You Can’t Afford Brooklyn

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04:  People walk down a popular shopping street in Dumbo on October 4, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. A group of five prominent properties in Dumbo owned by the Jehovah's Witnesses have recently been sold and are slated to become part of a complex that will be converted into a center for technology companies. The five buildings, which will become part of the larger Brooklyn Tech Triangle, were sold to Jared Kushner, the Kushner Cos. CEO, and RFR for a reported $375 million deal. What was until recently a sleepy former manufacturing hub with cobblestone streets and derelict old factories has become one of the trendiest locations in New York City.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/2013 Getty Images

Manhattan who? Real estate database Streeteasy.com just released a report comparing median prices in Brooklyn (from the first seven months of the year) to Manhattan’s, and it proves something many of us have long suspected: Brooklyn is expensive, yo. So expensive, the price of real estate in some of its neighborhoods easily surpassed Manhattan’s median sale price of $890,000.

To wit: Of 49 neighborhoods in Brooklyn included in the study, three have median prices that bested Manhattan’s, and at least nine others come fairly close. (And plenty more still qualify as steep.) The top two areas, interestingly enough, both hug the East River: the Columbia Street Waterfront District, that sliver of a neighborhood west of Carroll Gardens right along the river, which has a median price of $1.147 million, and Dumbo, the poshest of them all, with properties asking a median of $1.507 million, roughly 70 percent more than Manhattan’s numbers. “The takeaway here is that some neighborhoods have blown Manhattan out of the water in terms of prices,” says Streeteasy’s Alan Lightfeldt, who compiled the report. “It’s like this thing: The best view of Manhattan is in Brooklyn.” Guess high-end buyers would rather look at Manhattan than be in it?

A handful of other Manhattan neighborhoods are more expensive than Dumbo, including Soho (those lofts), Tribeca (even more lofts), Nolita (lofts again), Central Park South (super-pricey condos), and Upper Carnegie Hill (the UES has got to make an appearance, right?). Still, it’s costlier than established spendy areas like the West Village, Chelsea, and Lincoln Square.

Brooklyn devotees could look to rentals for encouraging news; only two places had numbers higher than Manhattan’s median of $3,195 a month: Dumbo (again) and Williamsburg. But according to the report, more than half of Brooklyn’s 49 neighborhoods — 29, in fact — saw rents rise faster than Manhattan’s over five years, so don’t get too complacent.

Looking for a bargain? Try West Harlem, a small section Streeteasy defines as being between St. Nicholas Avenue and Broadway, bordered by West 123rd Street to the south and West 135th Street to the north. Its median sale price in the second quarter of 2014 was $173,640; on the other hand, this new Brooklyn report pegs that borough’s cheapest neighborhood to be East New York. Its median? $242,916.