ASTORIA — The cheapest apartments for sale in the neighborhood last month may still be too high for many first-time buyers even though they cost less on average than other parts of the city, experts say.
Real estate research and analytics firm NeighborhoodX looked at the 10 least expensive one-bedroom market rate listings in Astoria in October and found that prices began at $320,000 and $339,000 for co-ops, jumping to $497,000 to $615,000 for condos.
The price range was slightly lower than the 10 most affordable listings in other popular neighborhoods the firm looked at around the same time. In Greenwich Village, for example, the cheapest sales spanned from $585,000 to $795,000, while those in Crown Heights spanned from $480,000 to $649,000.
The least expensive homes in Brooklyn Heights in October $575,000 to $699,000, while the cheapest sales listings in the East Village ranged from $499,000 to $685,000, NeighborhoodX found.
But the firm's founder Constantine Valhouli warned that since many of the property listings did not include the apartment's square footage, making an accurate comparison between the costs of the units is hard to gage.
"It makes an informed purchase decision difficult and it also makes analysis difficult," he said.
Of those that did include the unit's size, the Astoria home that ranked the priciest of the neighborhood's 10 cheapest listings — a duplex at 19-19 24th Ave. available for $615,000 — was also the largest of the bunch at 1,038 square feet.
So while the unit's overall cost was higher than the other listings, its price per square foot was lower than the rest, at $592 a foot.
By comparison, the smallest apartment in the group, a 450-square-foot condo at 25-69 38th St. selling for $498,000, had the most expensive price per square foot, at $1,106 a foot.
Valhouli said that while the cheapest units for sale in Astoria may range lower than some of the city's other hot neighborhoods, the down payment that required to purchase even these more affordable units may still be a challenge to many first-time buyers.
A 20 percent down payment on the cheapest condo on the list, for example — a 781-square-foot one bedroom at 45-02 Ditmars Blvd. for $497,000 — would be close to $100,000.
"Even though our borrowing costs are relatively modest right now, there's still that initial hurdle of the down payment to get in the game," Valhouli said.