New Development: 613 Baltic

New Development launch and broker party today! YUM! While not quite Downtown Brooklyn, it’s very close (see debate on Park Slope vs Gowanus border). Going to launch parties is indeed one of my favorite things to do as a agent, the only thing better then checking out real estate, is checking it out with your friends AND cocktails! I’m excited about 613 Baltic, not only because it’s in Downtown Brooklyn-ish, giving the area a much needed breath of condo air, but it’s from JDS — so it’s gonna be super fancy pants. The renderings have been a bit generic so the broker launch party tonight might be my best chance to get in on some much needed details!

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Manhattan Year End Review

Manhattan residential real estate had a robust year in 2015. Closings were up year-over-year and average price per square foot, average price, and median price all reached record highs. Average price per square foot in 2015 was up 5% year-over-year to $1,645, average price increased 6% to $1.787M, and median price increased 8% to $990K. Overall condo inventory steadily increased during the year as a result of new development introductions, but co-op inventory reached a near record low.

Brooklyn: Year End Review

Corcoran has published their 2015 Year End Review for Brooklyn, and unsurprising to anyone, the borough continues its relentless march to increasing sales, an excerpt, “Brooklyn has had a continued streak of increasing sales, improving year after year since 2012. Demand was remarkably strong in Brooklyn, record high prices were achieved and inventory this year was overall higher than last year. Average price was 10% higher than a year ago and average price per square foot grew 13% to $805 per square foot…

New Dev Watch! 319 Schermerhorn

Downtown Brooklyn’s skyline is in constant flux as towers compete to claim “tallest tower” in Brooklyn, and “most iconic”. But while most of the developments have been rentals, a few coming up are condos, and 319 Schermerhorn is one them. It’s new developer Adam America bought the site for a (reportedly) $30M. And plans are 21 stories 65 1-3 bedroom units as the “Nevins Condominium”. Currently offerings are expected around Q2-Q3. Sadly, I haven’t seen any new renderings that have the handcrafted bricks or fedora-loving staff.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Prospect Heights

By now, everyone has probably heard me rave about Prospect Heights (the part that borders Crown Heights anyways). After leaving Downtown Brooklyn and before moving to Bushwick we lived on the Prospect Heights / Crown Heights border, and we loved it. I miss it to this day, and I’m a big believer in how much this neighborhood has moved and WILL continue to move.  Some highlights for this past year:
– Median price per square foot for condos increased a staggering 30% year over year (y-o-y).
– Average price for condos increased 28% since last year.
– 1 bedroom condos got the biggest uptick of 20% y-o-y, followed by 2 bedrooms, a healthy 12%.

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Winter’s Last Gasp

The frigid winter is finally beginning to thaw. This past weekend was a balmy 50+ degrees, and many people today had forgone their winter coat in favor of Brooklyn’s ubiquitous hoodie. While the warmer weather is good news for many, buyers are scrambling to find the “winter deal”, the much vaunted “still nice, but lower priced” home. Having found none, many buyers are asking — does it exist? Or is Q4 more like the dregs of last night’s party — nothing anyone wants.
Q4 being the slowest quarter is intuitive, there is just so much stacked up against it:
  • The massive amount of holidays. EVERY month has a holiday, a BIG holiday.
  • The psychology. People’s minds are just not in the “game”, they’re too busy getting last minute gifts on their weekends and skipping the open houses.
  • The weather. Most winters are cold, and while December in Brooklyn was practically tropical, February made up for lost degrees.

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School’s IN!

It’s official the hope and prayer of many a parent has been answered. New schools are coming to Downtown Brooklyn. Highlights from
  • DISTRICT 13 (Downtown north of Fulton / DUMBO / Brooklyn Heights / Fort Greene): 3 new elementary schools will be built somewhere in the area. Planning for the first 572-seat would start in April of this year forcompletion Sept. 2019! The second 476-seat school would be completed in Sept. 2020, and the third 572-seat school is scheduled for completion for July of 2021. Currently there is a new middle school opening up in DUMBO in fall 2016 and a new middle school under construction at Pacific Park / Atlantic Yards to open in 2019.


  • DISTRICT 15 (Downtown south of Fulton / Cobble Hill / Gowanus / Carroll Gardens / Boerum Hill) : 1 new 824-seat school to open either 2020 or 2021 in the area.  Also in the works is a 436-seat addition to P.S. 32 in Carroll Gardens.

Renting in Brooklyn is Affordable Again?

WHAT? Wasn’t Brooklyn just named the least affordable “city” a week ago? It is unthinkable and yet,  rents dropped. To be clear, Brooklyn real estate in general is still marching towards the apocalypse, but  some neighborhoods received their comeuppance, and the cheers are deafening.
Living in Brooklyn and talking about it far too often, I can’t help but notice people are far happier that Brooklyn has hiccuped than they ever were when ANY Manhattan neighborhood stumbled.  The reactions range from “perfect! My lease is coming up”, to “serves them right!”. Worry not, the days of cheap rent in Brooklyn are numbered, still, some once recently expensive neighborhoods are now posting deals once again:

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Brooklyn Q3 2015 Report

Brooklyn’s Q3 2015 Report has been released, and Brooklyn continues to perform strongly. Key highlights:

Second-strongest third quarter in seven years.  Despite a normal decline in re-sale activity in the third quarter, new development sales in Brooklyn rose – lifting the Third Quarter’s performance in 2015 to a significant height.

More sales. The pace of signed contracts increased by 9% year-over-year, as more purchasing options made themselves available.

Inventory growth. Once again, more listings entered the Brooklyn market, feeding a notable demand for property.  Nevertheless, the total listing inventory remains 29% below the peak in 2011.
The inventory growth is a key point as it means more selection for buyers, and more competition for sellers.