Home buyers in Brooklyn competed for a record-low number of listings in the fourth quarter, driving up prices in the New York borough that’s historically been seen as a refuge from Manhattan’s high costs.
Purchases in Brooklyn rose 22 percent from a year earlier to 2,582, while the median price of those deals climbed 15 percent to a record $750,000, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The number of homes for sale at the end of December tumbled 31 percent to 2,232, the fewest since the firms started keeping the data in 2008.
The sales market in Brooklyn, the city’s most populous borough, is moving in the opposite direction to Manhattan’s, where rising supply is offering buyers more choices and the option to walk away from listings they view as overpriced. Manhattan’s median home price dropped 8.7 percent in the fourth quarter to $1.05 million as sellers awakened to a slowdown after years of holding out for all they could get, the firms said last week.
“You have a disconnect with sellers in Manhattan, and Brooklyn is poaching some of that demand,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “Overall, it’s generally a lower price point, and affordability has been a big issue the last couple of years.”
Buyers seeking lower-priced properties also turned to Queens, where deals climbed 14 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier to 3,917, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said Thursday. The median price of those purchases rose 6 percent to $498,000, the second-highest in records dating back to 2003.
With listings in Queens plummeting 22 percent, few sellers needed to accept discounts. An average of 0.7 percent was whittled off the asking price in the quarter, compared with 2 percent a year earlier, the firms said. The absorption rate, or the amount of time it would take to sell all the listed properties at the current pace of deals, was 2.8 months, the fastest in 11 years.
“In the outer boroughs, the sentiment remains that there’s a lot more upside, that there’s still gas in the tank” for prices to rise, Miller said.