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Queens Finishes Fourth Quarter Down 11

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Manhattan was first and Brooklyn came next, which means?if we recall our taunting nursery school rhymes correctly?the Queens fourth-quarter market report is the one with the hairiest chest. And with the most despair! Prudential Douglas Elliman's Queens Market Overview, has been released, and as The Real Deal dryly notes, "Queens continued its streak of performing generally worse" than Manhattan and Brooklyn. Jonathan Miller's report shows an 11.4% drop in median sales price over the final quarter of 2008, from $451,250 down to $400,001. Brooklyn logged a 7.5% decline, while Manhattan delayed the inevitable by registering an increase. All boroughs posted a staggering drop in sales during the fourth quarter, and in Queens' case, the number of deals was down 45.2% percent from last year. Blame Long Island City (as always!) which skewed the numbers due to a surge in new development closings at the end of 2007.

In the Miller/Elliman report, Long Island City is bundled into the Northwest Queens region, along with Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside. Median sales price in that region across all property types was $400,000, down 20.3% from 2008. The number of sales was just 173, down 58.5%, again due to that LIC bump in 2007. The median sales price of new condo development (the biggest player in LIC, of course) was about $555,000, off 6.8% from last year. However, the price-per-square-foot for new condo development was $621?up .5% from last year?so that's a positive sign for LIC, even if the quarterly market reports are not real-time indicators of the market. Will the 'hood hang on in the new year? Check back in three months for a little taste.
· Market Reports [Elliman; Queens 4Q 2008 should be online soon]
· Queens buckles under subprime pressure [Real Deal]