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It’s cheaper to buy than to rent in 94 of the top 100 largest metro areas in the U.S., according to a report from Zillow quoted in a story in Business Insider. Renters spend 29.5 percent of income on rent, on average, vs. only 15.3 percent of income home owners spend on mortgages. (The comparison doesn’t seem to take into consideration repairs, heat, insurance and other costs — or the homeowner’s tax deduction either.) (more…)

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Greenpoint has a charming old-world European feel, as anyone who has visited its Polish grocery stores knows, but house prices have moved into the stratosphere in the last two years, despite new apartment developments. A look at the area in the Times real estate section yesterday started off with a slightly misleading anecdote about a couple who almost gave up but then found their dream house there – in 2011.

Prices for two and three family row houses, most clad in vinyl siding and often in need of renovation, have risen from $750,000 to $850,000 in 2012 to $1,300,000 to $2,000,000 today, according to the story. The story also described other amenities in the area, including “destination restaurants” — and the ever-popular “destination” donut maker, Peter Pan — as well parks and schools.

The coming of 5,500 new units over 22 acres at Greenpoint Landing was noted briefly in passing without additional comment. Notably, the story did not mention “Girls.”

Living in Greenpoint [NY Times]
Photo by Bridge and Tunnel Club

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A dramatic surge in sale prices and rents is causing change and displacement at a head-spinning pace in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy, Bushwick and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, according to a story in Bloomberg. Buyers with more than a million to spend are choosing to buy whole houses in Crown Heights and similar neighborhoods rather than cramped apartments elsewhere. The story said:

Young buyers and renters who can no longer afford such established communities as Fort Greene, Park Slope and Williamsburg are moving to Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant and Bushwick, bidding against investors for townhomes that have been neglected for decades. Longtime tenants too poor to afford the new rents in the predominantly black districts are moving out to less-well connected, more dangerous places.

We were particularly struck by this stark — and potentially depressing, depending on your situation — description of the wealth now required to buy in much of Brooklyn:

Families with children are increasingly choosing to stay in New York City and if they don’t have millions to spend, their options are limited, said Kathleen Perkins, a Realtor at Douglas Elliman Real Estate who helped the Katzes find their Crown Heights townhouse. “My cheapest house for sale in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill is $2,500,000,” Perkins said. “If you have $1,500,000 and you’re my client, I’m driving you to Bed Stuy or Crown Heights.”

The story is pitch-perfect, in our opinion, in its overview of what is happening here and why, even though none of it will be news to regular readers of Brownstoner. Does it ring true to you?

Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights [Bloomberg]

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This weekend The New York Times real estate section looked at people who are finding themselves priced out of Brooklyn. No doubt this has been going on for ages, but the story points to some pricing trends that show that real estate in Brooklyn, or at least in the most expensive north and western neighborhoods (from Red Hook north to Greenpoint and Gowanus and Park Slope) is quickly accelerating towards Manhattan pricing, particularly since the financial crisis in 2008.

According to the story, in the second quarter of this year there were 107 sales over $2 million in these neighborhoods, more than any other quarter. Since 2008 the median sales price has inched 33 percent closer to the median sales price in Manhattan–now $575,000 in Brooklyn versus $910,000 in Manhattan. Five years ago median rental price in these parts of Brooklyn was $1,030 cheaper than in Manhattan. Now it is only $353 cheaper. (more…)

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This Romanesque Revival home and former House of the Day at 66 Midwood Street has just sold for $2,300,000, beating the neighborhood record for Prospect Lefferts Gardens by $450,000. The landmarked five-bedroom, five-bath house hit the market in March for $1,975,00. The 1898 townhouse is dripping with original details, including ornate wooden mantles, dressing rooms and four functioning fireplaces. It hit the public records last week. Its sale price blew through the previous record of $1,850,000, set by Dixon with its purchase of 36 Rutland Road in January.

66 Midwood Street [Halstead] GMAP
House of the Day: 66 Midwood Street [Brownstoner]

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The creme de la creme of Brooklyn listings is clotted. The handful of Brooklyn properties at the very top of the market, asking between $10,000,000 and $16,000,000 and sometimes more, aren’t moving. There’s a multi-million-dollar gap between asking and closing prices at the tippy top of the Brooklyn market.

The Real Deal took a look at the top 10 Brooklyn listing prices and the top 10 Brooklyn closed sales, and found a discrepancy. Since 70 Willow Place — where Truman Capote famously rented — closed for $12,500,000 in 2012, several higher priced properties have failed to sell, and it remains the borough record. (more…)

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Not all Brooklyn neighborhoods are equal: The much-vaunted inventory shortage is easing off in some areas while it’s only getting worse in others. Inventory in Red Hook, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Prospect Heights and Park Slope decreased the most in the last year, according to a detailed and fascinating look at Brooklyn real estate in The Real Deal. Guess where inventory is actually increasing?

Bushwick and Bed Stuy led the pack, with whopping increases of 45.5 percent and 41.5 percent in inventory over the last year. (more…)

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The Midtown-based real estate company RES opened up a storefront last month at 291 5th Avenue between 1st and 2nd streets in Park Slope. The company handles sales, rentals, commercial property and development. While the company has an office near Times Square, this location is its first storefront. As part of its Brooklyn expansion, the brokerage has hired several new agents and is already searching for more locations in the borough. Click through the jump for interior photos. GMAP

Photos by RES

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A story in The New York Times over the weekend described the rapid gentrification and changes happening in Crown Heights, as longtime residents and businesses move out and are replaced by newcomers. Many businesses have moved to Flatbush, and residents typically move to Flatbush, East New York and Brownsville, according to the story.

Developers such as Realty Within Reach, Hello Living and Brookland Capital, of course, discovered the neighborhood a few years ago, and “more than 1,250 units in about two dozen residential projects” are in the works, mostly west of Nostrand and north of Eastern Parkway, according to the story. While very few are “affordable,” Brookland Capital’s Boaz Gilad explains the appeal of a condo:

“Most of our buyers are people in their late 20s and early 30s who live in the neighborhood already, paying, say, $2,400 a month in a free-market building,” he told the Times. “With an F.H.A. loan or some help from parents or money they’ve saved, the cost of buying the apartment will be maybe $2,600 or $2,700 a month. So there will be no change in monthly costs, but they’re going to own an asset.” (more…)