Brooklyn and luxury didn’t quite go together 10 years ago. An eclectic mix of less expensive apartments — many loft-style — and a trendier, laid back scene attracted some Manhattanites to make the switch before the borough became the trendy hotspot it is today.

  • With an average sales price of $795,409 (up 6.2 percent from last year) Brooklyn isn’t so cheap anymore.
  • Total pending sales in Brooklyn's luxury price tier went from a 20.1 percent share of the market to 22.3 percent year-over-year.
  • In Q1, Brooklyn had 192 total sales in the luxury market, compared to 154 in the first quarter last year.

Brooklyn and luxury didn’t quite go together 10 years ago. An eclectic mix of less expensive apartments — many loft-style — and a trendier, laid back scene attracted some Manhattanites to make the switch before the borough became the trendy hotspot it is today.

With an average sales price of $795,409 (up 6.2 percent from last year, according to Douglas Elliman’s Q1 report) Brooklyn isn’t so cheap anymore. As more money floods the borough, the luxury market is making its way as an alternative to what might not be offered as much in Manhattan: high-end apartments under $5 million.

Growing pending sales for luxury homes

StreetEasy reports show Brooklyn luxury homes are lingering on the market, similar to the trend seen in Manhattan. Homes that went into contract in the first quarter of this year spent an average of 73 days before closing, which is 24 days longer than in 2015.

Brooklyn’s luxury homes increased in price by 3.9 percent, but failed to pace with the overall median resale price growth of 7.1 percent. Luxury median resale was $1.36 million, compared to $545,330 in the all-inclusive market.

Although some of Brooklyn’s trends match Manhattan, sales are up. Total pending sales in the luxury price tier went from a 20.1 percent share of the market to 22.3 percent year-over-year. In addition, pending luxury sales increased dramatically from just 15.2 percent of all pending sales last quarter.

Manhattan’s luxury tier pending sales encompasses 9.5 percent of the market, a drop from 13.7 percent last year and 10.6 percent last quarter.

Targeting the mid-tier luxury buyer?

Douglas Elliman’s report shows Brooklyn’s luxury market had a 4.4 percent average sales price increase in year-over-year, hitting $2,192,789. While average price dipped 15.8 percent quarter-over-quarter, seasonality is likely at play.

For median luxury price in Brooklyn, price dropped slightly by 1.5 percent year-over-year and 2.4 percent by quarter. At the end of the first quarter, the median sales price was at $1,855,250. Sales also increased annually in Brooklyn’s high-end market, with a 24.7 percent boost in closings in the first quarter. In Q1, Brooklyn had 192 total sales in the luxury market, compared to 154 in the first quarter last year.

The listing discount increased slightly by 1.1 percent in the first quarter. In comparison, Manhattan’s listing discount for luxury apartments went up 3.2 percent in the first quarter.

What are Brooklyn buyers looking for?

The majority of new development in Brooklyn falls under $1 million, with 81.7 percent of condo sales holding a median sales price of $711,583, according to Douglas Elliman. Just 18.2 percent of sales were priced at $1 million to $3 million.

In Manhattan, the majority (43 percent) of new development sales were upwards of $3 million, at a median sales price of just under $5.75 million. The close second share of new development sales (39.5 percent) fell in the $1 million to $3 million range.

Email Jennifer Riner

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