Is Southwest Brooklyn Readying for a Real Estate Boom?

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The eye of New York City real estate is a searing, horrible thing, alighting from neighborhood to neighborhood, deeming it “desirable,” and slowly but surely making it impossibly expensive to live in and full of Duane Reades and Starbucks. Despair, Brooklynites, once your neighborhood is considered to be “having a moment.” Now that Crown Heights, Bushwick, and Williamsburg have fallen, the next neighborhoods where sales are slowly eking upwards are in Southwest Brooklyn, according to a new report from Massey Knekai Real Estate.

The company saw a 57 percent jump in building sales in Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, and Bay Ridge. And despite the insane real estate activity in the more Northern neighborhoods of Brooklyn, the southwest accounted for 25 percent of the total buildings sold in the area. Massey Knakai’s vice president Adrian Mercado speculated to the Commercial Observer that the Asian-American population of those neighborhoods had spurred investment in buildings in the neighborhood.

So should we all just give up and flee to Staten Island? Probably not. Though the buildings sold has gone up sharply since 2009, it’s probably worth remembering that this trend reflects the overall improving economic climate, not a charge towards Bensonhurt. And real estate studies like this one are worth taking with a grain of salt, not necessarily for the rigorousness of their sourcing but for the whole idea behind them: You know, real estate agency indicates that an area is desirable, press (like us) reports same, and then more buyers get interested in those neighborhoods. But still, there’s no doubt that with the rapidly escalating price of any place to live in North Brooklyn, places like Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge are looking a lot more attractive. One broker, John Brennan, noted that many families from Park Slope are moving further south, prompting increased demand in apartment properties.

“Now you’re regularly seeing these buildings that change hands at prices that don’t make sense on paper; it’s basically a land grab,”Brennan said. Ugh, no. “Investment property” plus “land grab” plus “up-and-coming”? That’s pretty much gentrification bingo.

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