The Market

How to buy in Brooklyn, where apartment prices are mere suggestions

By Leigh Kamping-Carder  | October 10, 2014 - 12:59PM

You wouldn’t stroll into Duane Reade and expect to pay more than the listed price for a bottle of shampoo. But walk into a Brooklyn open house, and chances are you’ll have to fork over more than whatever dollar figure the seller’s looking for.

That’s according to a report out this week from appraisal firm Miller Samuel, which found that, on average, Brooklyn homebuyers paid 0.7 percent more than the asking price for condos, co-ops and townhouses in the borough. Typically, these reports measure the “listing discount,” or the amount that sellers come down in price. But now, there are so few apartments on the market--and so many people who want to buy them--that offering more than the asking price is common. In fact, buyers paid the asking price or higher in 55 percent of cases, Bloomberg notes.

Not surprisingly, prices are shooting through the roof: the median hit $587,515 in the third quarter of this year, easily topping a record set before the recession, as The Real Deal reports. And deals are happening quickly: homes were on the market an average of 92 days, compared to 143 days in the same period last year.

What's the average buyer to do? Aside from brushing up on the best way to win a bidding war, a practical apartment-hunting strategy is to set a budget and look at plenty of places that fall under your maximum. That way, you’ll be able to put in a competitive offer if you find something you like. ​Or, "for anyone still searching, we recommend Queens,​" New York Magazine suggests.

The key figures, according to Miller Samuel:

  • Median sales price of a Brooklyn home: $587,515 (4% increase)
  • Average number of days on the market: 92 (35.7% decrease)
  • Number of sales: 2,007 (2% decrease)
  • Number of listings: 4,990 (3.4% increase)
  • Listing "discount": -0.7 percent (compared to 0.1 percent)

Dig deeper:

Brooklyn home prices reach record in third quarter (Bloomberg)

Brooklyn home prices hit a crazy new record (NYMag)

Brooklyn sales prices hit record in third quarter (The Real Deal)

Sales prices of townhouses in "emerging" Brooklyn up 86 percent in one year (Brownstoner)


All cash deals, rent relief in surprising areas, and more: What buyers, sellers and renters can expect from fall

Brooklyn prices hit record highs, but it's still your cheaper option

Buying in Manhattan? Don't expect to haggle

Pulling off a bidding war: your 8-step guide

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