Brooklyn Real Estate Boom Continues, With Prices Up, Inventory Down in Second Quarter

Photos by Mary Hautman and Cate Corcoran

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    The second-quarter reports are in, and the Brooklyn market still looks hot, with the average price per square foot increasing a mighty 23.1 percent over the same period last year and a healthy 9.1 percent over the previous quarter, according to Douglas Elliman’s data.

    Overall, prices are up, the number of sales is up, and inventory is down, reports from four real estate firms — Douglas Elliman, Corcoran, Ideal Properties and Brown Harris Stevens — agreed.

    Brooklyn Real Estate Market

    State Street. Photo by Jaclyn Warren. Prices moved higher as inventory fell and sales increased. 

    “This was the third strongest spring season since 2011,” said Corcoran.

    Here are the highlights from the Elliman report:

    • The median sales price is $659,000, an increase of 8.9 percent over the same period a year earlier.
    • The average sales price increased 3.6 percent year over year to $816,827.
    • The number of sales reached 1,888 in the quarter, a surge of 8.8 percent.
    • Listing inventory dropped 37.4 percent in the quarter to 2,672.

    In general, condos and co-ops were up, townhouses and luxury down.

    Brooklyn real estate market

    Photo by Mary Hautman

    How the townhouses fared

    While the average and median sales prices of townhouses were generally down, the average price per square foot rose 12 percent in the quarter compared to a year earlier, according to Brown Harris Stevens. (Price per square foot can be a more telling metric than overall sales prices, since fluctuations in the sizes of the properties sold can affect the latter.)

    The median price for a multi-family townhouse now stands at $1.35 million, an increase of 2 percent over the same period a year earlier, according to the Corcoran data. Townhouses in the central Brooklyn areas of Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Bushwick gained the most: The average price for a multi-family townhouse in the area reached $1.284 million, an increase of 17 percent over the same period a year earlier.

    The median price per square foot of all types of properties in brownstone and north Brooklyn increased 12 percent year over year to $1,108 per square foot, according to Ideal Properties’ survey.

    Brooklyn Real Estate Market

    Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Photo by Mary Hautman

    What it all means

    Demand is still strong in Brooklyn, and property for sale is scarce. The lack of inventory was most extreme at the low end of the market ($500,000 and below).

    After years of double-digit price growth since 2012, the Brooklyn market cooled slightly in the fourth quarter of 2015. In the first quarter of this year, the median sales price for all types of properties increased 8.4 percent over the same period a year earlier — still a strong number, although not a double-digit one. That pace continued in the second quarter.

    “Long-term Brooklyn market dynamics of high buyer demand and challenged inventory levels coupled with increased sales at the high end of market combined to drive second-quarter 2016 prices upward to record high levels,” according to Corcoran.

    Brooklyn Real Estate Market

    Bed Stuy row house. Photo by Mary Hautman

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