The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Prices of Town Homes on Clarkson - Just $6,500 in '13!!

Check out the Brooklyn Eagle online and search for your block!

This picture is pretty rich. I hope that when you click on it you can zoom in and catch some of the wild advertising language, even for areas near here like the Slope and Prospect Heights and Fort Greene. Clearly back in '13 (1913 that is), the building boom was on big time. Considered the suburban tract housing of the day, these "gorgeous" homes were once considered a blight on the rural landscape. Large landowners were selling off chunks to developers, who in turn threw up rows of houses as quick as possible. Granted, back then the idea of "middle class housing" meant craftmanship and durability that we can't imagine today. Massive quarries upstate meant limestone facades were relatively cheap. Until I moved into one I thought the whole house was limestone. For those like me was, most of the "stone houses" in this borough are actually brick with a thick skin of limestone. When they start to crack, you can find the brick not far down. In my backyard, a bit of gardening revealed hundreds of leftover bricks from the days of construction. Each brick was marked with its manufacturer. Or at least that's what it seems those names imply.

I'm also digging this idea of the mortgage being rolled into the sale. $1,000 down back then becomes $23,000 in today's dollars, hardly a lot for a down payment.  Your monthly bill would be around $1,500 in today's dollars. How does this compare? Why don't we assume 20% down on a million dollar house ($200K) and maybe $6500 a month?

Lastly, I'm pretty sure this Easy Housekeeping company bought up rows of these for resale, since I do recall seeing a listing for these houses at $2,000 wholesale.


Bob Marvin said...

Houses in Lefferts Manor were only slightly more expensive. W.A.A. Brown built 4 story houses on Midwood I in 1898 and 3 stories [like my house] on Midwood II in 1899 and 1900. They were $11,000 for the 4 stories and $7,250 for the three. "Prices within the reach of all. Terms to suit" according to the 1901 ad I have framed on my wall.

Bob Marvin said...

It's interesting that the mortgage advertised for the Clarkson houses covered principle and interest; most mortgages back then were so-called balloon mortgages, with payments covering only interest and a huge payment due at the end–the basis for all those old melodramas where the evil, mustache-twirling, banker threatened to foreclose on the poor widow, instead of re-financing the loan.

no_slappz said...

The Chinese take Manhattan: replace Russians as top apartment buyers

Reuters By Michelle Conlin and Maggie Lu Yueyang

NEW YORK/SYDNEY (Reuters) - For the first time, the Chinese have become the biggest foreign buyers of apartments in Manhattan, real estate brokers estimate, taking the mantle from the Russians - whose activity has dropped off since the unrest in Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions against Russia by the United States.

Wealthy Chinese are pouring money into real estate in New York and some other major cities around the world, including London and Sydney, as they seek safe havens for their cash and also establish a base for their children to get an education in the West.

The Chinese interest is mainly a valuation play, real estate experts say. After the U.S. housing bust in 2007-2010, home prices in major U.S. cities fell to levels that made them attractive. While U.S. prices have been recovering, they are still appealingly low by comparison with many other parts of the world.

Many Chinese buyers are switching their interest away from markets like Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore amid fears that prices have soared to frothy levels in those cities.

Luxury apartments cost between $4,100 and $5,000 per square foot in Hong Kong, while in Manhattan and Sydney they cost half that, ranging from about $2,100 to $2,500, according to Knight Frank's Prime International Residential Index. London is also cheaper, at $3,300 to $4,100 per square foot.

Some are buying homes near top colleges — even though their children are so little they can't walk yet. More than 80 percent of wealthy Chinese want to send their children overseas to school, according to the Hurun Report, a Shanghai-based publication.

Added Pamela Liebman, CEO of the Corcoran Group, one of the best known New York real estate firms: "In sheer numbers, the Chinese outspend the Russians in every segment of the market."

In Manhattan, it wasn't long ago that Russian oligarchs dominated the gilded world of real estate, gobbling up status-heavy, marquee properties, such as an $88 million, Robert A.M. Stern-designed penthouse and a $75 million mansion with a ballroom and a rooftop aerie.

Now, many brokers say, Russian buyers have become scarce largely because of fears that the struggle over Ukraine will worsen leading to increasingly tough U.S. sanctions on politically-connected and wealthy Russians.

The Chinese grew to 28.5 percent of Field's international business in the first quarter of 2014, up from 19 percent last year. "We've only scratched the surface with Chinese demand," Field said.

Chinese buyers typically used to pick up properties in the $1 to $5 million range in New York, often buying two and three at a time for investment purposes, the brokers said.

But lately they have been moving up market, brokers say. The current in-vogue building among the Chinese is Central Park's One57, a new skyscraper designed by Pritzker Prize-winning French architect Christian de Portzamparc, where they can spend $18.85 million for a three-bedroom or $55 million for an apartment taking up the entire 81st floor.

The Chinese are also venturing out to Long Island, where they are buying Gatsby-esque mansions set atop rolling greens.

"They're looking for trophy properties," said Elliott. "They're looking for their children to be comfortable, and to be near Columbia or New York University."

Some Chinese aren't even bothering to come to the United States at all, going so far as to pick up multi-million-dollar properties sight unseen.

In Manhattan, some locals are also starting to grumble, brokers say, about the new "China Price", a phenomenon that can see Chinese buyers sweep in and outbid other buyers, often with all-cash offers.