On a day like today, nothing feels good. Moving limbs means producing sweat, which sticks to our (hopefully scant) clothing, and makes the heat that consumes us that much more cloying and oppressive. So, why not double down on these bad feelings with some bad news?
On the other hand, the kind of bad news I have for you is not surprising because you’ve heard it many times before: It’s of the “Brooklyn keeps getting more expensive, especially if you want to buy an apartment here,” variety.
According to a second-quarter housing market report from Halstead, DNAinfo reports the average Brooklyn apartment sale increased by 10 percent over the year, bringing the average sale to $746,277, and the median to $589,579. And that means the price per square foot, on average, has reached $907, according to a report from Corcoran.
That is not even depressing so much as funny. Picture one measly square foot on a floor and then picture a wad of bills adding up to $907 lying on top of it. That’s how much that patch of floor costs. Hysterical.
As DNAinfo points out, prices have been driven up due to an extreme lack of affordable apartment listings. There were a full 20 percent fewer listings under $500,000 last quarter, compared to the year before. Only 40 percent of total sales in Brooklyn were below $500,000. Last year, that percentage was 46%, or much closer to half of all sales. Corcoran’s Frank Percesepe confirms, “There’s been an extraordinary lack of inventory at the bottom of the market.”
DNAinfo reports that Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, and Red Hook suffered the biggest affordable listing crunch: only three percent of all listings came from these neighborhoods, and only 8 percent of total sales. The median sales price in these areas was $1.075 million.
Indeed, million-dollar-plus sales have become common place across Brooklyn. You know all those shiny residential towers popping up around Fort Greene and downtown Brooklyn and, actually, pretty much everywhere? They’re chock-full of apartments that can sell at seven figures. A full 27 percent of Brooklyn listings last quarter reached the million-plus mark, and those that sold represented 22% of all sales—a record at that price point.
If there is one objective piece of good news in any of this, it’s this: Percesepe with Corcoran has seen a “certain amount of resistance” to Brooklyn’s mile high prices; the number of signed contracts has actually dropped.
Could it be that straight-up human reason is the one effective antidote to this insanity? Possibly, god willing. Meantime, while things look this terrible, we all have a safe-haven, which is of course called Queens. And yet, overflow from disgruntled Brooklyn buyers has resulted in new records there, too. Last quarter the average Queens sale reached its highest ever point: $526,942, or a full 17 percent jump from the year before, according to Douglas Elliman.
“I think Brooklyn’s growth is more about Brooklyn changing as a market in the last five years,” said Jonathan Miller, with Douglas Elliman. “and Queens is more about Queens being adjacent to Brooklyn.”
Brooklyn, why you gotta go and be so attractive? Soon, you’ll be the object of our affection that can only be admired from afar.
Image by Jane Bruce of City Tower, the new residential high rise in downtown Brooklyn.