We’re sure you’re tired of hearing how expensive Brooklyn is getting, and the last market report out for the quarter only confirms it.
In a kind of good news-bad news scenario, prices per square foot in all of Brooklyn fell in the first quarter compared to the year before, while average prices for townhouses and other homes shot up amazingly in “emerging” Brooklyn — that is, Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Bushwick. The 5 percent decline in average square foot prices (to $635) should be good news for priced-out buyers, but it’s really not.
The reason for the decline, according to the report from Corcoran, is that lack of inventory in the borough’s most expensive neighborhoods has pushed buyers into more affordable ones, such as Sunset Park, East New York and Coney Island.
The category of home that is rising in price most quickly is one- to four-family townhouses. “The average price of a single-family townhouse grew to $2.2 million from $1.5 million year-over-year,” said The Real Deal. Median prices for new development also rose, increasing by 15 percent to $875,000.
You haven’t been imagining things: Townhouses in Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, Bushwick, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens saw huge price gains. The average price of a single family townhouse in these areas, which Corcoran now tracks as one submarket, increased 51 percent in the year, to $1,138,000 from $755,000. The average price of a two- to four-family townhouses increased 41 percent, from $760,000 to $1,074,000.
Perhaps because of the low inventory, the market share of northwest Brooklyn declined in the first quarter while areas in southern Brooklyn grew, to 30 percent from 18 percent over the year.
Brooklyn used to be “cool.” Now Brooklyn is expensive and horrible. Here, based on the latest figures out today, is a fun bar trivia game to play: ask someone, “Do you know what the median rent in Brooklyn is?” Then, as they’re thinking about it, ostentatiously empty a container of cyanide into your beer….Nothing screams “a welcoming place of refuge for young people and their artistic youthful energy” like a $2,900 a month median rent.
Screenshot of Brooklyn Public Library’s new Brooklyn Eagle archives
Two important online research resources for historic buildings in Brooklyn have drastically changed in the last few weeks. The Brooklyn Public Library has digitized the complete morgue of the the Brooklyn Eagle, adding 1903 to 1955, when the paper stopped publishing. Previously they had digitized the archive from 1841 to 1902, but never got around to finishing the digitization. It was always frustrating, and forced a search from other sources.
The library has partnered with Newspapers.com to provide researchers with a new way to access the Eagle. It went up last week. I’m not up to snuff with all of the tools it offers, and it’s going to take me a while to get used to it, and I’m going to miss the quirks and foibles of the old system. But if the search function is improved, that will be worth the learning curve. Above is a screen shot of the new format.
Over at the New York Public Library, they are beta testing their new online format for their visual collections, including their maps collection. (more…)
For years people have been wondering who is buying luxury condos and multi-million-dollar townhouses in Brooklyn. Frequently the answer was people who had sold a one- or two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. But times have changed, and the new buyer in Brooklyn more closely resembles the traditional buyer in Manhattan: Buyers with a household income of $300,000 or more who work in finance, accounting, sales, law or marketing, according to a report from Brooklyn real estate firm Ideal Properties.
“The number of these high-income earners who bought homes in these areas shot up more than 316 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the previous year,” said a story about the report in DNAinfo. “They accounted for 30 percent of the buyers.”
The number of buyers earning between $100,000 and $199,000 accounted for only 1 percent more of buyers, 31 percent. However, even buyers who can afford a given property may find themselves having to settle for something else because buyers with bigger assets or who can pay all cash have the edge, according to DNAinfo.
Interestingly, almost 25 percent of buyers in the first quarter were self employed, with the vast majority (74 percent) of those identifying as principals or owners of their own companies. This was a 16 percent increase from the fourth quarter and a 45 percent increase from the year earlier.
Slightly under half of all purchases were made by couples; singles accounted for 40 percent of buys.
Most buyers — 39 percent — already lived in Brooklyn. Seventeen percent came from Manhattan, 9 percent from California, and 12 percent from outside the U.S.
The numbers are based on information submitted to Ideal Properties Group from buyers. The area studied is the North and Northwest sections of Brooklyn only. Areas such as Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, PLG and Bay Ridge were not included.