What do Brooklyn homes cost? Don’t ask these candidates

Shaun Donovan, Ray McGuire vastly underestimate price; Maya Wiley doubles it

Clockwise from top left: Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Raymond McGuire, Andrew Yang and Shaun Donovan (Getty)
Clockwise from top left: Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Raymond McGuire, Andrew Yang and Shaun Donovan (Getty)

Only in a New Yorker’s wildest dreams does a home in Brooklyn cost $100,000. Someone had better wake up Shaun Donovan and Ray McGuire.

When the two mayoral candidates were asked to estimate the median sale price of a Brooklyn home, that’s what they guessed. The correct answer is $900,000.

With New York City’s expensive housing a key issue in the race, the New York Times editorial board posed the question to candidates.

“In Brooklyn, huh? I don’t for sure,” replied Donovan, who served as housing secretary under President Barack Obama and housing commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “I would guess it is around $100,000.”

Former Citigroup investment banker Raymond McGuire, who lives in a Central Park West apartment worth eight figures, guessed even lower.

“It’s got to be somewhere in the $80,000 to $90,000 range, if not higher,” he told the Times.

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The Democrats’ estimates might have been accurate 40 years ago, real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller told Bloomberg News. Today, those amounts might buy a parking space.

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Candidate Maya Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, was off by even more than Donovan and McGuire. She guessed $1.8 million — enough to buy two median-priced homes. But by overstating the amount, she largely avoided the ridicule bestowed upon the two men.

Four of the other five Democrats polling above 1 percent were closer with their answers, but only one got it right: Andrew Yang, who has been criticized for being out of touch with city issues.

Kathryn Garcia, a Park Slope homeowner and former sanitation commissioner, was just off with a guess of $800,000, as was City Comptroller Scott Stringer at $1 million. (Garcia won the Times’ endorsement.)

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams pegged the median price at about $550,000. Dianne Morales, a former executive of the social-services arm of Phipps Houses, offered $500,000.

The wayward answers led candidates to scramble for excuses in a hapless effort to recapture the respect of any New Yorker who has spent time house-hunting or fantasizing on StreetEasy and Zillow.

Donovan, who only two years ago bought a Brooklyn carriage house for $2.3 million, sent an email hours after the interview claiming his guess referred to the assessed value of homes in Brooklyn, which is far lower than their true market price. A spokesperson for Donovan said he “misinterpreted the question and made a mistake.”

McGuire similarly told the Times that he “messed up.”

“I am human,” he said.

[NYT] — Sasha Jones