Home sales in Brooklyn, New York’s most populous borough, climbed 6.1 percent in the fourth quarter as falling mortgage rates pushed buyers into the market for lower-priced properties.
Purchases of condominiums, co-ops and one- to three-family homes totaled 1,558, up from 1,468 a year earlier, New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate said today in a joint report. Sales of co-ops, which tend to be older and less-expensive properties, surged 28 percent. The median price of all homes that changed hands in the period declined 4.3 percent to $454,383.
“The lower the price point in the borough, the more immediate change you see in consumer behavior with low mortgage rates,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “People that were on the fence about buying, the drop in mortgage rates brought them into the market.”
The average rate for a 30-year fixed U.S. home loan dropped below 4 percent in October for the first time in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971. The rate was 4 percent or lower for all but three weeks in the fourth quarter, according to the McLean, Virginia-based mortgage financier. The decline in borrowing costs helped spur home purchases nationwide. Sales of existing houses rose to a 10-month high in November, the National Association of Realtors said Dec. 21.
In Brooklyn, co-op apartments accounted for 23 percent of all home sales in the three months ended Dec. 31, up from 19 percent a year earlier, Miller said. The median price of co-op deals declined 16 percent to $265,000, according to the report.
“Co-op prices didn’t fall 16 percent, we just had smaller properties move,” Miller said.
Condo sales in the borough were little changed, with 479 properties changing hands in the fourth quarter, according toMiller Samuel and Prudential. The median price of those transactions dropped 7.5 percent from a year earlier to $476,580. Purchases of condos in new developments increased 13 percent to 257, while the median price fell 5.8 percent to $499,000.