Despite investors warning of softening rents in Brooklyn earlier this week, rents set new records by every measure — median, average and per square foot — in the parts of Brooklyn closest to Manhattan, according to a report Thursday by Douglas Elliman. For the first time, the median rent surpassed the $3,000 per month “threshold,” noted the report. Here are the details:

  • The median rent in August was $3,112 a month, a record and an increase of 10.8 percent vs. the same period the year earlier.
  • The average rent in August was $3,421 a month, also a record, a gain of 7.8 percent vs. the year before.
  • Rental price per square foot — one of the best measures of the market — increased 11.6 percent to $43.74 during the year, also a record.



Increased inventory and luxury rentals lingering on the market have caused a handful of Brooklyn developers and others to warn of a possible coming housing glut in Brooklyn. “Scores” of glassy towers are “opening, topping out or breaking ground” in north Brooklyn, from Downtown to Williamsburg, The Wall Street Journal reported.

This year 2,655 units are expected to come to the market. By 2016, the peak of 3,282 in 2008 is expected to be exceeded, with 4,990 units projected to launch, according to the story.

In the next five years, 21,822 new units are expected to be delivered, more than double the 10,052 new units built in the five years prior, according to the story. (more…)


A socioeconomic shift has led to Brooklyn becoming “Manhattanized,” according to a Massey Knakal third quarter recap and two reports we received in our inbox last night. This is not the first time the real estate firm has used that word, but now it goes into much more detail about it and forecasts the trend will continue.

The firm doesn’t see any slack coming at the end of the year. “We expect dollar volume in 4Q14 to exceed 3Q14,” and rents and prices to continue to increase, said one of the reports.

The reports outlined three reasons for the continued “Manhattanization” of Brooklyn:

• Big time institutional investors jumping into the market
* New, higher quality, bigger building stock
* Price appreciation in Williamsburg and other areas has closed or exceeded the Manhattan gap (more…)

Massey Knakal, Chart from BK PSR

A new report out from real estate firm Massey Knakal finds that the Brooklyn investment market is on track for another record year, eclipsing even the bubbly markets of 2006 and 2007. In the first half of 2014, 1,068 investment properties (apartment buildings, mixed use, industrial and office buildings as well as development sites) sold, a 92 percent increase over the first half of 2013. And that is the largest number of sales of any year, beating out the previous high from the first half of 2007. Purchases of elevator buildings were up 342 percent in the first half of 2014 over the same period the previous year. Even the total dollar amount of sales was up dramatically: 142 percent over the first half of 2013. The total dollar figure of all Brooklyn deals, $3.4 billion, far surpassed the previous high of $2 billion in the first half of 2006.

For investors, this boom is drawing in far more cash and resulting a lot more deals than we saw during the real estate bubble in the run up to the financial crisis. If investors are throwing this much money around, should the rest of us be worried?

Chart: Massey Knakal

st johns place multifamily crown heights 92013

Multi-family buildings are selling like crazy throughout Brooklyn, and the biggest growth is happening in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Bed Stuy and Bushwick, according to a report from Ariel Property Advisors highlighted by The Real Deal. In those three neighborhoods alone, 252 properties were sold in 170 transactions totaling nearly $710,000,000. Sales in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy and Bushwick made up a quarter of all the borough’s investment transactions.  (more…)

After noticing some trendy restaurants and a rise in development sales in Bay Ridge, DNAinfo wonders if it could be the next hip neighborhood with a real estate boom. Bay Ridge had 20 percent of the new development sales in the first quarter of 2014,  the most of any neighborhood, according to MNS’ latest report. However, MNS CEO Andrew Barrocas pointed out that the hood’s 14 transactions mainly illustrate the lack of inventory in other neighborhoods.

The median price per square foot rose 7.4 percent over the past year, from $517 to $558, and the median home price increased 14.5 percent, from $560,037 to to $655,498. One realtor told DNAinfo that new condo buyers in developments like 185 Battery Avenue, pictured above, were transplants from Brooklyn Heights or Williamsburg looking for more affordable options.

While the neighborhood isn’t going to have $2,000,000 condos anytime soon, it has seen a slew of new upscale restaurants and coffee shops, like Italian grocery A.L Coluccio, farm-to-table restaurant Brooklyn Beet Company, a craft beer bar and sausage joint called Lock Yard, and the Coffee Lab.

Is Bay Ridge Poised to Become the New Williamsburg? [DNAinfo]
Photo of 185 Battery Avenue via Dorsa Property Group


Brooklyn rental prices rose and the number of new leases signed more than doubled in the past month, according to rental reports from MNS and Douglas Elliman. Jonathan Miller, founder of real estate analytics firm Miller Samuel, told The Real Deal that the increasing number of new leases showed that tenants were dissatisfied with rent hikes from their existing landlords and looking elsewhere for their next apartment.

Not only were 442 new leases signed in January, a 111.5 percent increase from December, but that number represented a 33.5 percent jump from January of last year, according to Elliman. And more tenants negotiated discounts on their rents than last January, with the discount from the original list price rising from 5.9 percent to 6.5 percent. Overall, median Brooklyn rental prices jumped from $2,660 a month in December to $2,830 a month in January, a 6.4 percent increase.

Bushwick, Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene all saw marked rental price increases between December and January, MNS said. And two-bedroom apartment prices in Crown Heights rose 5.3 percent because of new developments on Bergen Street. Not surprisingly, Dumbo still holds the title for most expensive average rents in every type of unit. Meanwhile, Prospect Lefferts Gardens has the cheapest studios and one-bedrooms, and Bed Stuy has the cheapest average rents for two-bedrooms, MNS’ analysis shows.

Has your landlord raised your rent lately? Or if you’re a landlord, have you raised the rent?

While overall Brooklyn rents dipped slightly in the last year, average Bushwick rents jumped from $1,853 to $2,005 since December 2012, the largest change of any Brooklyn neighborhood and an indication of high prices in Williamsburg pushing up rents nearby, according to a December report from MNS. In the same vein, Greenpoint saw the most new development sales in Brooklyn, with median price-per-foot jumping 20 percent to $814 in the last month. Average Greenpoint rents also rose 1.5 percent to $2,809 in the last year. And Bed Stuy and Crown Heights rents saw big rent increases of 6.5 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively, in the last year.

Meanwhile, 1,388 commercial properties changed hands last year for a total dollar volume of $4,050,000,000, which was a 31 pecent increase in the number of transactions, Ariel Property Advisors noted in their year-end report. Last year’s most expensive commercial sales included the Jehovah’s Witnesses iconic Watchtower buildings in Dumbo, which sold for $240,000,000, an apartment building at 110 Green Street in Greenpoint ($72,000,000), a 690,000-square-foot industrial site in Sunset Park ($91,500,000), and a massive commercial site and garage at 49 Bond Street in downtown Brooklyn ($70,000,000).

Corcoran broker Andrea Yarrington sent this summary of the townhouse sales in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Bed Stuy as part of a marketing mailer last week. Whether you’ve been in the market or not, if you’re reading this blog chances are you have heard plenty of anecdotes about mobbed open houses, multiple bids and all-cash offers. This one-pager is about the best summary of the market over the past few months that we’ve seen. Pretty amazing.

A report on the rental market in Manhattan and Brooklyn by real estate firm Douglas Elliman was released today and it found that the median rental price in North and Northwest Brooklyn was $2,572, essentially the same as it was this time last year. The rental price per square foot ticked up just 4.6 percent over the year. According to the report, this may indicate a period of slower rental price growth ahead. Studio apartments took the biggest hit, with the median price falling by 5.5 percent, possibly because some of these tenants are leaving the rental market to become first-time buyers. One and two bedroom apartments saw modest gains. The largest jumps were for luxury apartments: the average price and average price per square foot were both up 12 percent over this time last year for those units. And Brooklyn, even these tonier neighborhoods, remains a significant bargain over Manhattan with an average price per square foot of $35 compared to $50 in Manhattan.

The Elliman Report: Manhattan and Brooklyn Rentals
Sorry Brooklyn Rents Still Cheaper Than Manhattan

Massey Knakal released its third quarter market report for New York. On a larger scope, there’s been a 40 percent increase in New York City-area property sales since last year. Here are the Brooklyn details: 691 transactions have occurred this quarter, an increase from last year; 859 properties sold, an increase of 47 percent from 2011 on an annualized basis; and the aggregate sales consideration throughout the entire year was 110 percent higher than last year. Massey Knakal also announced they took over leasing at 112 Montague Street, the old Starbucks space. Brooklyn Heights Blog recently wondered what was up with the space, now empty for almost five months.