Good news for potential buyers: The cool temperatures of winter have also cooled down the usually hot real estate market in Bay Ridge.
A quick scan of leading real estate websites, such as Trulia and Realtor.com shows that while there seems to be a decent amount of inventory, with an average of about 300 properties on each site, a combination of homes, condominiums and co-ops, the turnover is just not happening this time of year.
Patricia Anderson, closing coordinator at the Bay Ridge office of FirstService Residential attributes this to rising mortgage rates. “The sales are slow because rates are slowly going up,” she said. “The prices are the same in this area. They have not gone down or up.”
In 2016, average rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage had gone up from 3.69 percent in January to 4.04 percent in December. Anderson says, “Interest rates are just getting too high, and while people may want to buy or even afford a down payment, they just can’t get a mortgage. It’s also the winter. People don’t buy as much in the winter months.”
While many young professionals are looking to be potential buyers in Bay Ridge, as opposed to their usual trendy hangouts in Park Slope and Williamsburg, interest rates seem to be the main thing keeping them at bay. The median listing price in Park Slope, according to Realtor.com, is $1.7 million, compared to Bay Ridge, which is significantly less, with a median listing price of $540,000.
With Ridge’s myriad of restaurants and bars, and a growing number of boutiques, young professionals are looking to the area as a more affordable alternative to the more expensive hipster-filled neighborhoods. The area boasts the most parks per square mile of any Brooklyn neighborhood, and the waterfront promenade along the Narrows is popular among bike riders and joggers.
Buyers are also attracted to the unique style of each and every home in Bay Ridge. No two are alike, and there are not many comps, if any, available for a single property because of the variety. There is nothing like “The Gingerbread House,” probably the area’s most famous home. Other distinctive homes include the elegant row houses of “Doctor’s Row,” due to the medical offices that occupy them.
While the idea of a high mortgage may seem like too much to bear, there still seems to be a healthy interest from potential buyers, who want to get more value for their dollar, as they look to buy not only a property, but into the neighborhood lifestyle Bay Ridge has to offer.
“Bay Ridge is one of the hottest areas in Brooklyn and it’s only growing,” said real estate guru Charles Fabbella, an associate broker of Ben Bay Realty Company of Bay Ridge who just so happens to own the phrase “Specializing in all your real estate needs.” “We’re getting people from everywhere that want to live in Bay Ridge for a number of reasons.”
Those Fabbella agreed, include the nabe’s bustling businesses and nightlife, proximity to good schools and, of course, it’s family-friendly atmosphere.
“Bay Ridge is one of the most friendly places to in, so it’s only natural that people want to be here,” he said, adding that, while interest rates are going up, home pricing in Bay Ridge is still hard to beat. “The demand is definitely still here.”