The owner of one of Williamsburg’s biggest brokerage firms, Aptsandlofts.com, said that the Corcoran Group‘s 2007 market report was "wrong" in estimating that the average price of a condo in the neighborhood had increased 8 percent since 2006.
David Maundrell told The Observer on Friday afternoon that "there was no way" that the average price of a condo in the Williamsburg market had risen from $817,000 in 2006 to $880,000 in 2007, as the Corcoran report concludes.
"Their data is wrong. We’ve seen the market come down 10 to 12 percent across the board since it peaked in the beggining of 2006," he said.
"Prices were astronomically high, even inflated so they had to come down," Mr. Maundrell explained of the causes for the slump. "Plus there has been a lot more development and competition, and sales were also impacted by [interest] rates, which helped the rental market in 2007."
Overall the Williamsburg/Greenpoint condo market is doing "OK," according to Mr. Maundrell. There was still demand for apartments in large-scale developments and luxury condominiums in 2007, he said, buyers were just taking more time to close. Meanwhle apartments in buildings with fewer than 20 units fared poorly in 2007 and co-ops in the neighborhood remain "very difficult to sell."
The housing market was comparatively strong last year, and Mr. Maundrell said townhouses in Williamsburg and Greenpoint were undervalued in 2007, because people are attracted to the amenities offered at luxury residential buildings.
"Buying a townhouse in Williamsburg is a fantastic deal, but there’s just not a lot of inventory," he said. "We just sold a three-family townhouse on the second stop of the L for $1.35 million."
More residential development in Williamsburg could even push prices down, said Brooklyn blogger Jonathan Butler, founder of Brownstoner. "You would think Williamsburg would be feeling more pressure now," he said. "Why come in now, when you know that a lot more apartments are coming?"