Why an Apartment in Bed-Stuy Just Sold for $1 Million

View of the street with people milling about and traffic at the intersection of Claver Place and Fulton Avenue in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, 1968. The Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower can be seen in the distance.
Bed-Stuy, 1968. Photo: George S. Zimbel/Getty Images

If there’s one question that’s been in the air these days about the New York City real-estate market, it’s this: Is there anyplace that’s affordable anymore

Not Bedford-Stuyvesant, apparently. According to the Post, a couple just paid about a million dollars for a 1,559-square-foot penthouse condo with two bedrooms (and a study) on Lexington Avenue in Bed-Stuy. At just under $641, that’s the highest price-per-square-foot ever seen in the neighborhood. (The actual total price was $999,000.)*

Sadly for apartment-hunters, the sale is no anomaly. “When you hear a million in Bed-Stuy, it sounds huge, but when you say per-square-foot, it’s reasonable,” says longtime Brooklyn broker Peggy Aguayo of Halstead Property. “Why not Bed-Stuy? Williamsburg many years ago was so gritty. Now it’s getting $1,000 per square foot. Bed-Stuy is right near it. And Bed-Stuy has much lovelier established housing stock.”

Appraiser Jonathan Miller confirms that, price-wise, the sale isn’t an outlier. The latest figures (from first-quarter market reports) show the average price per square foot for East Brooklyn, which includes Bed-Stuy, Cypress Hills, and Brownsville, as $434, a 15.1 percent jump from the same period in 2012. Considering that’s the average, that means some properties garnered more than that. The penthouse sale isn’t even the first to kiss a million in the building; back in 2009, a fourth-floor apartment closed for $992,793, per Streeteasy.com. But it was bigger and also had outdoor space, which makes it cheaper on a per-square-foot basis.

All this to say that the city’s onward march toward questionable affordability continues. An apartment similar to the Bed-Stuy apartment would cost way more in other parts of the borough. Condos in prime brownstone Brooklyn (a.k.a. Park Slope, Cobble Hill, and the like) averaged $761 per square foot in the first quarter of this year. So this condo is, relatively speaking, a bargain. “This is why I keep saying Queens is next,” says Miller.

*This sentence removed a reference to the transfer tax, which was paid by the seller. 

Why Bed-Stuy Apartment Just Sold for $1 Million