Williamsburg Apartments Continue to Get Bigger, More Expensive

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If you're thinking of buying an apartment in Williamsburg, there's no good news for you in today's second-quarter real-estate market reports. According to a second-quarter Douglas Elliman survey, the ever-popular north end, which also includes Greenpoint, fared the best among Brooklyn regions, with the median price ($716,011) improving by 23.6 percent from the same time last year. "People are buying bigger apartments," says Jonathan Miller, who crunched the data. And bigger apartments are generally more expensive. "There's big shift in what's selling. The average size in the first quarter of 2012 was 835 square feet. In the current quarter, it's 1,040 square feet."

Condo sales there made up 88.8 percent of transactions, "the highest market share" since Miller has been tracking that number. "The influx of condo development has essentially redefined the neighborhood."

The rest of the market did well, too, thanks to a continuing dearth of inventory, just as buyers are growing increasingly eager. Per the Corcoran Group's numbers, the average sale price of an apartment in the borough in general is $627,000, the highest average price recorded since the first three months of 2009.

You'd think renting would give you an out, but no dice. The median rental price in Brooklyn rose 13.5 percent to $2,737 in June, says the Elliman report. You may actually do better in Manhattan, where there may be a "slight softening," according to a second-quarter market report released by Citi-Habitats. The shift is ever so subtle but, writes Citi-Habitats president Gary Malin, "a more favorable environment" may be developing, due in part to a resistance among tenants who have been postponing their moves or exploring other boroughs.