Monday, August 25, 2014

Closings of Note: "Is Brooklyn Over?"

This just in:  Brooklyn's not for everyone.  Well, name a place that is.  The NYTimes asks this week, "Is Brooklyn over?" and we say, "No."  Now, granted, the prices will shock you.  $2.495M for a Fort Greene house around the corner from the projects?  Welcome to the neighb.  421 Clermont Avenue closed last month.  But don't front like there still aren't relative values lurking all around.  While the well-documented plight of the Brooklynite continues, so do deals for a million dollars less right around the corner from houses like this.  Another version of 460 Clermont Avenue in Atlantic Commons around the corner - 205 South Oxford - sells for $1.5M earlier this month.  'Twas just a few years ago that people (including our clients and closest friends) balked at paying over $950K for these things.  And even the heavily trust-funded with a million in the bank renting in the likes of Williamsburg these days still wimper at the thought of buying something in Fort Greene for a million less than others are paying for almost the same house.  That's right, slash a million off the price and folks still gripe.  So pardon us if we don't heed the griping too much.  If one of the loveliest boroughs in one of the most expensive cities in the world is - ahem - expensive, that's still a "dog bites man" situation in our book.  The key is you've gotta pick your spots.

Another realtive steal in Fort Greene / Clinton Hill listed with Corcoran?  While cash buyers are coming in on the block for well over $2M with plans to put another $1M into the property, 513 Vanderbilt Avenue rolls out the door in pretty darling condition for $1.68M.  Many hated on its location while buyers from Manhattan took it down.

Another relative value with Corcoran?  404 Grand Avenue was may have been an "estate sale", but the listing insists, "This is NOT an SRO."  Listed for $2.2M in the spring, it closed last month for a "some of you ballers must be kicking yourselves" price of $1.726M with a mere ~$250K down.  Def' worth the risk, even if the loan can balloon to 24%!  The next time you see this house listed, it will have a 3 in front of it.  The same goes for Fort Greene's 40 South Portland closing at $1.85M last month.  Watch as neighbors across the street on Grand cruise to some $3M+ pretty soon to appreciate what a good deal this 404 Grand Avenue was.

Next door to a condo that sold for $1.79M at 453 Warren Street at the end of last year, the entire house at 451 Warren Street just closed for $1.55M last month.

Prime Washington Avenue property for under asking price?  700 Washington Avenue, listed for $1.5M, closes for $1.35M last month.  From the same brokers who laughed at us when we told them 3-story mixed-use properties like this would be $1.3M on Vanderbilt Avenue comes $1.35M a few avenues further.  Still a great price for the trajectory of this avenue.

Some called it painfully generic, but it didn't stop a Crown Heights Corcoran broker from moving the three-story at 608 Sterling Place for $1.445M this month.  Can't say we love it, but still beats a pricier condo on Warren Street in our book

Good thing there's still finished brownstones for under a million.  Granted, they're 3 stories, quick flips, and deep in Bed-Stuy towards Bushwick.  However, 962 Gates Avenue had a pretty good kitchen as these things go.  Closed for $995K last month.

It couldn't get $875K in 2011, but Bed-Stuy's 313 Hancock Street gets $900K this month.  Buyer from Clinton Hill says yes.

The price on Bed-Stuy's 575 Macon Street started at $900K at the end of last year and quickly bubbled up.  But even at its closing price of $1.125M, buyers from the East Village still got a great deal with less than 20% down.  You gotta love them 3-Family loan limits.  A tough needle to thread, but amazing if you can pull it off.

But don't fear!  There's still $5M+ houses in Brooklyn too.  The 5-story at 45 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights steps from the promenade closed for $5.45M last month to buyers from the Upper East Side.

But if you want to see a $5M house that doesn't cost five million dollars, you'll have to hoof it (Gosh forbid!) a few miles deeper into Brooklyn than Brooklyn Heights.  Not surprisingly, Prospect Lefferts Gardens is getting in on the record-breaking act too.  Turns out $2M+ purchases are not just for Dixon in Bed-Stuy anymore.  The absolute stunner at 66 Midwood Street listed for $1.975M and closed last month for $2.3M.  If you're going to drop ~$800K down on a house, this one of the best looking pieces in all of New York to do it on.

The Carroll Gardens $1.5M condos of 2010 are the $2M+ condos of today.  348 Sackett Street, #3 closed for $2.33M this month.

Also in the Carroll Gardens condo watch, we can't help but smile at the multi-millionaires who swore they'd be real estate developers with just a little elbow grease, but hated on the likes of 364 Union Street when it was available for $2.5M three years ago.  Back then they doubted the median $700/sqft for the area.  Now the sell-out is averaging an asking price of $1,100+/sqft and 4 out of 5 of them went over asking price, including Unit #3 for $1.73M this month.

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