Brooklyn Sees Surprising Gains in Real Estate Prices, Transactions and Inventory in 2021

Brookyn Heights. Photo by Susan De Vries

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    Everything is looking up for the Brooklyn real estate market.

    Inventory, transactions and closed-sale prices increased across the borough in the first quarter of 2021, according to a report prepared by appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel and published by Douglas Elliman this morning.

    The average sale price this quarter set a new record at $1,114,193, which was a 5.6 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 9.9 percent increase from the same period last year.

    At the same time, the number of sales reached 2,822, a 4.7 percent increase from the previous quarter and an 11.8 percent increase from the first quarter of 2020. It was the highest number of first-quarter transactions in 14 years, according to the report.

    Chart via Miller Samuel Inc.

    Condo sales volume overall saw the biggest growth, with a 15.9 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 34.1 percent increase from last year. The number of sales of co-ops grew 1.8 percent from last quarter and 16 percent from last year, while the number of one- to three-family home sales declined by 1.2 percent from the previous quarter and 2.2 percent from the beginning of 2020.

    But per square foot, the average price of one- to three-family homes rose 4 percent to $647 from the previous quarter and 5 percent from the previous year. The average price per square foot for condos hit $981, a 2.7 percent increase from last quarter but a 10.3 percent decline from last year. (Resales decreased more than new development.) Per square foot averages are not available for co-ops, but the average sale price clocked in at $739,426, a 3.7 percent increase from the prior quarter and a 25.4 percent jump vs. the same period in 2020.

    The number of listings increased to 2,885, a 9.4 percent jump up from the previous quarter and a 10.2 percent rise from the first quarter of 2020.

    Interestingly, some of the most expensive markets in the borough — townhouses in northwest Brooklyn and all properties in north Brooklyn — showed softness while more affordable options continued to grow. The average price per square foot of one- to three-family houses in northwest Brooklyn reached $1,212, a 3.7 percent decrease from the prior quarter and a 15.1 percent drop for the year. In Williamsburg and Greenpoint, the average sales price for all properties reached $1,257,294 , a drop of 3.5 percent vs. the prior quarter and a dip of 8.8 percent compared to the year earlier. Average price per square foot for condos in the area came in at $959, a decrease of 1.3 percent vs. the prior quarter and an 11.3 percent drop vs. the year before.

    It will be interesting to see if these trends continue as we exit the pandemic.

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