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Brooklyn real estate sales heating up as inventory falls, StreetEasy data shows

Brooklyn housing prices are soaring due to a

Brooklyn housing prices are soaring due to a drop in sales inventory, according to data released by StreetEasy. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier, 2014

Want to live in Brooklyn? Good luck.

With sales inventory dropping significantly as median house prices rise, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to buy a home in the borough, according to new data from the real estate listings site StreetEasy.

Sales inventory dropped by 13.1% in the second quarter of this year from the same period last year, according to the site.

The median resale price increased year-over-year by 5.9% to $561,438 in 2Q 2016, StreetEasy found.

Sheepshead Bay resident Eli Zagreb, 29, said he understands the appeal of the borough and has lived there for 10 years.

“It’s more affordable, there are bigger sized-homes. In Manhattan the apartments are sizes of closets,” Zagreb said. “A lot more people moved here, and there’s a lot more construction going on, probably for people who moving in. And people with a lot more money started moving in too.”

Some neighborhoods fared better than others in terms of inventory. In in Cobble Hill, where the median asking price for a home was $1.375 million in the second quarter this year, it decreased by 24% from 2Q 2015, according to the data.

Sheepshead Bay, which had a slightly lower median asking price of $337,000, had 51.4% fewer homes for sale in 2Q 2016 from the year before.

South Brooklyn as a whole had the largest decrease in sales inventory, falling 25.5% year-over-year in 2Q 2016.

Meanwhile, sellers in that quarter pocketed all or more than their asking price in about half of all the Brooklyn neighborhoods StreetEasy tracks. East Brooklyn, Northwest Brooklyn, and Prospect Park led the pack in this.

Conversely, Manhattan inventory increased by 1.2% in 2Q 2016 from 2015. Brooklyn homes sold a median of eight days faster last quarter than homes across the river.

Kyle McNeill, 45, said his family owns a home in Stuyvesant Heights, where the median asking price hovered just under $1 million and inventory dropped 19.8% in the second quarter.

“There are plenty of people who have offered to buy our home but we don’t want to sell it,” the audio engineer noted. “But there are only so many brownstones in Brooklyn. That source is finite. There are limited resources in houses in general.”

Erik Gonsalves, a sales broker with Halstead in the Bed-Stuy area, said he often sees people playing a waiting game to see if prices drop.

“Whatever they find feasibly, economically, if they’re looking for affordability, it’s hard to come by in this area,” he said. “You’re better off renting.”

While Brooklyn sales prices are certainly high, StreetEasy forecasts they will slow in the next year: the median sales price is only expected to increase by 4.2%. North Brooklyn will see the least impact, where prices are expected to increase by 8.6%, the only area in the borough where the price is expected to be over $1 million.

Bedford Stuyvesant renter Debra Williams, 58, said she worries that the rising cost of properties make it difficult for younger families.

“Every year I see new people come and it’s nice. The neighborhood is nice,” Williams said. “I’m concerned about a young family starting out with these home prices. Some homes here sell for $2 million.”

  • Sales inventory dropped 13.1% in Brooklyn in the second quarter of 2016, compared to the same time last year.
  • Inventory increased 1.2% in Manhattan for the same time period.
  • Brooklyn’s median resale price increased 5.9% to $561,438 in the second quarter.
  • Brooklyn homes sold in a median of 41 days, eight faster than Manhattan homes.


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