
Our number-crunching also showed the drastic cost differences across neighborhoods, with buyers spending four times as much for square footage in brownstone-laden northwest Brooklyn neighborhoods as they did in lower-income central and eastern sections.
Here’s a breakdown of the most and least expensive neighborhoods in the borough.
MOST EXPENSIVE BROOKLYN NABES, Q2 2020
Carroll Gardens | Columbia Street | Red Hook
Brooklyn buyers paid the most for space in Carroll Gardens, Columbia Street and Red Hook. From April through June, homebuyers in these neighborhoods spent $1,114 per square foot on average, down from $1,175 in the year-ago period. The most expensive sale by square foot in the second quarter of 2020 was for a 1,440-square-foot apartment at 45 Garnet Street in Carroll Gardens, which traded for $2.8 million.
The lion’s share of the housing stock in these neighborhoods is single-family residences or row houses broken up into apartments, but over the last decade, developers have poured millions of dollars into glossy condo projects such as Est4te Four’s 70-unit condo at 160 Imlay Street in Red Hook.
Brownstones in Fort Green regularly top The Real Deal’s weekly residential sales rankings, so it is no surprise that space in the stately neighborhood is some of the priciest in the city. Fort Greene’s average price per square foot hit $1,085 in the second quarter of 2020, making it the second most expensive neighborhood in Brooklyn. A year ago, the average was $797, and in the first quarter of 2020 it was $1,047.
Brooklyn Heights | Cobble Hill
The average price per square foot in Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill was $1,038 in the second quarter. That might seem expensive, but space in these two neighborhoods was much cheaper than usual, falling 40 percent from last year and 58 percent from last quarter. That could reflect a paucity of sales of the area’s highest-quality housing during the height of the pandemic.
Over the last two decades, real estate developers have poured billions into projects in northwestern Brooklyn, which includes Prospect Heights. In the years since Forest City Ratner completed Barclays Center, supply in Prospect Heights has not met demand, leading to higher sale prices. In the second quarter of 2020, the average price per square foot in the neighborhood was $1,033, up 16 percent from the second quarter of last year and 18 percent from the first quarter this year.
Park Slope | Gowanus
The average price per square foot in Park Slope and Gowanus was $958, virtually unchanged from $964 in the second quarter of 2019 but up from $853 in the first quarter of 2020. The priciest sale by PPSF was for a 2,870-square-foot, four-story brownstone at 488 13th Street.
BROOKLYN NABES WITH THE CHEAPEST SPACE, Q2 2020
The price for space in Flatbush tanked in the second quarter of 2020, falling 54 percent $278 from $602 in the second quarter of 2020. This was the biggest annual percent decline in price per square foot of any Brooklyn neighborhood checked by The Real Deal, and rendered space in Flatbush more than four times cheaper than in the Carroll Gardens–Columbia Street–Red Hook tabulation area.
As in many other neighborhoods bordering Prospect Park, developers have sought to cash in on demand from newcomers to the neighborhood, though filing activity has slowed in the last two years. In 2018 alone, developers filed plans for mixed-use buildings including 105 units on Snyder Avenue, 65 units on Flatbush Avenue and 38 units on Nostrand Avenue.
The average price per square foot in Brownsville was $320, up from $285 in the second quarter of 2019 and $305 in the first quarter of 2020. Brownsville is home to the highest concentration of public housing in the United States, and the neighborhood has long been troubled by poverty and crime.
State and local politicians have pitched a variety of programs and policy changes to boost investment in Brownville. Gov. Andrew Cuomo committed to pumping $1.4 billion into low-income Brooklyn neighborhoods, and Borough President Eric Adams pitched a rezoning to attract affordable real estate development near subway stations in Brownsville.
Space has gotten more expensive in Rugby-Remsen Village, an enclave between Brownsville and East Flatbush. The average price per square foot hit $345, up from $299 last year and $291 in the first quarter of 2020. The most expensive home traded for $442 price per square foot, less than half of the average in Carroll Gardens.
The average price per square foot in East Flatbush-Farragut was $353, up from $322 in the second quarter of 2019 but down from $373 in the first quarter of 2020. The most expensive sale per square foot was for a 1,080-square-foot, two-story house at 914 East New York Avenue. The house traded for $1.28 million, or $1,186 per square foot.
The average price per square foot in Canarsie, which was home to late drill rapper Pop Smoke, was $380, up from $325 in the second quarter of 2019 but down from $386 in the first quarter of 2020. The most expensive sale per square foot was for an 861-square-foot, two-story house at 617 East 87th Street. The house traded for $749,000, or $870 per square foot.