Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Closings of Note: Brooklyn is the Burbs for Ballers

People who treat Brooklyn like it's still their own personal Discount Shoe Warehouse tend to forget that it's the third largest city in the country all on its own (sans Manhattan), and that NYC's the largest, richest metro area in the country.  If the numbers here feel like they're from another planet, that's because they are!  (Stop us if you've heard this one before!)  And, you might've noticed that the average price in Manhattan has reached $1.7M (surpassing the 2008 record), and that over 500 apartments sold in Manhattan for $1.5M or more last year.  So when they ask us, "When is it going to stop in Brooklyn?", we tell 'em as soon as a 20' wide 4-story townhouse with a backyard from 100 years ago with rental income and no monthly maintenance fees out the window becomes a less attractive proposition than anything else in the area.  Or sometimes we just say, "Brownsville."  Or maybe you had a better suburb in mind, perhaps one of the 25 in the area with a median income over $350K/year.

It was easy to hate on the new construction condos with the quirky curb appeal at 290 13th Street in 2009-2011, as Brownstoner covered.  But when they rolled 'em out for higher in 2013, they still went over asking price.  290 13th Street, #3 for example listed for $925K and sold $977K last month.  Over $800/sqft was even a little surprising at the time these went into contract.  It feels like a deal now.

The same broker moved a whole 2-Family in Crown Heights for less than the price of most condos, even when it went over asking price.  202 Schenectady Avenue closed for for $588K in February.

A quintessential 3-Family in Clinton Hill at 247 St. James Place listed for $1.9M.  Platinum Members toyed with the idea of going over $2M, but opted for another place for slightly less.  Despite feeling like a tweener block between Atlantic & Fulton, this 22' wide house (on a slightly short lot) had no problem closing for $2M at the end of February.  Still shapes up to be a comparative bargain, even over asking price, when you step back and look at what else is going on in Brooklyn at the moment

Over $1,200/sqft for a Park Slope condo?  Yup, yet again.  Come on down to 25 Montgomery Place, #3, which closed last month for its full asking price of $1.495M.  And you wonder why 3,000-4,000 sqft mansions command over $1.5M in Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and Lefferts just a few miles east?

If $1,200+/sqft isn't your cup of tea, maybe $1,300+/sqft is.  Over in South Slope, 444 12th Street, #2H listed for $1.275M.  Buyers from midtown Manhattan said, "Make it $1.425M," and closed last month.  Gotta love that courtyard and the private garden.  Not likely to find that in Manhattan, so no wonder it's worth the jaunt to south Slope.

Platinum Members were scoping the for sale by owner gem at 546 1st Street in prime Park Slope when it was asking $3.6M.  Locals nearby got this 21' x 50' stunner for $3.4M, closing last month.  Even with $4M in cash in the bank, there's barely a handful of these to choose from anymore in Park Slope - if you can believe that.  One owner with a killer corner property nearby told us he's a seller at $10M.  We can't blame him for setting his "F.U." price that high.

Also in Park Slope, little 370 Douglass Street listed for $1.599M last year, dropped to $1.549M, and some wheeler-dealers from Brooklyn Heights picked it up last month for $1.395M.  But don't try that on your

Don't call it Gowanus!  355 President Street, in Carroll Gardens, was just as narrow as it wants to be.  (under 17' wide!)   But all it takes is this picture to get the hearts thumping...

Corner properties with a garage don't come along everyday, even if they're narrow.  The asking price of $2.75M fell to $2.29M, and closed for $2.1M in February.  But don't call it a bear market, although you can call it basically $1,000/sqft for a townhouse.  You don't have to be a math whiz to extrapolate that out to $4M for the 4,000 square footers.  Don't say we didn't warn ya.

If you want value, head east to Bed-Stuy where 305 Stuyvesant Avenue - a house that sold for $441K in 2010 (and took out a mortgage for even more than that to do the work) - just sold for $1.25M last month.  Deeper into the Bed-Stuy than most people wanna go, we can't believe it was pulling teeth to get people to pay this price (or less!) in prime Crown Heights just a few months ago, much closer to the trains.

"Are there lots available in Brooklyn?" they always ask us.  There sure are.  But it's not like they're cheap or anything.  There's the acquisition cost, and the lack of financing, and the construction costs, and the sell-out costs, and the FLAYVIN!

Back in Boerum Hill, Pacifico is not longer, but 269 Pacific Street does close for $2M on Valentine's Day.  Even little 505 Grand Avenue sold for $380K last month.

Over on the Clinton Hill & Bed-Stuy border, 433 Classon Avenue was just a 16' wide corner piece with not much curb appeal asking $1.775M and dropped to as low as $1.599M.  Buyers from DC swooped it up, closing last month for $1.632M.  Narrow, but kind of styling at times, if even in a generic way, and not much curb appeal... but this is the market.

Or maybe you missed when buyers from prime Clinton Hill took down the nearby 456A Classon Avenue, a 15-footer, closing in February for $1.325M, just over the asking price of $1.3M.  The super close up of the facade can't hide the narrowness, but in this market, it doesn't really matter.  It's still over 20% less than the average condo in Manhattan.

So many more closings to cover tomorrow....

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