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‘Fragile Stability’ Seen in Fourth Quarter Market

The fourth quarter stats covering house and condo sales in Brooklyn have been released, and they’re showing a “fragile stability” at the close of 2011, according to Jonathan Miller, the president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, which prepares the report for Prudential Douglas Elliman. Some of the numbers that jump out:

Prices down across the board: The median sales price was $454,383, which is down 11 percent from Q3 and 4 percent year over year; the average price was $529,640, down 13 percent from the third quarter and 8 percent from the same period in ’10. Sales volume stronger than last year: There was a 6 percent increase in sales year over year, with 1,558 closings recorded. Still, that represents a 30 percent drop-off from the third quarter. Brownstone Belt: There were 61 total sales of one- to three-families in Northwest Brooklyn, which is a big drop compared to Q4 2010 (down 25 percent) and Q3 2011 (down 31 percent). Prices were high on the houses that did actually sell, though: The median price was $1,150,000, which is a 16 percent increase year-over-year but a 23 percent decline from the prior quarter. Co-ops: The total number of sales, 351, represented a 28 percent increase from the same period last year. The median sales price, $265,000, was down 16 percent from $315,000 in Q4 2010. Condos: The median sales price was $476,580, which is down 8 percent from the same time in 2010. The total number of condo sales, 479, was basically unchanged from fourth quarter 2010.

Here’s more of Miller’s take on the market: “Brooklyn annual sales (all 4 quarters 2011 compared to 2010) are up 13.3% year over year. Big shift in mix at the end of the year as lower priced co-op sales responded to drop to record mortgage rate levels. Considering the weak economic conditions in the region, the market fared well. I call it fragile stability since general economic conditions remain somewhat uncertain.” 4Q11 Brooklyn Market Report [Elliman]

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