Survey Shows Gentrification Continues To Change Neighborhoods Throughout Brooklyn

There are huge drops in sales for the affluent neighborhoods and gains for the poorest.

By Jeff Vasishta February 16, 2017

Brooklyn real estate been quite explosive over the past few years. The general consensus is that even a good looking shoe box listed on the MLS in Kings County will receive offers. However, the annual The Real Deal’s Data Book tells a different story: not regarding shoe boxes—but residential sales.

While—yes, the median sales price is up a mighty 14 percent over the previous year, not all neighborhoods are scrambling zeros like eggs, watching their numbers shoot skywards. In fact, in a sign of rampant gentrification, some of the most “towny” parts of town have seen their numbers drop, while grittier areas have seem sharp increases.

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Amongst those on downward curve were Brighton Beach, with its total 2016 sales dropping 27 percent from $112 million in 2015 to $81 million.  Greenpoint was next with a drop of 17 percent—from $87 million to $74 million. DUMBO also registered a 17 percent drop—from $41 million to $34 million. Finally, Brooklyn Heights dropped 15 percent from $471 million to $401 million.

Despite the drop in sales volume from the previous year, Brooklyn’s most upscale neighborhoods—Fulton Ferry, Carrol Gardens, Boerum Hill, Red Hook/Gowanas, Park Slope/S. Park Slope, Manhattan Beach, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill Prospect Heights and East Williamsburg—were, expectedly, where the highest sales prices occurred.

With this trend in mind, it wasn’t surprising to see some meteoric gains in total sales in dollar volume in some of the county’s once most impoverished neighborhoods. Bushwick (up 119 percent from $22 million to $47 million), Red Hook/Gowanus (up 88 percent from $27 million to $50 million), Coney Island, (up 49 percent from $31 million to $46 million) and Flatbush (up 46 percent from $62 million to $91 million.)

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Perhaps the biggest surprise to that list was the top placed Fulton Ferry, which also topped the Brooklyn neighborhood with the highest median sales prices. Doesn’t that data fly in the face of the gentrification argument that one of Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhoods could also have the largest increase in total sale dollar volume?

There could be a number of factors at play that made Fulton Ferry unique. Firstly, the area is small. One prominent multi unit building registering multiple high prices sales could have a big impact. Also, big investment bank bonuses and a loosening of credit could affect sales in a neighborhood like this. A string of residential deals for high net worth buyers wanting Wall Street, the East River ferry, and promenade all at their fingertips would also cause prices and dollar volume to spike. It will be interesting to see if the exclusive area can keep up its impressive pace this year.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.
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