Today’s news:

Home sweet home sales sour

The Great Recession is pummeling home prices in Brooklyn, indiscriminately gutting real estate values in almost every neighborhood surveyed, a study released this week revealed.

The average price of a home in Brooklyn slid 18 percent to $548,560 in the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period last year, according to Brooklyn−based real estate appraisal firm HMS Associates.

“Prices continued to decline, which is no surprise, but there was a slight pickup in the sales activity from the first quarter to second quarter of this year so far,” said Sam Heskel, an appraiser and executive vice president of HMS Associates. “Because sellers have been more realistic and prices have come down, we are seeing more activity as buyers feel more comfortable making offers.”

The most drastic price declines were in Sheepshead Bay, where prices slid 22 percent to $263,200, and in DUMBO⁄Downtown Brooklyn⁄Boerum Hill, where prices fell 22 percent to $754,000.

“If you are able to come up with the financing, there is a lot of inventory out there and lower prices in neighborhoods that are still very strong, so it can be a good time to buy,” Heskel offered. “This could indicate that the market is bottoming out and that the downward trend is approaching its end,” he added.

There were a total of 545 sales during the second quarter of 2009, an 8 percent increase in activity over the first quarter of 2009. But that volume is significantly down from last year, according to HMS. The second quarter 2009 sales are 52 percent less than the same period last year, when there were 1,145 sales.

In Bay Ridge, prices dropped 8 percent to $400,769. Marine Park fared slightly better, with prices declining 6 percent to $460,000. Canarsie did the worst of the trio, with prices slipping nine percent, to $489,666, according to the report.

According to the report, the price drop “was consistent in virtually every neighborhood in Brooklyn, marking a difference from just a few months ago when the borough’s average price fell but some neighborhoods were still seeing modest price increases.”

The only exceptions to the slide were Carroll Gardens⁄Cobble Hill, with its 1 percent increase to an average home price of $933,438 and Fort Greene, where the average home price remained static, at $911,538.

The home price figures and sales volume come from the firm’s quarterly study of 15 representative neighborhoods in Brooklyn and include one−, two−, three−, and four−family homes, condos, and co−ops.

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