Williamsburg Bridge Street

Just as Brooklyn townhouses offer mixed results in terms of sales and the Brooklyn housing market gives the city’s assessed property values a boost, the Landmark Preservations Commission has added two new Brooklyn buildings to the lists of protected structures.

Brooklyn Townhouse Sales Paint a Mixed Picture

Recent reports have shown that New York’s luxury market slowdown has reached Brooklyn, with high-end brownstones no longer being worth what they used to be. In fact, many top-of-the-line townhouses throughout the borough have recently experienced price cuts after spending some time on the market without getting sold.

In the prime townhouse area, which is defined as the area from Prospect Park in the south up through Greenpoint, townhouse sales dropped 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 when compared to 2015. Furthermore, fourth quarter sales topping $3 million fell by 44 percent.

Despite these lackluster results, reports from October 2016 showed that brownstones at the $2 million mark were dominating sales. In response, some were referring to October as a “banner month” for the luxury market in Brooklyn.

Value of Properties in New York May Exceed $1 Trillion

According to the city’s Department of Finance, city properties may reach a value of $1.16 trillion in the upcoming fiscal year, representing an 8.74 percent increase from last year. These figures have been largely boosted by the fact that Brooklyn experienced a massive increase in property values, with reports indicating that the borough’s home prices reached record highs in 2016. Multi-family rental buildings and one, two and three-family homes increased 19.05 percent and 13.77 percent from previous years. At the same time, commercial properties experienced a 13.49 percent increase.

Since these assessments are used by the Department of Finance for tax purposes, they do not represent the true market value. Typically, the true market value tends to by higher than the assessed tax value. Some experts, however, believe that there has been a recent trend to over assess the values in some parts of the city. In turn, this has led to issues with some people being priced out from their neighborhoods or with small businesses being forced to either shut down or relocate.

Brooklyn Heights Buildings Designated as Landmarks

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has added two more Brooklyn buildings to its list of protected structures in New York City: the bank buildings located at 181 and 185 Montague Street. Located between Court and Clinton streets, both buildings offer examples of the optimistic architecture of their times.

Originally built at the turn of the 20th century for People’s Trust Company, the building located at 181 Montague Street is currently home to a Citibank branch. The neoclassical building features huge columns weighing 28 tons each and a pediment with extensive ornamentation. The building at 185 Montague Street, on the other hand, features a more modern design. Built around 1929, it exhibits some Art Deco characteristics such as geometric decorations at the bottom and a stepped crown. Along with the Brooklyn Trust Company building located at 177 Montague Street, these buildings are collectively known as “Bank Row.”

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