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Inventory, Sales Fall in Brooklyn and Queens in First Quarter

The Manhattan quarterly market reports often serve as a preview of what to expect out of Brooklyn and Queens, and the first quarter of 2012 was no exception. In Manhattan, the market stabilized with the help of sales at the lower end, and the trend held true for Brooklyn and Queens—even if the numbers compare unfavorably to the first quarter of 2011. Brooklyn’s listing inventory fell 16.7 percent, and the borough’s median sales price fell 5.3 percent, to $450,000. Graph guru and Elliman report preparer Jonathan Miller explains the decreases by way of national trends. There’s less distressed inventory coming onto the market now than there was last year, and “the volatile economic conditions of last fall…impacted the sellers—not just the buyers,” JMillz explains. “Sellers are uncertain whether they’ll get their price, and if they don’t feel they will, they are waiting to list.” As for the lower prices, that one’s more the fault of last year’s numbers: they were especially high because of 2010’s tax credit, making the first quarter of this year look bad. Thanks, 2011!

One neighborhood, East Brooklyn, saw a particularly high increase in its market share, to 18.6 percent from 10.3 percent. For that, the ‘hood can thank distressed activity, which was particularly high in Q1. In North Brooklyn, aka Williamsburg and Greenpoint, the median sales price was $530,000, down 5.8 percent year-over-year. The area held onto a sizable market share of 81 percent.

In Queens, as in Brooklyn, sales were boosted by the lower end of the market. The market share of new developments in particular rose to 7.3 percent, the second-highest percentage since Lehman. But still, both inventory and sale prices fell: inventory by 35 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011, and the median sale price by a mere 1.1 percent. In Northwest Queens, where many of those new developments are located, the median sale price fell 15.8 percent—but the number of sales stayed steady, at 194 units. Brooklyn and Queens buyers, got anything anecdotal to add?

· Market Reports [Elliman]

· Market Reports coverage [Curbed]

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