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DUMBO, Williamsburg lead Brooklyn in new real estate activity: Report

October 30, 2023 Raanan Geberer
The Olympia in DUMBO
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DUMBO and Williamsburg saw the biggest upswings in new real estate activity in Brooklyn during the third quarter of 2023, while Prospect Heights saw the largest quarterly downswing, according to MSN’s New Development Market report.

In particular, the highest sales price in all of Brooklyn during the third quarter was the Olympia at 60 Front St. in DUMBO, where one unit (29A) sold for $13,042,633, according to the report.

The Olympia also scored the highest price per square foot, where another unit (31B) sold for $2,912 per square foot, or $4,950,000.

The neighborhood with the most new development sales, the report says, is Williamsburg, with 15.1 percent of the borough’s total. DUMBO had the largest quarterly upswing, with the price per square foot rising from $1,714 to $2,174.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

On the other hand, as mentioned above, Prospect Heights had the largest quarterly downswing, with the price per square foot dropping from $1,778.02 to $1,772.50.

The Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, with the Williamsburg Bridge in the background.
Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan

From the second quarter to the third, MSN detailed, total new development volume decreased by 6.57 percent. However the median price per square foot increased by 0.7%, from $1,253 to $1,262, and the median sales price paid increased by 9.9%, from $997,885 to $1,097.000.

While these figures rose from the last quarter, they still are less than last year at this time. For example, the median sales price decreased by 35.6%, from $1,702,500 to $1,097,000.

Williamsburg saw the largest percentage of sponsor sales in Brooklyn — 56 out of the 372 total closings. In a condo building, a sponsor sale happens when a unit is sold directly by the developer.

Now, we go to the neighborhoods where the largest percentage of each apartment type was sold in the third quarter of 2023. The neighborhood with the largest percentage of studio apartments was Williamsburg, with 23% out of the borough’s total sold in that neighborhood. Some 24% of the units sold in Williamsburg were one-bedrooms, and the area also leads the borough in that category.

However, Bedford-Stuyvesant led Brooklyn in the percentages of two-bedroom units sold, 16%, and three-bedroom units sold, 19%. Bed-Stuy is clearly more of a family neighborhood than “Billyburg.”

Rowhouses in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.
Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan

Here’s a sample of the median sales prices per neighborhood listed in the report:

The following neighborhoods had a fairly low sales price during the third quarter, at least for Brooklyn, although homebuyers in other parts of the country would probably be aghast at these numbers.

The median sales price in Bay Ridge was $774,000; in Crown Heights, $698,660; in Flatbush, $529,791; in Kensington-Borough Park, $634,256; and in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, $630,000. Note that most of these neighborhoods are part of the “old Brooklyn” that was developed in the early 20th century, the Brooklyn of egg creams, the Flatbush Avenue movie palaces, Coney Island and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Now, for the really expensive neighborhoods, where units sell for more than $2 million. According to MSN, these are Boerum Hill-Cobble Hill, where the median price is $2,444,825; Brooklyn Heights, at $2,630,000; Carroll Gardens-Red Hook, at $2,150,000; and DUMBO, at $2,833,188. Except for DUMBO, which is a redeveloped industrial area, these are all part of Brownstone Brooklyn, built in the 19th century as upper-middle-class, semi-suburban communities.

Finally, looking at the third-quarter mix of sales of new units, two-bedroom apartments seem to be the most popular, at 43%. Studios are the least popular, at a mere 8%. One-bedroom and three-bedroom units are tied at 24%.

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