Queens sale prices set record despite signs of trouble

Brooklyn co-ops see a price jump

Long Island City, Queens (Credit: iStock)
Long Island City, Queens (Credit: iStock)

In the Queens residential market, something’s got to give.

Douglas Elliman’s third-quarter sales report found median and average sales prices in the borough reached record highs at $600,000 and $651,216, respectively. The increases came despite the number of sales falling year-over-year for the eighth straight quarter and inventory continuing to balloon.

Brooklyn rental reportIn Brooklyn, prices for the market as a whole dropped, but co-op sales set a new record as year-over-year median and average sales prices rose for the third consecutive quarter.

One explanation for the numbers is that buyers are searching for low prices.

Steven James, Elliman’s president and CEO, chalked up Queens’ “standout quarter” to “the spillover from Brooklyn as buyers seek out greater affordability.”

Appraiser Jonathan Miller, whose firm Miller Samuel authored the reports, explained Brooklyn’s figures similarly.

“Co-ops reached record prices because they represent a lower price point overall than brownstones and new condos,” he said.

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The average sale price of a Brooklyn co-op soared by 7 percent from last quarter, to $637,848. That’s a 2.5 percent increase year over year, but still cheap compared to other property types. The average sale price for new development condos fell by 10.7 percent from last quarter to just over $1.05 million. The average price of one- to three-family homes fell by 4 percent to $1.08 million.

Queens rental report

The average sales price of a condo in Queens was $700,424 — an increase of more than 8 percent from the previous quarter’s $647,356 and more than 4 percent year over year. New development deals in the borough surged by 113 percent quarter over quarter, though activity was only up 3.7 percent compared with the same period last year. The average sale price was $894,541 — a nearly 20 percent jump from Q2.

Compass’ Q3 market report for Queens said the borough has been on an “emotional roller coaster” since the Amazon deal was announced in the fall of 2018 and fell through in February. But now the VC-backed brokerage is expecting the market to remain steady.

Earlier this year, Nest Seekers International’s Ryan Serhant announced plans for a new office in Long Island City and two new condo projects his team would be handling in the area. Compass is also opening an office in Queens.

Write to Erin Hudson at ekh@therealdeal.com