Late last year a restored 1890s townhouse on Gates Avenue sold for $3m, a record sum for Bedford-Stuyvesant and more than $300,000 above its asking price. A four-storey brownstone a few blocks south on Arlington Place sold last December for $2.25m, more than $200,000 above its list price. Townhouse sales in the district hovered around $600,000 two years ago. Today, renovated brownstones in Bedford-Stuyvesant list for about $1.5m, according to Corcoran Group Real Estate.
“I’m seeing in Bed-Stuy what I saw happen in [hip Brooklyn neighbourhood] Williamsburg in 2002,” says David Maundrell, founder and president of Brooklyn real estate brokerage aptsandlofts.com. The firm is marketing several new condominiums in the district, including 1188 Bedford Avenue, a 14-unit project that is among the most expensive in Bedford-Stuyvesant. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment is priced at $825,000.
“The surge began with buyers who were priced out of other areas, but now prices are rising much faster than anyone predicted,” says Maundrell.
Despite the rise, Bedford-Stuyvesant still represents a relative bargain compared with more established areas of Brooklyn such as Park Slope, Fort Greene and Williamsburg. The average price of a home in the latter — among the most rapidly gentrifying areas in Brooklyn — reached $1.12m in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to Miller Samuel. “Buyers are getting a lot more for their money in Bed-Stuy and that’s still the most attractive feature,” says Brooke Safford, a broker at Corcoran Real Estate Group.