04/23/14 12:15pm

This three-bedroom condo for rent in Crown Heights seems perfect for a small family or roommates. It’s in a classic Art Deco apartment building, the Woodrow Wilson at 255 Eastern Parkway, that features storage, bike parking, landscaped gardens, a doorman and a live-in super.

The kitchen has some attractive features like a dishwasher, wine glass rack, wine fridge and a breakfast bar, and it’s separate from the dining area. The apartment has 1,350 feet of space, including a large living area that’s been sectioned off by a gigantic barn door, which could be taken down to give the place a roomier feel. What’s your opinion of it for $3,950 a month?

255 Eastern Parkway, #F-11 [Citi Habitats] GMAP

04/23/14 9:30am

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Average rents rose 77 percent in Brooklyn while city wide real median income fell 4.8 percent from 2000 to 2012, according to a report out from the city comptroller described in The New York Post. The increases were the largest in any borough.

A story in the Times implied that meeting Mayor de Blasio’s stated goal of keeping or creating 200,000 affordable units will not fix the problem:

In an interview, Mr. Stringer said numeric goals were not enough. He noted that the Bloomberg administration spent $5.3 billion of city money and leveraged another $18.3 billion to both create new affordable units and preserve existing housing — for a total of 165,000 units over 12 years — yet the city today is still grappling with record homelessness and the loss of low-rent housing.

A separate story in the Post described a young woman paying only $1,256 a month in rent for a spacious two-bedroom rent stabilized in Crown Heights — on the face of it, an excellent deal. But, with a salary of only $30,000 a year before taxes for her retail sales job, she can barely afford it. Her landlord has offered her money to move, but she didn’t take it, knowing she would not be able to find a lower rent elsewhere.

Rents are going up and wages are falling everywhere, not just in New York City. “In the rest of the nation, rents rose by 50.1 percent over the same period — hitting an average of $773 per month,” said the Post.

The comptroller’s report recommended that affordable housing in New York City should focus on the poorest, not middle income New Yorkers. What do you think should be done?

New York City Housing Push Should Aim at Poorest, Report Says [NY Times]
NYC Rents Skyrocket as Incomes Lag [NY Post]
As Rents Rise, Some Stuck in Affordable Homes With Moving Too Costly [NY Post]

04/22/14 9:30am

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The number of Manhattanites moving to Brooklyn has dropped dramatically, with only 13 percent signing new leases in North and Northwest Brooklyn in the first quarter, vs. 53 percent back in 2006, according to a report out from Ideal Properties. The number of renters coming in from out of state rose to 22 percent in Q1, vs. 18 percent in the same period last year. Connecticut (21 percent) accounted for the majority, California for 17 percent and New Jersey for 10 percent; 10 percent were from out of the country. People who were already living in Brooklyn made up 40 percent of new leases.

Park Slope was the area’s most popular destination, “with 28 percent of all rented units in Brownstone and North Brooklyn last quarter concentrated” there, said the report. The majority of renters analyzed in the report, 33 percent, had average incomes ranging from $75,000 to $99,000. Most of them, 15 percent, worked in media, and 13 percent worked in design and architecture, the report found. More than half, 59 percent, of tenants in North and Northwest Brooklyn are between 21 and 30 years old.

The report was based on tenant profile data on close to 4,300 forms collected by Ideal Properties.

04/21/14 12:15pm

This three-bedroom, 1.5-bath lower duplex in Bed Stuy is big and full of lovely details. The garden and parlor floor apartment has mirrored wood mantels, wood panelling and original moldings around the doors and windows, and a few stained glass windows.

The 1,800-square-foot pad also has an eat-in kitchen, washer/dryer, and a deck with stairs on the parlor floor that offers access to the garden. And the apartment has enough rooms to be used as a four-bedroom, according to the listing. Do you think it will rent for $4,500 a month?

274 Hancock Street, #1 [Citi Habitats] GMAP

04/17/14 12:15pm

This renovated studio for rent in a Kensington co-op is bright white, new looking and relatively spacious. The L-shaped apartment has a bunch of white built-in wall units that offer tons of storage but give the space a somewhat clinical (or very modern) look. Those little built-in tables in the living area could function as desks or shelves, and there’s a walk-in closet.

The pad also has refinished parquet flooring and a newly renovated marble bathroom, as well as central heat and A/C. The downside is that it’s a one-year sublet that requires the hassle of co-op board approval. What’s your opinion of it for $1,650 a month?

135 Ocean Parkway [Stribling] GMAP

04/16/14 12:15pm

This three-bedroom near the Navy Yard is reasonably priced and close to Fort Greene Park. The 1,250-square-foot apartment has a nicely sized living and dining space with newly refinished hardwood floors.

There’s a washer/dryer in the basement and a shared backyard, as well as parking for a “low monthly fee.”  But despite the proximity to the park, the location has a few drawbacks: It’s down the block from the BQE and at least eight blocks from any train line. What are your thoughts on it for $2,900 a month?

119 Carlton Avenue, #2 [Corcoran] GMAP

04/15/14 12:15pm

This large one-bedroom, two-bath duplex loft in Bed Stuy seems perfect for a couple and could be workable for roommates. It’s 1,300 square feet but appears to have a completely open layout, meaning that roommates would probably want to build out separate bedrooms. Those 25-foot ceilings and the private terrace are highlights, as is the walk-in closet.

And the kitchen is equipped with a dishwasher and a washer/dryer. The unit is located in a 10-year-old condo building a block from the G at Myrtle-Willoughby and four blocks from the J/M at Flushing. Do you think it’s worth $2,200 a month?

895 Myrtle Avenue, #4A [Charles Rutenberg] GMAP

04/14/14 12:15pm

The newish (2005) condo building on Wyckoff near the Dekalb L train stop has a one-bedroom available for rent. The 520-square-foot pad comes with a balcony, an eat-in kitchen with a dishwasher, a washer and walk-in closet in the bedroom.

Oddly, the listing doesn’t mention a dryer. It’s on the second floor, and the building is a walk-up. What are your thoughts on it for $1,800 a month?

93-95 Wyckoff Avenue, #3C [Elliman] GMAP

04/11/14 9:00am

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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.

It was the first drop in nearly two years, The Real Deal reported.

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.

Here is Gawker’s take on the news:

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.

How do you feel about it?

04/10/14 12:15pm

This three-bedroom, two-bath upper duplex in Fort Greene is attractively renovated and offers plenty of living space. The 1,300-square-foot apartment has beamed ceilings, original marble fireplaces, and a private entrance.

There’s an eat-in kitchen and a relatively large living room, as well as two nicely sized bedrooms upstairs with big closets, according to the listing. The kitchen has new appliances, and there’s a washer/dryer in the unit. Plus it’s a convenient location — close to Atlantic Terminal and not too far from Fort Greene Park.

And it’s FRBO, so no brokers’ fees! What do you think of it for $4,650 a month?

135 St. Felix Street, #2 [FRBO] GMAP

04/10/14 11:30am

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Average sales prices in Brooklyn hit an all-time high in the first quarter, according to a report out today from trade association the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). In the world of condos, that meant an average condo sale is now $734,000, an uptick of 8 percent over the same period last year, the highest in all the boroughs.

Inventory was still low in the first quarter. Median sales prices for the quarter reached a six-year high while inventory declined to a six-year low in Brooklyn, said a report from Douglas Elliman. Listing inventory was 4,092 units for the quarter, down 13.2 percent vs. the same period last year. Days on market was 131, down 18.1 percent. The luxury median sales price shot up 8 percent, to $1,650,000.

The average sales price for one-to-three family townhouses in Brooklyn rose six percent, to $748,000, according to the report. The neighborhoods that saw the most sales were Bed Stuy, with 183 sales, Park Slope (142), Gravesend/Mapleton (105), East New York/Spring Creek (102), Bushwick/Wyckoff Heights (100) and Williamsburg, with 96 sales.

Brooklyn rents increased 6.39 percent in March, vs. the same period a year earlier, said a report out from MNS.

Graphic by Douglas Elliman