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Co-op and condo tank running low

The supply of condominiums and co-ops up for sale in Brooklyn and Queens fell in the third quarter, according to a report released Thursday.

In Brooklyn, inventory fell 16% to 5,602 in the last quarter, from the same time last year, according to the report by Prudential Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel Inc. Similarly, in Queens, supply dropped 12% to 9,052 units. Despite that trend, the median sale price in both boroughs eased slightly during the third quarter. In Brooklyn, median price dipped 0.8% to $506,000, and in Queens, it ebbed 3.9% to $370,000.

“In both boroughs we are seeing inventory fall, and that is helping to solidify prices,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, adding that despite the price decline in Queens, median sales prices have hovered between $345,000 to $370,000 for the past three years. “If inventory continues to fall, we will start to see price appreciation.”

Meanwhile, Brooklyn recorded the fastest absorption of apartments since the report began tracking the data, four years ago. During the third quarter, it will take 7.7 months to sell out the inventory at the current pace of sales, the report said. Last year during the third quarter, it took nine months to absorb units. Absorption of inventory was a little slower in Queens, where it will take 10.8 months, the third fastest rate since fourth quarter 2007.

“Overall, both markets are stable and performing well,” Mr. Miller said.

A separate report released Thursday painted an even rosier picture of Brooklyn. According to data from The Corcoran Group, the third-quarter median sale price for all condos and co-ops in the borough rose 6%, to $525,000, from the same period a year ago. The median sales price for new development increased 3%, to $635,000—the highest level in three years.

“The market is taking off; we are definitely back in a seller’s market,” said Frank Percesepe, Corcoran’s regional senior vice president for Brooklyn. “If an apartment is priced appropriately, it is selling quickly and over asking price.” He also noted that in some cases there are bidding wars.

He, too, expressed concern about inventory drying up, especially when it comes to newly built units. He noted that last year at this time, there were about 40% more condos from new developments on the market. He predicts that there will be more co-op sales instead of condos due to the lack of new-construction condos entering the market.

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