The real world hits Brooklyn, real-estate-wise, with market reports released today confirming what we've been hearing all along: Business has slowed, and prices are on their way down. According to the Prudential Douglas Elliman survey, median sales prices slumped 7.5 percent (from $530,000 to $490,000) from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2008, and average sales prices headed southward as well by 5.2 percent (from $590,169 to $559,338). Even more perturbing: 1,846 properties sold last quarter, a whopping 42.7 percent drop from the 3,222 sold the year before. As expected, new developments suffered the most, seeing a 51.8 percent plunge in their sales; co-ops were down 32.4 percent. Fabled Brooklyn townhouses failed to survive the shakedown; sales of one- to three-family homes saw a decline of 36.2 percent. But hey, here's a (thin) silver lining: Median prices did rise 12 percent from the same period last year.
As for the strength of individual neighborhoods, Corcoran Group's Brooklyn report, which looked at the year's activity and not just the fourth quarter, confirms Park Slope's continuing popularity, stroller traffic be damned. Median sales prices of co-ops there were up 11 percent from 2007, compared to Brooklyn Heights, where prices rose by 6 percent; Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, on the other hand, saw a dip of 10 percent.