Real Estate Market


PARK SLOPE $500,000
634 11th Street GMAP
Two-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath condo with wood-burning fireplace, hardwood floors, recessed lighting, separate dining area, washer-dryer, 4-story limestone and brick townhouse-style building, near Prospect Park. Common charges $196; taxes $208; on market 60 days; asking price $499,000. (Corcoran Group)

285 Windsor Place GMAP
This duplex condo features beamed cathedral ceiling and other high ceilings, 2 bedrooms, including master with operable skylights, 1 1/2 bathrooms, utility room with washer-dryer, upgraded full kitchen with breakfast bar, private balcony overlooking landscaped garden and flowering trees, many closets and extra storage, garage parking with auto door and gate opener, pet-friendly building in a brownstone neighborhood, near shops, Prospect Park and F train. Common charges $245; taxes $43; on market 3 days; sold at asking price. (Corcoran Group)

Recently Sold [NY Newsday]


This new listing on Clifton Place looks pretty nice–and is $150,000 cheaper than the similar Cambridge Place listing a couple of blocks away. This listing looks like it may not have quite as much historic detail as the one on Cambridge, but it certainly is a lovely block. Clearly this place has been renovated recently and is in move-in condition. The top floor has some design decisions we don’t love, but that’s just a personal thing. The house is listed as a multi-family but we have no idea whether it’s a 2- or 3-family (looks like it couldn’t be 4). We think $1.4 million is about market for this place, so it may have a shot at fetching the ask of $1.5 million.
Clifton Place Townhouse [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP


The Wall Street Journal reports today that the flood of investors into the housing market is not only pushing up home prices, it is also putting downward pressure on rents. Growing numbers of people are buying real estate as an investment, with the intention of flipping it or moving into it later. That is increasing the supply of rental property. At the same time, low interest rates have pushed many would-be renters into becoming homeowners, thus lowering demand — and prices — for rentals.

  • In Anthem, Ariz., the number of single-family homes available for rent doubled in the first quarter versus the same period last year, he says, while average rents for those homes fell by 9%.
  • In suburban Fairfield County, Conn., a glut of properties has pushed rents for homes down by roughly 20%.
  • The vacancy rate for one-unit rentals, typically owned by investors, stood at 9.7% in the second quarter, up from 8.7% in the same period last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • The number of vacant single-family homes for rent now stands at a record 1.339 million, according to Raymond James & Associates.
  • At some point, declining rents have to negatively impact housing prices, right? But the news isn’t bad in all markets. In Riverside, CA, new rentals are swamped with interest in the first 24 hours. And judging from the recent experience of an apartment hunter documented on Curbed, the rental market in New York has not softened either.

    Speculators Push Rents Down [Wall Street Journal]


    The Fed is bullish on growth, nervous on inflation, and believes policy is still “accommodative”. It is very hard to draw any conclusion other than that rates have some way further to rise.
    Ian Shepherdson, High Frequency Economics

    There is no hint of a pause and no hint of a need to raise rates at a more rapid pace. Therefore, we continue to stick to our view that the Fed will raise rates at each of the remaining meetings this year, putting the fed funds rate at 4.25% by the end of the year. We also continue to look for the funds rate to reach 5% by the middle of next year.
    John Ryding, Conrad DeQuadros, Elena Volovelsky, of Bear Stearns

    With the expansion projected to accelerate in the third quarter and inflation projected to be contained, the Fed is expected to “play the same tune” and “dance the same step” into early 2006. This means “measured” quarter-point adjustments at meetings in September, November, and December 2005, at which time the federal funds rate will reach 4.25%.
    Brian Bethune, Global Insight

    Economists React [Wall Street Journal]


    This listing in Brooklyn Heights sounds too good to be true. Naturally, we’re suspicious. Douglas Elliman is offering the four-story, 3,000-square-foot double duplex for $1.8 million which is about half the going rate in that part of town. Now, there are a few possibilities here: 1) The Federal-style house is not really in Brooklyn Heights (the listing says it’s between Court and Clinton but doesn’t give the cross street); 2) The place is in terrible shape or was butchered irretrievably by a crappy reno at some point; 3) The seller is in a huge rush to sell and doesn’t care about getting top dollar. Whatever the reason, we are dying to know the skinny on this place. Location? Photographs? Some has to have been inside already.
    Brooklyn Heights Federal [Prudential Douglas Elliman] GMAP


    PARK SLOPE $585,000
    348 12th Street
    Prewar three-bedroom, 11/2-bath co-op, 1,050 square feet, with windowed eat-in kitchen with new appliances, living room with wood-burning fireplace, washer/dryer, hardwood floors, renovated bath, window A/C, N/E exposures and private roof deck; building is pet-friendly and features storage in basement. Maintenance $686, 60 percent tax-deductible. Asking price $599,000, on market one week. (Broker: Patricia Neinast, the Corcoran Group)

    PARK SLOPE $475,000
    429 Seventh Avenue
    Prewar one-bedroom, 11/2-bath duplex co-op, 700 square feet, with working fireplace, renovated bath, open kitchen, washer/dryer, window A/C, hardwood floors, oversized windows, eastern exposure and fenced garden. Maintenance $585, 50 percent tax-deductible. Asking price $435,000, on market three days. (Broker: Deborah Rieders, the Corcoran Group)

    PARK SLOPE $975,000
    477 11th Street
    1,565-square-foot duplex condo in a prewar building; high ceilings, h/1 floors, fireplace, laundry room, terrace, rear garden; common charges $423; taxes $5,076; listed at $975,000. (Broker: Betancourt & Associates)

    Just Sold! [NY Post]
    Residential Sales [NY Times]


    We’d been admiring these beautiful old shells on Classon between Gates and Greene for a while when we finally decided to call the number on the billboard. We already had heard through the grapevine that the two buildings on the right had been bought by a developer and were destined to be luxury condos. But wouldn’t it be fun to renovate the one on the left, we thought to ourselves. It’s about 4,000-square-feet so, given the condition, we were expecting an asking price of about $600,000. So imagine our surprise when the seller tells us he wants $1.15 million. $1.1.5 million! When we laugh in his face he lets us know that he already has an offer of $950,000 and that, between us, he’d probably be willing to part with it for $1 million or so. We bet he would.


    Back in April we posted some thoughts on this townhouse development which is known as Atlantic Commons and was done by none other than Forest City Ratner a decade ago. Our take then was the same it is now: These are a decent attempt to build townhouses that respect their Fort Greene location, especially since we’re sure they were done with an eye on the bottom line. That, however, doesn’t justify pricing them on a par with brownstones that are a hundred years older and on tree-lined streets closer to the park. The fact is that this particular house, while possessing a generous yard due to its corner location, is still on Fulton Street and still only three stories. As a result, we think that $1.5 million is way too much. (These houses sold for $225,000 new back in 1994 and, according to a reader, were up to about $395,000 in 1996.) Other commenters in our original post noted the small rooms, thin walls, low ceilings and lack of stoop as negatives. We’ll be surprised if it fetches any more than about $1.1-1.2 million. Do you agree?
    730 Fulton Street [NYT Listings] GMAP
    Decent Townhouse Reproductions? [Brownstoner]