Brooklyn may be booming, but not with condos. The Real Deal has published a feature story with startling statistics about the borough's lack of condominiums to meet buyer demand. In combing through records from the Department of Buildings, the Real Deal found that only 1,900 of the 23,700 Brooklyn units in development (across 137 projects) are slated to be condos. That's just 8 percent of the total pipeline. While the story doesn't contain any number representing demand, it does note that condo sales seem to happen rather expediently in Brooklyn. For instance, the Oosten in Williamsburg has 132 of its 216 units either sold or in contract since launching in September, and the 128-unit Boerum was 50 percent sold in March after launching sales in December.
Industry people said the weak condo market is a remnant of the 2008 financial recession. At the time, developers felt that rentals were more stable in case of market fluctuations. Since then, the real estate market has gotten back on its feet and then some, and people have swarmed into the borough. As Brooklynites both old and new age and become more familiar with the borough, they might feel inclined to search for a more permanent residence. And yet, the limited offerings may prevent them from finding success.
With developers realizing this predicament, some have made motions to convert rental projects, both existing and future, into condos. Waterbridge 47 in Vinegar Hill, owned by Greystone Property Development Corporation, went from rental to condo early in the development process, while 184 Kent Avenue, currently composed of 338 rental units, is slated to transform into the Austin Nichols Condominium. Even so, Ofer Cohen, founder and president of TerraCRG, a commercial brokerage firm in Brooklyn, estimated that there wouldn't be any noticeable improvement in the Brooklyn condo inventory for at least two or three years.