In yet another sign of Bed Stuy’s increasing hotness, real estate wise, Fillmore Real Estate has signed a five-year lease at 366 Lewis Avenue, between Macon and Halsey. That’s the old Tin City ice cream and sundries space next to Therapy Wine Bar, for those of you who’ve been around for a while.
This will be Fillmore’s 12th office in Brooklyn. The match was made by local agency Evans & Nye, who also took a moment to update us on their own office space situation.
Owner William Ryan Hobbs and agent Suzette Bather are open for business at Evans & Nye’s Bed Stuy office at 378 Tompkins, following the departure of agents Ban Leow, Morgan Munsey and Donna Myrie for Halstead earlier this month.
In November, Williamsburg-based real estate firm Aptsandlofts.com opened an office at 308 Malcolm X Boulevard. A few months prior, real estate developer Brookland Capital bought the building and opened its own offices there. GMAP
After years of helping others buy houses, the mysterious blogger behind BK to the Fullest has finally bought one himself. When we first spoke back in August, he said didn’t own.
What neighborhood? Crown Heights, naturally — the one he’s always writing about it. The closing was Thursday.
If you’ve come across the Brooklyn real estate blog, which profiles townhouses for sale in Brooklyn, you may have wondered who is behind it. Is the author a real estate agent? An appraiser? Who are these “platinum members” he keeps talking about? Platinum members of what? (more…)
In one of its “Living in” columns, The New York Times took a look at Kensington, a slice of a neighborhood sitting between Green-Wood Cemetery and a corner of Prospect Park, with Windsor Terrace to the north and Ditmas Park to the south.
“Kensington is the last affordable neighborhood before you get to Windsor Terrace and Park Slope if you’re trying to move closer to the city,” the story quoted a broker, Liam McCarthy, who founded the agency JMKBK, as saying.
The “historically working class area” has a large number of immigrants from more than 15 countries, including Russia, Mexico, Pakistan, Haiti and Poland, said the Times. It is also attracting “increasing number[s] of young professionals, many of them unable to afford Brooklyn neighborhoods closer to Manhattan, like Park Slope and Windsor Terrace,” said the Times.
Prices range from $750,000 to $1,200,000 for a townhouse, according to the story. A two- or three-bedroom co-op or condo will set you back $400,000 to $650,000. There are also plenty of rentals, with two-bedroom apartments going for about $2,000 a month, said the Times.
Would anyone familiar with the area care to chime in? What do you think of Kensington?
The Bed Stuy team of real estate firm Evans & Nye, which has been setting price records left and right for Bed Stuy brownstones and getting tons of ink in the New York Times, has moved to Halstead, Evans & Nye co-founder Ban Leow confirmed. He said Halstead did not purchase Evans & Nye and that more details would be forthcoming later.
No word yet on what will become of the Evans & Nye office at 378 Tompkins Avenue (pictured), just down the street from Bed-Vyne Brew, where they frequently held parties. Halstead has five Brooklyn offices, all in the more established areas of Brooklyn, including one in the Heights and two in Park Slope. Leow, Morgan Munsey, and Donna Myrie made the move.
The median price in Brooklyn increased less than half a percent in 2013, going from $458,000 to $460,000. But that sleep-inducing overall number doesn’t tell the whole story: Prices in some neighborhoods increased dramatically. Carroll Gardens, for example, was up 43 percent in the year, to $985,000, making it now the borough’s most expensive area, The Daily News reported.
“Don’t believe the hype” about escalating prices, said the story. “In the prime areas, there’s just nothing to buy, and that’s really holding down prices,” the story quoted Corcoran broker James Cornell as saying. In Cobble Hill, prices were down 29 percent, to $537,000, because “nothing was for sale,” said the Daily News. Sales were up in Carroll Gardens was because there were so many new developments on the market.
Greenpoint followed in second place with an increase of 38 percent to $665,000. Prices were also up dramatically in East New York, by 38 percent, to $355,000. The News said buyers appeared to be “speculators.” The explanation from MNS CEO Andrew Barrocas: ”The L train is lined with gold.”
Prices fell in Ditmas Park and Kensington and some Sandy-ravaged areas such as Gerritsen Beach. Coney Island and Brighton Beach improved slightly.
A report out today from Douglas Elliman echoes what many others have shown in the last few months: Brooklyn prices are skyrocketing. In the fourth quarter of 2013, home prices set an 11-year record, as The Real Deal noted. The median home price — for all types of dwellings — is now $570,110, an 11.2 percent increase over $512,500, which is what the median was in the fourth quarter 2012.
“Rental prices increased rapidly with inventory dwindling throughout 2013 and a number of factors attracting new residents to Brownstone Brooklyn, including more job opportunities in technology, film and the arts, and improved shopping around Barclays Center, Borough Hall and other retail corridors. A growing desire for historic homes and neighborhood experience were also strong contributors,” said Ideal Properties Group Managing Director Aleksandra Scepanovic.
She predicted rental and sales prices will continue to increase in 2014.
WNYC has been doing a series on middle-income neighborhoods in New York City. Yesterday it was Bed Stuy’s turn.
They spoke to three residents about their households — two who with their families have been in the neighborhood for many years and own property there, and a couple who just arrived and is renting. While the story doesn’t get specific about all their incomes, ironically it looks like the renters, who are public interest lawyers, have the highest incomes, but are also living paycheck to paycheck with crazy student loan debt and relatively high housing costs. They are struggling to save a down payment to buy something, and note that by the time they do, if they do, they won’t be able to afford to buy anything in Bed Stuy.
All those interviewed identify as middle class, as most U.S. residents do, although a sociologist would probably disagree. The series assumes that “middle income” is also “middle class,” which is not necessarily the case, depending on how you define class.
One of the long-time residents plans to pass her house on to her children. The other one intends to cash out and move someplace warmer.
The story extensively quoted Evans & Nye co-owner and Bed Stuy resident Ban Leow, whose agency has been setting price records left and right for exquisite brownstones in the area. With a refreshing honesty, he acknowledged real estate firms play a role in gentrification. “A lot of middle class people are looking for homes around here, it also seems they’re being priced out,” he said. ”The vigorous activity of Bed-Stuy became suddenly so hot, we are partly the reason for it as well…Brokers are always the person that brings the right people in, creates this vibrant mix of people, and hence business will come in, prices will go up and you are liked by some, hated by many.”
The story also has many beautiful photos of Bed Stuy’s amazing architecture. (Above, some brownstones we photographed — but click through to the WNYC story to see their great photos.)
The bottom line, according to the story? Bed Stuy is not going to remain middle income for long.
The two-family in East New York priced at $599,999 that was yesterday’s HOTD, above, also inspired The New York Daily News to take a look at East New York and whether it could be Brooklyn’s next “home buying frontier,” as the Brooklyn section teaser headline put it. “Spacious, affordable” properties there such as the one at 504 Georgia Avenue could lure buyers priced out of rapidly appreciating neighborhoods such as Crown Heights, Bed Stuy and Bushwick. “However, crime in the area remains a concern,” the story continued.
Listing agent Louis Belisario of Fillmore told the Daily News the area is good for investors because of its relative affordability and skyrocketing rents. “Rates are very low and rents here are going through the roof. It’s a great house because if you bought it, your rental income would cover most of your mortgage,” he said.
As other reports have shown, the area has seen an influx of renters priced out from other areas of Brooklyn. Violent crime in the area decreased last year, but “robbery, grand larceny and general assault” were all up.
Councilwoman Inez Barron (married to former Councilman Charles Barron) said keeping East New York affordable for current residents is a priority. She also noted the waves of newcomers moving in and said the area “has the greatest retention and growth of people moving into the community. We’re getting a grip on crime. Crime is going down.”
Commenters have previously said the area’s large number of public housing projects makes it an unlikely candidate for gentrification. What’s your opinion?
Yet another report has come out showing huge jumps in housing costs in Brooklyn — this one covering a period of 10 years. Some highlights, as summarized by Curbed (we received the report too, in our in box), based on data from Williamsburg-based real estate firm Aptsandlofts.com:
*Townhouse prices in Brooklyn Heights have more than doubled over the decade. “In 2003, the average sale price was $1,926,000. Today, it’s $4,860,000,” as Curbed put it.
*Williamsburg is the “epicenter of the Brooklyn condo housing boom,” said Aptsandlofts. In 2003, there were only 21 condo sales in the neighborhood. In 2013, there were 706!
*As you might surmise, sale prices in Williamsburg have skyrocketed. In 2003, the average sale price was $378,000. Now it’s $1,262,000 (in 2012).
*In Bed Stuy, there were a mere 12 condo sales in 2003. In 2012, there were 124.
For more details, breakdowns by neighborhood, and graphs, check out the report on Aptsandlofts.com’s website here.
Last year was a watershed year for housing costs in Brooklyn. Reports of increased housing costs just keep on coming. Sales prices for all kinds of housing jumped more than 13 percent in brownstone and North Brooklyn in 2013, according to a data released by real estate firm Ideal Properties Group.
Rents have also soared, particularly in Bed Stuy and Bushwick, where they increased more than 15 percent in 2013, reported The New York Daily News based on info from real estate firm MNS. Average rent for a one-bedroom in Bed Stuy is now $1,835 a month. In Bushwick, it’s $2,099. Longtime residents are being priced out, said the story.
FWIW, we know of at least two buildings in Bed Stuy that were emptied of longtime tenants seemingly overnight, renovated over a few months, and then rented out in a matter of days to young, mostly white tenants.
A report out by the city’s Economic Development Corporation attributed an 8 percent jump in property values along the waterfront to the launch of the East River Ferry service, reported The New York Post.
Real estate experts predict Brooklyn real estate will remain hot and neighborhoods such as Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Bed Stuy will be transformed this year, according to a story in DNAinfo.
Inventory in Brooklyn is at a five-year low, and prices are setting records. The story noted that sales and development are poised to change Greenpoint, Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
“In particular, Bushwick and Bed-Stuy will look very different by year’s end,” according to Miron Properties founder Jeff Schleider. He didn’t get into specifics, but presumably he meant retail and demographics. Huge developments are poised to transform Bushwick and Greenpoint, but won’t finish up until after this year. About a dozen small to medium sized apartment buildings are rising in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
While rising mortgage rates could slow prices in New York City in general, the above neighborhoods will only get “hotter” in 2014, according to DNAinfo.
Greenpoint is getting spillover from Williamsburg and Long Island City — the huge waterfront developments won’t be a factor for some time. Developers are also eyeing Bushwick’s industrial section for residential development — particularly affordable housing — according to the story, despite special zoning protections for industry there.
Prices of luxury condos may not be sustainable, but Brooklyn’s growth will probably “bump” more buyers to Queens, said the story. “Brooklyn buyers [will] become fatigued from lack of inventory, high prices and bidding wars,” and move on to Queens, according to City Connections Realty’s Holly Sose.
Design-wise, the story predicted that buyers will want “fireplaces, modern interiors and sophisticated entertainment rooms.”
“A lot of the people who are purchasing are young families that are astute in design and art collections and want a place where the kids can run around and throw up on the floor and still have a Cy Twombly [painting] on the wall,” the story quoted architect Marc Spector of Spector Group as saying.
Do you agree? What are your predictions for Brooklyn real estate in 2014?
1. Construction booms. New development is happening all over the place in Brooklyn, especially downtown, in Williamsburg, and along 4th Avenue. You can hardly go a block in Williamsburg without tripping over multiple new apartment buildings or buildings-to-be. And it’s not only apartment buildings: 2013 was a big year for Brooklyn Bridge Park (Squibb Park Bridge, Pier 2 and Pier 3, Pierhouse), Weeksville Heritage Center and Sunset Park’s Annabelle Selldorf-designed Sims Municipal Recycling Facility, among others.
2. Brooklyn prices surge. Whether rentals or sales, prices in Brooklyn jumped dramatically in 2013. Studios in new buildings in prime areas typically start at about $3,000 a month now, and sales prices for apartments and houses in some neighborhoods jumped by 40 percent or more in the year. The average co-op in the combined area of Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill and Red Hook, for example, now costs $937,000 — a 41 percent increase from the same quarter the year before. Areas that have seen the sharpest increases include former bargain spots Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, and Bushwick. In Dyker Heights, Brownsville and Ocean Hill, the median sales price of homes increased more than 100 percent in the third quarter vs. the year before. One side effect of the real estate gold rush is that libraries, churches and hospitals are now looking to capitalize on demand by selling their land to developers and then either leasing or buying back a small portion for their own use.