Brooklyn Real Estate Booming, and Queens Not Too Shabby

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They live in Brooklyn, baby. Photo: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Outer-borough real estate is making Manhattan look like a laggard. Median sales prices for Brooklyn and Queens were well up from a year ago (5 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively), according to third-quarter market reports from real estate firm Prudential Douglas Elliman, compared to a 0.3 percent dip in Manhattan. Average sales prices increased for both boroughs, too, though more significantly for Brooklyn (up 4.1 percent from last year, to $607,867) than for Queens (a nearly negligible 0.5 percent, to $398,710).

More so than in any other borough, it's all good in Brooklyn. The number of transactions rose 18.1 percent from last year. Prices aren't getting reduced for as much as they once were, either; the average discount for a listing is now at 3 percent, a slight improvement from 5 percent a year ago. Condos, co-ops, and houses all saw prices and number of transactions climb, but new developments were the big winner. Buyers appear to be in love with them once more — as we reported last week from Williamsburg. The one potential fly in the ointment? It's taking longer to sell property. The average listing languished 149 days on the market, compared to 109 days in 2010.

Queens was more of a mixed bag. Yes, median prices for co-ops and houses got a boost from last year. But the number of transactions in the borough dipped by 5.3 percent, and if you're a seller, it's taking eight days longer now — 108 days on average — to unload your property. New developments here weren't quite the darlings that Brooklyn's were last quarter; the median sales price actually fell 5.3 percent from 2010 to $441,559. The area that fared best, saleswise? Northwest Queens, made up of Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside, and Jackson Heights, which saw average prices and the number of transactions improve from last year. Nearly every other region saw numbers shift downward.