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Sales continue to slide in Brooklyn and Queens. Are price drops next?

Market indicators are moving in opposite directions. iStock

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2019
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Prices are on the upswing in the Brooklyn, Queens, and Riverdale sales markets—even setting a record in Queens—but if you’re a seller, there’s plenty to be concerned about.

Major indicators are moving in opposite directions, according to Douglas Elliman’s fourth quarter 2018 sales report, which shows that median and luxury median prices are up, but so is inventory, and the number of sales is dropping dramatically.

The report found that in Brooklyn, the median sales price increased 1.9 percent to $785,000, compared to the same period a year ago. The number of sales there slipped 5.8 percent to 2,474.

It was a similar pattern in Queens, where the median sales price rose 1.6 percent to $568,000, and the average sales price increased 2.1 percent to $637,322, setting a record. Transactions declined 11.5 percent to 3,248.

“The theme across these markets is the decline in sales,” says Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, and the author of the report. “This is the story throughout the NYC metro area. Sales are sliding and have been for much of 2018, causing listing inventory to rise.”

Inventory jumped sharply in Brooklyn, where it was up 74.9 percent. Over in Queens, inventory was up 25.6 percent. This doesn’t bode well for sellers in the future, Miller says.

Eventually the increase in supply tampers with price increases, causing them to be more flat or even decline, he says.

Similarly, in Riverdale, prices increased, despite rising inventory and a sharp drop in sales. The median sales price rose 20.8 percent to $320,000 and the number of sales fell 23 percent. Inventory was up 6.8 percent.

According to Stribling & Associates’ fourth quarter market report covering Brooklyn and Queens, contract activity was up 2 percent in Brooklyn. It’s a sign that “sellers are adjusting prices to meet the market,” says Garrett Derderian, director of data & reporting at Stribling.

Brown Harris Stevens' fourth quarter report for Brooklyn notes prices for co-ops fared better than condos.