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Brooklyn Apartment Prices Hit a Post-Recession High

There were across-the-board price gains for Brooklyn sales and rentals this quarter

So there's been a little relief in Manhattan rental prices, which have dropped for the first time since 2014. Not so for Brooklyn's rental and sales market, which are both up from last year. Most notably, the median price for Brooklyn apartments has surpassed $600,000 in this year's first quarter, according to the Corcoran market report. That's the highest it's been in nearly eight years, since the third quarter of 2008 when it was $644,000, and a 15 percent jump from one year ago. The spike in median price, the report finds, is due to Brooklyn's booming resale market. In the past year, the median price for the resale of co-ops jumped 32 percent, with condo prices jumping 15 percent. Because while there's been a 50 percent gain in listings for new developments in the borough, the highest demand is still for more affordable resale properties.

Jonathan Miller, who compiles numbers for Douglas Elliman's Brooklyn sales report, said Brooklyn "had the perfect storm of rising sales, falling inventory and rising prices." There were 1,912 sales in the first quarter of the year, up 26.9 percent from last year. But listing inventory fell 30.3 percent to 2,860 over the same period. This limited availability, Miller said, is because much of Brooklyn's new housing stock comes in the form of luxury rentals, while Manhattan has more new condo development. The dynamic of low inventory and high sales caused "the second fastest-paced market in the eight years we tracked absorption," Miller said. The absorption rate dropped from 8.2 months down to 4.5 months this quarter, and listings spent 42 less days on the market than last year. With all that demand, listing discounts were "essentially non existent for the second consecutive quarter."

The Brown Harris Stevens quarterly report also—big surprise!—found gains across the board. Apartment and townhouse prices both averaged 5 percent more than a year ago. For Brownstone Brooklyn townhouses, the median price of $2,122,500 was 18 percent higher than last year, with an average price per square foot up 20 percent, to $903.

A Brooklyn rental report from Douglas Elliman also shows price gains—if not as dramatic as the borough's sales prices. The median rental price increased 2.7 percent percent in between March 2015 and March 2016, from $2,703/month to $2,775/month. (That's still $525 less than Manhattan's median rent.) Inventory went up 1.6 percent and marketing time was down by seven days. Much like the sales market, there's a 0 percent chance for negotiability in the listing discount.