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Strong 2011 Finish for Lower-End Market in Brooklyn, Queens

The quarterly market report trilogy came to an end at midnight with the release of the fourth quarter results for Brooklyn and Queens. So, boroughs, how did you do? The median sales price in Brooklyn fell 4.3 percent to $454,383, compared to $475,000 in the fourth quarter of 2010. The report attributes the minor drop in price (pricing was "basically stable," Elliman report preparer and Curbed graph guru Jonathan Miller tells us) to increased sales of lower-priced co-ops, and in fact, the number of sales for the borough rose 6.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010. Most of these sales happened in south and east Brooklyn, the lowest-priced areas. In North Brooklyn, the report's term for Williamsburg and Greenpoint, condos held steady at a market share of 86.2 percent, and the median sales price was up 6.1 percent.

In Queens, too, sales of lower priced co-ops increased compared to the higher end of the market. That led the median sales price to fall by 7 percent, to $343,000. But the number of sales also fell 19.3 percent compared to the final quarter of 2010, illustrating, as JMillz points out, the weakness of the Queens market compared to Brooklyn. "A lot has to do with price point," Miller says. "Higher price properties are generally faring better in the city, with Manhattan first followed by Brooklyn and then Queens." That pattern might continue into the next quarter, with additional buyers snapping up lower-priced properties, but "the bulk of people on the fence took advantage of the lower rates" already, Miller thinks. So look for those higher-end numbers to creep back up later this year.
· Market Reports coverage [Curbed]