Home sales in Brooklyn jumped the most in seven years while the supply of listings hovered near a record low, pushing buyers toward bidding wars in the New York borough.
Purchases of condos, co-ops and one- to three-family homes jumped 46 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier to 2,800 deals, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The number of homes on the market at the end of March fell 20 percent to 2,290, the second-fewest since the firms started tracking the data in 2008. The lowest period for listings was the previous quarter.
“What it boils down to is this: I’m starving for inventory,” said Frank Percesepe, who oversees Brooklyn sales for brokerage Corcoran Group, which also released a report on Thursday showing a drop in listings. “We are hurting for inventory and people are buying up what’s there.”
Brooklyn, the city’s most populous borough, and neighboring Queens are setting themselves apart from the sales market in Manhattan, where a growing supply of listings is giving buyers more leverage to negotiate and walk away. Shoppers searching for homes at relative discounts to Manhattan have less to choose from in the outer boroughs, where the post-recession construction boom focused largely on rentals, with a few select luxury-condo developments.
Buyers eager to strike a deal in Brooklyn were willing to overpay — and the lower the price, the more likely people were to bid it up. While 22 percent of all sales in the quarter were above the asking price, half of studio purchases were for more than the seller sought, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said. For co-op apartments, which tend to be less costly than condos and houses, the share was 37 percent.
It would take just 2.5 months to sell all of Brooklyn’s existing inventory at the current pace of deals, the fastest rate in nine years, according to the firms.
“People realize there’s not going to be a glut of inventory and say, ‘Maybe let’s get in before prices go up more,” said Sarah Burke, a Douglas Elliman managing director who oversees sales in Brooklyn. “It does make people pull the trigger.”
A separate report by brokerage Brown Harris Stevens showed the median price of a one- to four-family home in Brooklyn rose 6.7 percent to a record $870,000. The median for co-ops and condos climbed 18 percent to $670,000, also an all-time high, spurred in part by closings in new developments.