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Average Home Prices in Brooklyn and Queens Hit Record Highs

By Amy Zimmer | July 9, 2015 7:42am
 Images from the  View at East Coast, 46-30 Center Boulevard, Apt. 208, in Long Island City. This two-bedroom, with nearly 2,000 square feet of interior space and 1,165 private outdoor space, is listed by Douglas Elliman for $2.5 million.
Images from the View at East Coast, 46-30 Center Boulevard, Apt. 208, in Long Island City. This two-bedroom, with nearly 2,000 square feet of interior space and 1,165 private outdoor space, is listed by Douglas Elliman for $2.5 million.
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Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

NEW YORK CITY — Brooklyn and Queens saw average home prices reach record highs in the second quarter just as they did in Manhattan, according to a report released Thursday by Douglas Elliman.

The average sales price for Brooklyn homes was $788,529, the report found. The average price in Queens was $452,304.

The rental market is also high. Median rents in Brooklyn's north, northwest and eastern regions — which are the areas Elliman tracks for rentals — reached a record $2,964 a month.

The report has been tracking sales numbers for 12 years, in the entirety of each borough.

"Across Brooklyn and Queens, we're seeing records," said Jonathan Miller, the real estate expert who authored the report.

The hottest parts of Brooklyn, in particular, saw records for their median prices.

In Williambsurg and Greenpoint, for instance, the median price jumped more than 22 percent over the past year to $1.05 million. In Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope and Fort Greene, the median price rose more than 7 percent to $910,000.

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and Buswhick saw the median price for condos jump nearly 29 percent to $611,734.

Long Island City's condo market also saw records, with the median sales price jumping nearly 29 percent to $998,000.

With a "booming" economy and strong employment growth, limited inventory and continued constraints on credit, don't expect the upward trend to end soon, Miller said.

This climate makes it hard for would-be first-time buyers in particular, "which is why we're seeing price growth in Brooklyn rental market," he said.

"Most of the gains are in the smaller apartments, which is the purview of first-time buyers, for the most part."

Brooklyn studios, for instance, rose 9.8 percent over the past year to an average of $2,379 a month in June, the report found. In the Northwest region of Queens, the area the Elliman rental report covers, studios rose just under 1 percent to $2,348 a month while all other apartment prices fell, except for three-bedrooms.

In Manhattan, too, where the average rental price was $4,007 a month in June — the fifth consecutive month above $4,000 — smaller sized apartments saw bigger price growth, with studios rising nearly 3 percent to $2,652 a month and one-bedrooms rising 3.5 percent to $3,500 a month, the report found.

"We are seeing record rents for two primary reasons," CitiHabitats Gary Malin said. "One is seasonal. With new grads and college students arriving in Manhattan en masse, it’s always ‘survival of the fittest’ during the summer months.

"In addition, a lack of ‘starter’ for-sale inventory is keeping many frustrated would-be buyers in the tenant pool, thus crowding the market even further."

He added, "Unfortunately for apartment seekers, we expect conditions to remain competitive until fall arrives."

For buyers, Sarah Burke of Douglas Elliman, advises that people look "a little under" what they're qualified for in terms of mortgages "so you can bid over and go in and put your best foot forward," she said.

"I've seen people lose deals over $20,000 and this is not the market to do that."

She also advises clients to look at their five-year home — a one-bedroom perhaps — instead of a two-bedroom for 10 years since there's so much competition for those.

And since certain price points in "prime" neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Park Slope are "still bananas," with 100 people crowding open houses for homes under $1 million and 75 people elbowing each other at homes under $2 million, Burke suggests buyers look at other neighborhoods "where you can absolutely have less pressure."

"I love Red Hook right now," she said. "And Prospect-Lefferts Gardens' brownstoney tree-lined streets. When you see a lot of developers going in and doing large rental buildings, then more amenities are coming."