Once enticing New Yorkers with their cheaper rents and mortgages, the outer boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens have set record sales prices during the first quarter of the year. As reported by Crain’s, Brooklyn had a record-setting median sale price of $770,000, more than 16 percent higher than last year. This was driven by an increase in sales activity, with nearly 50 percent more transactions taking place this quarter compared with the beginning of 2016. In Queens, the median sale price was $485,000, but one- to three-family homes set a new record with both average ($697,946) and median ($650,000) sales.
In the report released by Douglas Elliman, data shows the increase in sales also decreased the amount of inventory of sales on the market, leaving the number of apartments available at a record low. And while there are new condominium projects going up in Brooklyn, driving up the overall price metrics, these additional units still cannot meet demand. It’s likely a lack of housing will continue to be a problem in this borough as periods of home price growth usually encourages homeowners to wait to sell in hopes of getting more money in the future. This past fall record prices hit Brooklyn and Queens, and as 6sqft covered, a healthy job market and rapid population growth were responsible for the rising market.
Interestingly, despite the increase in sales, apartments sat on the market in Brooklyn and Queens for longer this quarter than previously. On average, it took more than three months on average to sell a home in Brooklyn, 40 percent longer than this time last year. This may point to homeowners being open to negotiations about price, as the average discount rose from zero last year to three percent this quarter.