Sections

BOOMIN’

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:



Real-estate prices in Brooklyn are surging at Manhattan-like rates, with the borough’s average apartment going up by 35 percent last year, and units in some neighborhoods jumping by more than 80 percent.

And that’s good news for the owners of brownstones, townhouses, co-ops and condos — but bad news for young people, Manhattan exiles and other Brooklyn wannabes who want to join the ranks of the landed gentry.

“We don’t see any downward trend [in prices],” said Real Estate Board of New York President Steven Spinola, who journeyed to the Brooklyn Marriott this week to release his organization’s first-ever residential sales report for the borough.

“People want to live in Brooklyn,” he added.

For years, Spinola’s numbers have been the stuff of Manhattan homeowners’ dreams, chronicling the seemingly uninterrupted rise of apartment and townhouse prices in “the city.”

But soaring real-estate values are a savior that isn’t afraid to walk on water to Brooklyn. Across the borough, co-op and condo prices went up 35 percent, while one- and two-family home prices rose 20.5 percent.

But some neighborhoods did far better than that:

• Apartment prices in Fort Greene went up 81.9 percent last year — and now average $456,000. The average price per square foot in the neighborhood was up 114 percent during the same period.

• In DUMBO, the average — the AVERAGE — apartment now sells for $1.255 million, up from $987,000 the year before, an increase of 27 percent. [Related story on DUMBO.]

• In Clinton Hill, an apartment typically now costs $349,000 — a 31-percent increase from the year before.

• Apartment is Cobble Hill jumped 36 percent and now average $753,000.

• Single- and two-family homes are also off-the-charts in some neighborhoods. They went up 54 percent (to an average of $1,293,000) in Boerum Hill, 28 percent (now $2,722,000) in Brooklyn Heights, 82 percent (now $1,128,000) in Fort Greene, 51 percent (now $760,000) in Clinton Hill, and 28 percent (now $1,341,000) in Park Slope.

(Numbers for other popular neighborhoods such as Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights were not broken out from the borough-wide statistics.)

When Spinola read out the Fort Greene numbers at Tuesday’s breakfast briefing, real-estate agent Terry Robinson whooped — literally, he whooped — with joy.

“I love selling in Fort Greene,” he said. “Of course it’s surging because it has beautiful houses, great proximity to trains and, yes, a Frank Gehry-designed stadium on the way.”

Robinson said that a brownstone on Fort Greene Park that sold for $600,000 in 2000 would now go for $1.8 million — and have people lining up to pay it.

Or course, not everyone was whooping with delight at the skyrocketing prices. High real-estate values mean big commissions for brokers, but potentially less diversity throughout the borough, Borough President Markowitz pointed out.

“Yes, it is nice to see that prices are going up, because it means that people want to move to Brooklyn, but we have to work harder to ensure that Brooklyn remains an ethnic and income-diverse city,” he said.

Markowitz said the Real Estate Board report justified his support for both the Atlantic Yards project and last year’s rezoning of the Williamsbu­rg/Greenpo­int waterfront for residential development.

Both plans set aside a significant amount of “affordable” housing.

“If there’s no balance between affordability and affluence, then Brooklyn becomes only for the very wealthy and the very poor,” he said.

“But ethnic and economic diversity makes Brooklyn Brooklyn.”

Of course, some neighborhoods have already moved on the inexorable path to Manhattanification, experts said.

“What happened to Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights is happening across a much-wider area now,” said Steven Sommers, a broker with his own practice in Park Slope.

“Neighborho­ods get ossified once only a thin strata of society can afford to move in.”

But Spinola believes Brooklyn’s essential spirit has not been lost.

“First-time homeowners will have to do what first-time homebuyers have always done: move into areas of Brooklyn that they can afford,” he said.

“And, like all first-time homebuyers, they’ll have to stretch their finances. Everyone struggles to buy his first house. But the good news is that this report shows that the struggle will be worth it; your home is going to retain its value and be a good investment for you tomorrow.”

But, he added, if you wait until tomorrow to buy, “you’d be making a mistake.”



Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: