Sunday, October 26, 2014

In Contract Watch: Big Numbers in Brooklyn

Months before properties are actually sold, they sit in contract at the sales price that was negotiated.  So don't let the sales prices surprise you as if they came out of no where.  As we've told you for years, sales prices are lagging indicators of what buyers were willing to pay months ago.  So if you wanna know what sales prices are coming down the pipeline, just look at the contracts.  And there are some big contracts being signed all over Brooklyn.  The first time we were invited to come take a look at 160 Bainbridge Street, we heard the seller wanted to break a record and fetch over $2M.  Once we were in the house and they realized who we were, they said they wanted $3M, as if we could magically bring some sucker in from Manhattan to overpay.  Well, by the time a few houses in Bed-Stuy had sold for $2M+, it wasn't hard to expect that price.  The property listed for $1.99M this summer.  Bidding wars don't always happen on demand, but it is a seller's market.  Now the property is in contract with a buyer from one of the most coveted neighborhoods in Brooklyn, who isn't shy about paying a big number for a gem in Stuyvesant Heights.

Speaking of coveted neighborhoods, Fort Greene can't get any hotter these days.  Which is why over 100 people showed up to the open house at a 394 Vanderbilt Avenue last Sunday when they dropped from their latest reduced price of $2.375M down to $1.95M.  We put the bat signal out that Friday, and a buyer from the West Village is now in contract.  If you're mystified why a house in Bed-Stuy is in contract with a list price of $1.99M and a house in Fort Greene is in contract with a list price of $1.99M, you don't know the nuances of Brooklyn real estate.  And when you find out which one is selling for $200K over ask and which one is selling for $200K under ask, you'll really be shocked.

No wonder 394 Vanderbilt Avenue was a no-brainer anywhere under $2M for savvy buyers.  Have you seen 384 Vanderbilt Avenue just a few houses down?  On Platinum Member radar for years, we had a hard time getting anyone to go over $1.6M on this one as a fire-damage, roof-missing shell that needed some $700K in work to turn it into what buyers really wanted it to be.  Back then, the owner figured they'd get some $3M once the pimped-out renovation was done.  But $3M is baby-money in this market for the Fort Greene side of Vanderbilt Avenue.  And now the owner & broker duo that brought you Bed-Stuy's record setting 22 Arlington Place for over $2M now have this bad-boy on Vanderbilt in contract for full asking price of $3.5M, supposedly closing all cash in a few weeks.  It's not like there are a ton of buyers who can play ball at this level, but all it takes is one.  If you wanna be surprised about this price, be surprised now.  No need to wait until it hits Acris or Brownstoner!

Not far away in Clinton Hill, we told you months ago that this quick reno would want to list for some $3M at 395 Grand Avenue.  Well, wouldn't you know it?  With a latest list price of $2.65M, the property is in contract over asking price.

Also in contract in Clinton Hill, but some would prefer to call it Bed-Stuy because it sounds more sensational that way, 105 Lexington Avenue, #4G barely made it to the pre-market for $1.45M before locals put it in contract, effectively canceling the open house.

Would-be Platinum Members lamented to us the woes of their search in Brooklyn, and the bidding wars and the pricing, et al.  So on a freebie tip about the price activity at Prospect Heights' 398 Park Place, just up the hill from their condo, they went out and bought it.  Who needs a broker to do that?  The block is popping with sales and listings, and this one is in contract now, presumably below the $2.85M asking price.  A relative deal by most accounts.

If you're hesitant to call barely under $3M a relative deal in Prospect Heights, then you REALLY don't wanna hear that that's what's happening in Crown Heights.  672 St. Marks Avenue is a rare 27' wide gem on a great block.  The list price of $2.99M sent shock and awe through the market, and the contract price is supposedly not much lower than that.  We'll believe it when we see it, but it's gotta have Platinum Members in & around this block dancing in the streets.  The next one won't get these numbers 'til Corcoran gets their hands on it, and that may not be too far away.

Speaking of Corcoran, can't wait to show you soon who else is pushing $3M around these parts...

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