Trendy Brooklyn's High Prices Pushing Buyers Deeper Into Borough and Queens

By Amy Zimmer | January 14, 2016 7:43am
 This 3-bedroom/2-bath duplex  with deeded parking in South Brooklyn's Fort Hamilton has views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and an elevator opening onto the apartment. It's listed by Corcoran for $1.4 million.
This 3-bedroom/2-bath duplex with deeded parking in South Brooklyn's Fort Hamilton has views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and an elevator opening onto the apartment. It's listed by Corcoran for $1.4 million.
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Corcoran Group

NEW YORK CITY — In the last quarter of 2015, high prices and limited inventory in many of Brooklyn’s trendiest neighborhoods resulted in a “spillover effect” into parts of Queens and areas deeper into Kings County, real estate experts said.

With the median sales price of $915,000 in uber-desirable Brownstone Brooklyn — which includes Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Fort Greene and Park Slope — and the median price for Northwest Brooklyn’s hip neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint at $909,000, according to fourth-quarter data from Douglas Elliman, many house hunters are looking for more affordable alternatives.

Brokers said their clients are increasingly turning their attention to South Brooklyn — which includes areas such as Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Midwood and Kensington — where the median sales price was $570,000 in the fourth quarter.

And prices are rising. The median in South Brooklyn was nearly 30 percent higher from the year before.

More would-be buyers are also looking at Queens, especially the neighborhoods in the northwest part of the borough, including Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside, brokers said. The median in this region was $595,000, up nearly 3 percent from the year before, according to the Elliman report.

“It’s an unending search for affordability,” said Jonathan Miller, who authored the Elliman report. “There’s an outward radial push. It’s like ‘core Brooklyn’ is spilling over into the rest of Brooklyn and into Queens.”

Douglas Elliman’s Sarah Burke said the spillover was not only due to price points but also to the availability of greater inventory in these other neighborhoods.

Many of the people moving deeper into Brooklyn, she added, were already Brooklynites trading up.

“There’s a desire to stay in Brooklyn even after your family is growing,” she said. “People are looking to get the most bang for the buck, to find ‘the next neighborhood’ or get that three-bedroom versus the two-bedroom that they sold.”

South Brooklyn saw more sales than any other part of the borough, accounting for more than 50 percent of all transactions, the report showed.

Co-ops in South Brooklyn and Northwest Queens were especially affordable relative to their neighbors — but all saw double-digit increases, according to the Elliman data.

The median price for South Brooklyn co-ops was $243,000, up nearly 11 percent.

In Northwest Queens, Long Island City’s median price jumped nearly 58 percent to $571,500; Sunnyside’s median was up nearly 38 percent to $292,500; Woodside’s median increased 30 percent to $275,000; and Astoria’s rose 21 percent to $333,028.

Queens overall has seen a sharp rise in prices over the past 18 months, the Elliman report said.

Barry Brandt, of Argo Real Estate said that Queens’ “more diverse areas” like Sunnyside, Jackson Heights and Forest Hills represented “classic New York” in their neighborhood feel.

“It used to be that first-time buyers were all talking about Brooklyn,” Brandt said. “Now I get calls from first-time buyers specifically asking about Queens.”

He added, “The value is still tremendous there.”