By Orlando Lee Rodriguez
It seems like a lot more people are heeding Duke Ellington’s advice and are taking the “A Train”.
The two neighborhoods, both along the ‘A’ line, are driving most of the new development sales in Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to the latest new development report released by brokerage and marketing specialists at MNS.
Over the last quarter, 30 sales, 17 percent of all new development transactions in Manhattan, took place in Harlem, the uptown neighborhood served by the ‘A’ train at 125th and 145th Streets.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the line, Brooklyn Heights claimed 38 percent of all new development sales in Brooklyn.
According to the report, 21 percent of all one bedrooms and 25 percent of all two bedrooms in Manhattan were sold in Harlem. While in Brooklyn, all sales categories were led by Brooklyn heights, which took 55 percent of studio sales and 43 percent of three-bedroom purchases.
39 percent of one-bedrooms and 32 percent of all two-bedrooms sales in Brooklyn also took place in Brooklyn Heights according to the report. The neighborhood also took honors for its borough’s most expensive sale for the quarter at $2.9 million.
Harlem and Brooklyn Heights also share a common line in sales volume although they are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to pricing.
At $919 psf, Brooklyn Heights has the highest psf price in Brooklyn. Harlem, in contrast, has the lowest per square foot price in all of Manhattan at $619 psf.
Over the last quarter, the median sale price for Brooklyn Heights was $999,885, the second highest in all of Brooklyn. The median price for a new unit in Harlem was $574,596, the cheapest in Manhattan and lower than all Brooklyn neighborhoods except two.
In general, median sale prices at new developments are higher for the entire city, up 31 percent in Brooklyn and 20 percent in Manhattan over the first quarter in 2012.
After a flurry of sales activity at the end of 2012, overall sales volume for new units was down citywide at the start of this year; close to 54 percent in Manhattan and 98.86 percent in Brooklyn for the quarter.
Some neighborhoods saw little if no action. Bay Ridge, Gowanus, Fort Greene and Kensington in Brooklyn reported no sales for the quarter, while the East Village, Gramercy Park and Greenwich Village saw only one sale a piece during the first quarter.
Of these areas, only Greenwich Village is served by the ‘A’ train.
In 1941, the Duke Ellington Orchestra recorded “Take the ‘A’ Train,” a homage to the express line that takes passengers from Columbus Circle to Harlem in only one stop.