Corcoran Plans to Become 'Major Player' in Williamsburg in '08

The Corcoran Group’s Brooklyn regional vice president, Frank Percesepe, talked to The Observer about some of the trends that pushed the average price of an apartment up 8 percent in the borough in 2007, according to the firm’s year-end market report.

“If you look at the numbers, there is nice, mature growth in all neighborhoods,” he said.

The report covered the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, Park Slope, Williamsburg, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

“If the price of a two-bedroom in Park Slope dropped a little,” Mr. Percesepe said, “it’s because inventory went down not because the market was performing badly.”

Last year, Corcoran closed on 48 percent more condos and 45 percent more townhouses in Brooklyn compared to 2006, and new condo development compensated for a shortage of townhouse inventory in some markets.

Though one-family townhouse prices increased an average of 3 percent market-wide from $1.536 million in 2006 to $1.581 million in 2007, in heavily-developed neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights, the median price of a one-family townhouse jumped 35 percent to $5 million in 2007.

“Brooklyn is not like Manhattan,” Mr. Percesepe said. “People don’t buy townhouses as investments, so the houses come to market when people want to upgrade.”

Corcoran plans to “become a major player” in Williamsburg in 2008, and Mr. Percesepe is eyeing downtown Brooklyn, the Fourth Avenue corridor, and, to a lesser extent, Brooklyn Heights, which all have condo projects slated for development this year.

“To me this report is not about which neighborhoods are performing above or below expectations,” he said. “The numbers show that, before, people were came to Brooklyn from Manhattan because it was less expensive. It’s still less expensive now, but people come here because they want to live here.”

Corcoran Plans to Become 'Major Player' in Williamsburg in '08