Read This Before Your Commute (Or Before You Buy an Apartment)

mta 1 Read This Before Your Commute (Or Before You Buy an Apartment)Public transportation cuts are hindering home sales in the city, the Wall Street Journal writes today.

That finding should prove uncontroversial with anyone who’s bought, sold or rented an apartment in the city’s outer reaches. But the Journal story is pretty thin on data to back up what some frustrated residents and real estate brokers say. 

Housing stats culled from StreetEasy.com shows a dramatic 60 percent drop in Kensington home sales and an 83 percent drop in Ditmas Park between July 2009 and June. But as the Journal concedes, home sales slumped all over the country after the first-time home buyer tax credit expired. 

In Astoria, where the QM22 bus stopped running June 25, home sales are indeed down. But prices are way up, suggesting, again, it’s a bit early to blame the M.T.A. for all the neighborhood’s woes. Also complicating the picture, is the fact that some private companies have come in to fill the gap left by the demise of QM22.

As Sofia Song, vice-president of research at StreetEasy, notes, it will take more than a 20-minute walk to the subway to kill demand in most of these areas. “I think the changes would need to be pretty drastic, because demand for housing is so high. If you make it more affordable and less convenient, there’s still always going to be demand,” she told the Journal.

It may take a few months to get some more solid data. But for now, the last word belongs to Matthew Giordano, of Massey Knakal, who notes that statistics have only a slight role to play in the gut-driven residential market. Said Mr. Giordano, “It’s one of the many emotional decisions that people make that can add or detract value from real estate.”

lkusisto@observer.com