Monday, December 30, 2013

Closings of Note: No Bull to the Bullishness, Pt. II

Yesterday we told you how it's hard to be a bear in this bullish Brooklyn real estate market.  Yet, just because a few off-market estate sales trade all-cash at a steep discount to on-market deals, doesn't mean we're in a bear market either.  1121 Bergen Street sold in August for an astonishing $400K.  There were supposed SRO issues, possibly tenants, and rumored to be as much as six-figures on the side in addition to the recorded closing price.  Cash offers at an even higher price were rejected by the sellers right in front of the house, right in front of our eyes.  Don't call this a comp unless you're ready for an off-market all-cash deal that took some arguing in the streets to get done.  And it certainly isn't any indicator of bearishness, given the activity across the street at 1134 & 1138 Bergen Street.

Another off-market estate sale deal closes for an astonishing price, this time in Park Slope.  The narrow 321A 4th Street is only 15' wide, needs a ton of work, but actually wasn't as bad as we'd expected.  It closed in November for $300K and ostensibly wanted several times that amount on the contract flip.

If this market's not bullish, we don't know what is.  Once again, just a couple of months can mean a few hundred thousand dollars in upside for the right buyer.  734 Bergen Street in Prospect Heights closed for $965K in September, then $1.25M a few weeks ago in December.

While people still e-mail us dreaming of a turnkey 4-story in Clinton Hill for $1.4M with 25% or less down, that's what Bed-Stuy costs now.  186 Macdonough Street, past Throop Avenue, couldn't get near a million dollars 6 years ago, but lists for $1.295M this year, spends barely a month on the market, and cruises to $1.41M this month.  Isn't that the definition of bullish?

Over in Lefferts Garden, the 3-story 178 Lincoln Road closes $900K this month.  Without much marketing, these houses were going for less than $700K as recently as last year.

In case you needed another ~$1,000/sqft comp for apartments, 163 Prospect Park West, #3R listed for $969K and closed for $995K this month.  Just another million dollar condo?  That's Park Slope for ya.

But million dollar condos aren't just for Park Slope.  In Fort Greene, 162 Washington Park, #5 closes for $950K, almost another $1,000/sqft condo comp.  And people still wonder why we're "bullish" on townhomes for this price just a few miles east.

In south Park Slope with a dreary exterior, 392 11th Street, #3A goes for $780K, demonstrating again how tough the $700K condo game is.  $835/sqft sounds like a bargain after seeing some of the other condo trades in town.  With an asking price of $749K, could you call this activity "bullish" too?  Guess where the buyers are coming from?  Manhattan.

Bond Street sounded too far off the beaten path back in 2010 when 202 Bergen Street was out for $1.1M.  It's funny what a difference a few years, a gut reno, a different market, and shiny pictures can make.  Now it lists for $2.5M and sells for $2.55M.  In a word, bullish??

But maybe a few condos well over a million will put this anti-bullish talk to bed.  Park Slope's 101 Berkeley Place, #4 closes for over their list price of $1.4M according to Corcoran's site.

Also in Park Slope,  53 Lincoln Place, #3 lists for $1.625M and closes for $1.635M.  It ain't looking too bearish out there if you ask us.

If this kitchen is looking a bit brown and drab to you, keep in mind you're looking at an apartment that listed for $1.65M and sold for $1.82M.  That's Park Slope's 27 St. Johns Place, #1 for ya.  And you still think a Clinton Hill 4-story house isn't worth $2M or more now??  Boy, if this isn't a bull market, we'd hate to see what IS!

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