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New York Homebuyers Fuel Record Brooklyn Prices in Sales Frenzy

…The median price of condominiums, co-ops and one- to three-family homes that sold in the second quarter was $550,000, up 15 percent from a year earlier and the highest in more than a decade of record keeping, New York-based appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report today. The inventory of listings fell 19 percent to 4,704, the lowest for a second quarter since Miller Samuel began tracking the data in 2008, said Jonathan Miller, the firm’s president.

“You choke off supply, you have a slowly improving economy, and prices rise,” Miller said. “And then you compound it by widening your source of demand, when one of your competitors — Manhattan — is experiencing the same inventory problem.”

Rent gains across New York coupled with mortgage rates at historical lows have helped push buyers into a sales market that’s more affordable than Manhattan’s, while owners are still holding back from listing their properties. Homeowners who bought during the previous peak, when Brooklyn prices hit a median of $540,000 in 2007, still don’t have the equity to sell and come up with a down payment for something new, Miller said.

“You’re not under duress, you didn’t lose your job, you just can’t make the move, so what do you do? Nothing,” Miller said. “You just sit and wait for the market to improve.”…

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