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Brooklyn townhouse sales are in a slump

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According to brokers, luxury houses aren’t selling like they used to

Brooklyn Heights street scene Max Touhey

Disaster has struck: according to the Wall Street Journal, the slowdown at the top of New York’s luxury market has come to Brooklyn, and high-end brownstones just ain’t worth what they used to be, brokers say.

For example, two renovated Brooklyn Heights townhouses—at 27 Monroe Place and 146 Willow Street—were initially listed last summer at $18 million, which would have made them the most expensive townhouses in the borough. (The record sale price for a Brooklyn townhouse is $15.5 million, set in 2015.) But alas, it was not to be: Neither house sold, and now both have gotten price cuts—as have several other top-of-the-line townhouses in the borough.

“There has been a correction of irrational exuberance,” said Leonard Steinberg, president of brokerage firm Compass, who took over the Willow Street listing. “It is rational now.”

In “prime townhouse areas”—defined as Prospect Park in the south up through Greenpoint—the total number of townhouses sold dropped 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with Q4 sales in 2015, according to data from Ideal Properties Group. And the numbers for fourth quarter sales topping $3 million have fallen even further, down a whopping 44 percent.

If, however, you are still looking to spend (or cash in), rest assured: Brooklyn is hardly in a slump. Using a slightly different metric ($2 million instead of $3 million), the Daily News declared October 2016—just three months ago!—a “banner month for the Brooklyn luxury market,” with brownstones dominating sales.

The fate of the two $16 million Brooklyn Heights townhouses, though, remains to be seen.