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Brooklyn versus Manhattan


Published: Jun 25, 2013

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The choice used to be an easy one. Those who could afford it chose the city. Those who wanted more space for their bucks chose the lower borough. That is no longer true these days. With sale prices and especially rents rising sharply in Brooklyn, many home-seekers are finding that popular Brooklyn neighborhoods no longer come at the discount they’re expecting.

Let’s look at rentals. In March, the median rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in prime Brooklyn neighborhoods jumped 11.3 percent from the same month of last year, according to Prudential Douglas Elliman’s report. By contrast, the median rental price for Manhattan rose by 6.7 percent.

When it comes to sales, there is no longer a dramatic price difference between many Brooklyn neighborhoods and comparable areas of Manhattan. According to StreetEasy, the median asking price for a Brooklyn Heights apartment has risen 37.8 percent in the past five years to $792,500 while the median price in the West Village rose by only 4.34 percent during that same period, to $895,000.

Additionally, Elliman’s data shows that in the first quarter, the median sales price for a Brooklyn apartment shot up 14 percent year-over-year, while the median price in Manhattan rose just 5.9 percent. And at least one popular Brooklyn neighborhood, Williamsburg, is now more expensive than the Lower East Side.

The city’s current inventory shortage — available Manhattan listings fell by 34 percent year-over-year in the first quarter — has accelerated the shrinking price gap between the two boroughs, as would-be Manhattan buyers widen their search to include Brooklyn. That said, one area where there are still significant discounts in Brooklyn versus Manhattan is at the very high end of the market. In other words, the difference in cost between townhouses in Brooklyn Heights and townhouses in the West Village is still pretty significant.

On a side note, Harlem (a section of Manhattan north of Central Park) represents an extremely good opportunity to buy/invest since the price differential, if compared to the rest of the island, remains very attractive.

Key Biscayne: a healthy sign of South Florida real estate market

More than six years since the housing crash and ensuing foreclosure crisis, the village of Key Biscayne, Florida – a 1.2-square-mile island with an international population of less than 13,000 people – is emerging as one of the clearest examples of the resilience of the South Florida residential real estate market.

The current median price for a single-family house in Key Biscayne is off only 8% from the levels experienced in 2006, while condo and townhouse prices are down 16%, according to data from the Southeast Florida MLXchange. By comparison, median sales prices in Miami-Dade County are still down 47% for single-family houses and 31% for condo and townhouse units in the first five months of 2013 versus the same period in 2006.

This is it for today, dear readers. I am available to answer your questions and provide you with more information on New York City, Miami and U.S. real estate.


• Riccardo Ravasini is a real estate maven and an active agent in New York and Miami. He grew up in Italy where he studied Business and Finance at Bocconi University in Milan before moving to the U.S. He enjoys assisting people in the search for the perfect rental apartment as well as international buyers looking for smart investment properties. Contact him at +1-917-214-2509 or rava@ravarealty.com.


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