The days of low inventory for Brooklyn townhouses are no longer, at least for now: According to a report in the New York Observer, there's actually a surplus of townhomes available in Kings County right now (which regular followers of our Brooklyn Townhouse Roundup column could have probably told you). For the past few years, there haven't been many listings open in neighborhoods like Park Slope or Cobble Hill at any given time; but as of this spring, there were nearly 100 townhouses available, and the number has dipped only slightly in the months since.
There are a few factors that went into the surge in available houses. The Observer spoke with Terry Naini, a broker with Town Residential, who speculated that the high resale prices that people have been able to command have driven more people to sell:
"People have seen prices go up and they're cashing out—when they see their neighbor sold their place for X, they wonder why they can't get the same," said Ms. Naini. "A lot of sellers just see it as a unit price," she explained. But on the other hand, the higher prices of townhouses means that more of them sit on the market, as buyers turn to less pricey condos, or even rentals, when they're looking for homes. The glut of luxury condos and rentals throughout the borough has also contributed to the excess of townhomes—instead of seeking out a typical Brooklyn brownstone, many buyers are apparently downsizing, and seeking out smaller, more modern units instead.
And, of course, there's the fact that some of the borough's new developments are townhouses themselves. The Navy Green complex near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, for example, has 433 apartments, along with 23 brand new townhouses.
But as the Observer notes, this isn't necessarily a good time to be a buyer or seller: "With a surfeit of supply, it's certainly not an ideal time for clients with run-of-the-mill townhouses, i.e. those without pristine renovations or to-die-for period details, to list."
· Brooklyn Brownstone Listings Surge [Observer]
· Brooklyn Townhouse Roundup archives [Curbed]