Property sales on the decline in BK - New survey finds lower demand for residential units in southern part of borough

The Brooklyn Paper

Reflecting a troubled economy, the sales of residential properties borough-wide dropped nearly 44 percent this quarter compared to the prior year’s quarter, according to a recently released study.

The Brooklyn Market Overview of Residential Properties in Brooklyn study was done by the real estate firm Prudential Douglas Elliman.

According to the overview, there were 2,031 units of residential properties sold from April 1 to June 30, 2008, as compared to 3,601 during these same months in 2007.

Of these sales, 53.1 percent, or 1,079, came from southern Brooklyn – roughly from Kensington on the north to Coney Island on the south, and from Bay Ridge on the west to Canarsie on the east.

However, the overall sales in this region were also down (43.5 percent) this past quarter as compared to the same quarter in 2007.

Also in this southern tier, which includes such neighborhoods as Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Flatbush, Midwood, Manhattan Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, Madison, Marine Park and Mill Basin, the average sale price was $514,052, a 2.1 percent decrease since the same time a year ago.

On the other hand, in the northern Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, both the median sales price and average sales price increased from the same quarter in 2007.

The median sales price was $580,402, up 9 percent from the 2007 quarter price of $532,500; and the average sales price was $663,946, up 12.7 percent from this quarter last year when it was $589,226.

The report attributed these increases to the addition of new condo developments in these neighborhoods during the past several years. Overall, though, the total number of sales in the region declined 29.9 percent to 122 units as compared to 174 units sold in the same quarter in 2007.

Brooklyn’s brownstone belt, which includes such neighborhoods as Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Red Hook, Prospect Heights, Windsor Terrace, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, also saw both median and average sales price of residential properties increase.

The median sales price increased 1.1 percent to $1.2 million from $1.87 million; and the average sales price went up 4 percent to $1.342 million from $1.29 million.

However, the overall sales in this region declined by nearly half, with 64 sales as compared to the 124 sales for the same quarter last year.

The report attributed this decline to a weaker economy, tighter credit conditions and the anecdotal observation of fewer listings available.

Borough-wide, the median sales price of residential properties slipped 1.9 percent to $525,000 from the prior year quarter result of $535,000.

However, the average sales price increased 2.4 percent to $588,441 from $574,454.

Condo sales slipped about 12 percent in this quarter with 690 sales as compared to 772 during this same quarter period in 2007.

However, both the second quarter 2008 median sales price of condos ($514,725) and the average sale price of condos ($601,280) were up over 8 percent as compared to the second quarter in 2007.

One- to three-family units accounted for more than half (50.6 percent) of all sales borough-wide.

While the median sale price of luxury properties decreased 5.5 percent to $1.2 million this quarter, the average price per square foot increased 3.2 percent to $556.

Carlos Matos, the sales manger for Massey Knakal Realty Service Brooklyn division, said the sale of properties for mixed-use or condominium buildings has largely dried up.

Most of the condominium buildings going up are two years in the making, he said.

“In Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg and Park Slope, there’s still some interest, but it has to be a prime location to sell,” said Matos.


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