POLITICS: This June, as the everyday people of Southern Brooklyn continued to cope with rising housing costs, stagnating wages, and decreasing benefits, State Senator Marty Golden voted for a bill that singled out Manhattan luxury developments for tens of millions in city tax breaks.
REAL ESTATE: Am New York recently profiled Bay Ridge for their City Living section. Author Dan Rivoli highlighted our hood’s ethnic diversity, restaurants, bars, and small town feel, reminding readers that this “haven” of ours lay just one [gruelingly slow but convenient] subway ride away from office jobs in Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.
A piece by Denise Romano for the Home Reporter revealed yesterday that local real estate investor Mousa Khalil owns two additional neglected properties on the same Ovington Avenue block where he allowed a house to collapse – including one that appears to be illegally occupied. Meanwhile, the Daily News’ Alex Robinson is reporting today that City Councilman Vincent Gentile is trying to guilt property owner Frank Landy to turn over a 79th Street house that’s been allowed to fall apart for 25 years, to charity.
Residents of Ovington Avenue between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue say that of the three properties Khalil owns on their block, one is actually occupied, albeit illegally. They speculate that 556 Ovington Ave is serving as a home for squatters, or possibly even an illegal hostel.
As one of Southern Brooklyn’s more expensive residential quarters, a slight dip in Bay Ridge real estate prices over the last year should come as *slightly* good news for potential homebuyers, as reported by Guelda Voien for real estate website The Real Deal .
However, if you have your sights set on older, more historic homes just keep in mind that lower inventories are continuing to push brownstone prices up, and potentially placing townhouse living out of the reach of even upper middle class purchasers.
From Real Deal:
The Elliman report, which tracks co-op, condominium and one- to three-family homes in Brooklyn, showed the median sales price in the borough was $586,000, up 2 percent year-over-year. The median sales price for Brooklyn brownstones, however, was $1.3 million — up 9.5 percent year-over-year, according to Elliman’s numbers.
“The standout is the brownstone market, a small niche, with only 3 percent of the Brooklyn market [share],” Miller said. “But it is the highest-priced housing stock.”
Brown Harris Stevens’ report for the borough showed an increase of 13 percent in median prices, to $890,000, in the Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill neighborhoods, where many brownstones are located. But despite its reputation as an up-and-coming area, prices in Clinton Hill/Fort Greene dropped year-over-year to $470,000, from $490,000. Prices also fell in the Bay Ridge/Sunset Park area, to $275,000, from $284,000 year-over-year, according to BHS.
Jonathan Miller, as president of real estate analytics firm Miller Samuel and author of Prudential Douglas Elliman’s market report, told Real Deal that while sales volume is up, many buyers still seem to be waiting out the market.
“Buyers are waiting until the market improves,” Miller said.
Miller also gave the caveat that normal, seasonal conditions might explain the rise in sales.
Some call him “controversial.” Others, notorious.
No matter how contentious a label you’d like to pin on neglectful Bay Ridge landlord Mousa Khalil, you can be sure to find others who agree with you, as reported by Will Bredderman in a great piece for the Brooklyn Paper.
As the owner of the Ovington Avenue property that collapsed on Sunday night, Khalil – and his real estate holdings – have once again been thrust into the local media spotlight.
Of course, Khalil has incurred the scorn of his neighbors for years. And they claim that he’s been buying up properties only to let them fall apart for at least as long.
“He came in here saying he was going to build this and build that,” Edward O’Connell, who lives in a house adjoining one of Khalil’s fallow investments, told Brooklyn Paper. “He put this ugliness up and never finished it, and we’ve had this infestation of squirrels, which are just rats with furry tails.”
For his part, Khalil blames the state of disrepair on the credit crunch and a lack of cash.