Brooklyn Real Estate Prices Climb Higher

A view of downtown Brooklyn, looking north from the Gowanus Canal.

Brooklyn’s real estate market continued its ascent in the fourth quarter of 2017, even as the markets in Manhattan and surrounding areas stumbled, according to recent industry reports.

The median sales price in Brooklyn rose to $770,000, up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, the third highest price ever recorded in the borough, according to a report from Douglas Elliman. The record was set in the second quarter of 2017, when the median sales price reached $795,000.

Jonathan J. Miller, president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, which prepared the report, said that while price growth has slowed, tight inventory suggests the upward trend will continue. There were 1,711 homes for sale in the fourth quarter, down 23 percent from the previous year, making it the 10th straight quarter of declining inventory.

“Normally, when you go that low, sales taper off,” Frank Percesepe, who oversees Brooklyn sales for the Corcoran Group, said about buyer tendencies. “But they’re buying anything they can get their hands on.”

“It’s really the only market that is doing this,” said Mr. Miller, who noted that Manhattan’s market stalled in the fourth quarter, in part because of concerns over the impending tax overhaul. (Tax talk may have also dampened buyer interest in Brooklyn, but not to the extent seen in other markets, he said.)

The borough of Queens, which had sharp price growth last year, also slowed, with fewer sales and rising supply in the last quarter. The Riverdale area of the Bronx, including Hudson Hill and Spuyten Duyvil, had both fewer sales and lower sales prices.

Not all apartment categories shined in the quarter. Sales of luxury apartments above $3 million dropped almost 21 percent, from 72 to 57, compared to the same period a year ago, Mr. Miller said. And there were 1,184 sales between $500,000 and $1 million, up 11.5 percent from last year.

Softness at the top of the market in Brooklyn forced a redefinition of luxury living, according to a new report from Corcoran Group. The entry price for luxury apartments, defined as the top 10 percent of the market, fell to $1.38 million, down 14 percent from the same period last year.

The median sales price of new development, which tends to be more expensive, dropped to $932,000, down 10 percent from a year earlier, the Corcoran report said. Part of the reason, Mr. Percesepe said, was that developers moved away from pricier northern neighborhoods, like Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights, to test less expensive markets like Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights.

Neighborhoods in eastern Brooklyn, including Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and East New York, saw the most gains, said Garrett Derderian, the director of data and reporting for Stribling & Associates, which also released a new report. The median price in those areas rose to $722,500, up 9 percent from last year.

“Historically, almost everything was under $500,000” in Brooklyn neighborhoods farther from Manhattan, he said. More than half of the borough’s apartments were listed below that price in 2012, he noted, but in the fourth quarter of 2017, just 22 percent of listings fell under that threshold.

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