Sunday, December 29, 2013

Closings of Note: No Bull to the Bullishness

When the New York Times called us a few weeks ago, they called us "bullish" about lots of these Brooklyn neighborhoods.  We hear that a lot and find it pretty odd.  It's the market that's bullish, not us.  We're not making this stuff up.  If you report the facts in a bullish market, does that make you bullish?  The New York Times reports facts during wars, does that make them "hawkish"?  Even if we were bullish - in this bull market - doesn't that mean we're just plain "right"?  But let's set the semantics aside and just let the facts speak for themselves.  Case in point, we predicted that the smallish frame house on the north end of Park Slope at 413 Dean Street would go for just over its asking price of $2.5M.  We were bullish and wrong.  Buyers from Brooklyn Heights just picked it up for $2.375M.  But at over $800/sqft for a single-family house, don't call it a bear market either.

This corner Boerum Hill property at 140 Bergen Street couldn't get over $2.6M in 2011, but it closed for this price this month.  But don't get your bear mace ready quite yet.

Almost $1,000/sqft for a condo on 4th Avenue??  The bears must be doing in their pants what they do in the woods when they see that number.  560 Carroll Street, #3D spent barely a month on the market asking $1.25M and closes for $1.26M this month.

OVER $1,000/sqft in Hanson Place?  Yeah, for about the dozenth time this year.  1 Hanson Place, #21A listed for $1.369M, lasted barely a week on the market before contract, and closed for full asking price this month.  When $1,174/sqft sells this quickly & easily in Brooklyn, would a better word for the "bears" in this market be "wrong"?

Doesn't this raggedy 2-story in deep south Gowanus look pretty?  96 16th Street listed for $850K and just closed for $885K, AKA in the bullish direction.  This is probably not the location, size, or condition you were expecting to spend $790/sqft in.  However, it's still about the cheapest you can get in striking distance of Park Slope, unless you source something totally distressed off-market all cash.

In reality, we're not bullish, but we have been screaming for years now where the comparative value is.  Why go drop $885K for a 2-story turd in Gowanus on 16th Street that needs a gut when you can live in style in Lefferts for less??  The stunning Tudor house at 30 Chester Court sells for $875K.  Oh yeah, and they listed for $829K, so that's technically still bullish too.  And guess where the buyers came from... Park Slope!

A $4M+ sale in Crown Heights south??  That's right.  The 28-unit at 1154 President Street closes this month for $4.2M.  This is a big 23,000 square foot buy & hold monster with lots of apartments still below market.

It's down from its asking price of $2.1M-$2.35M, but when a renovated carriage house in Carroll Gardens gets over $2M, are you still sticking to your bearish story?  246 Union Street closed for $2.035M a few months ago.

When a 3-story house in estate condition in Crown Heights moves off-market for $900K cash and already supposedly has pre-market offers of $1.3M cash from investors, but is holding out for $1.5M from an end-user on the flip... where does bearishness fit into this picture?  That's 934 Pacific Street for ya!  Up at least 44% in a matter of a few months?  Not exactly what you'd call a "bear market".

Crown Heights isn't the only place where you can make a quick $300K+.  Back in everyone's beloved Park Slope, 535 3rd Street closed for $2.95M in June of this year.  Then it trades again this month for $3.275M!  We don't call ourselves bullish, but boy would we feel silly if were bearish in this market.

So many more to cover tomorrow....

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