Sunday, October 14, 2007

What's a Brooklyn real estate bargain? If you ask the Times...

The cover story in today's New York Times Real Estate section is headlined Brooklyn: A Bargain Hunter’s Guide and the Times explains that, in between the strong market in brownstone neighborhoods and the foreclosures in struggling neighborhoods, there are bargains--but keyed to the Times's more affluent demographic.

The Times reports:
People buying homes and apartments in the resale market are finding more leeway to negotiate on price. Buyers of new condominiums are negotiating price cuts and persuading developers to throw in extras, especially in neighborhoods like Greenwood Heights and Williamsburg.


Looking at the numbers

And what exactly are the contours of such bargains? Here are the prices of all the apartments mentioned in the article:
--Green Hill Condos, 324 22nd Street, Greenwood Heights; $999,000 (from $1.09 million) and $559,000 (from $599,000).
--Thornton Park, 721 Flushing Avenue, East Williamsburg. Developer pays closing costs, a 5 percent discount on units from $270,000 to $509,000. The article identifies the location as East Williamsburg
--55 Berry Street, Williamsburg. Developer offered $10,000 discount on unit of unspecified price; agreed to build a $3000 walk-in closet on an $815,000 one-bedroom with a home office.
--Le Conselyea in Williamsburg, $425,000 (from contemplated $599,000) and $799,000 (from contemplated $995,000).
--Owners of larger free-standing homes in the $2.8-million-to-$3.5-million range may offer a 5 percent discount.
--855 Jefferson Avenue, Bed-Stuy, $950,000, down from $1.1 million.

"Affordable to who?"--as City Council Member Charles Barron asked scornfully, in another context, at the Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn rally in July 2006. Or, as State Assembly Housing Committee Chair Vito Lopez once said regarding affordable housing, "It's a relative thing."

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