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Who’s the Winner Since the Crash: Stocks or Real Estate?

New York City

Home Sales

Brownstone Brooklyn has seen the biggest increases in real estate values since the 2008 crash.

Aug. 9, 2018

A decade ago, as the housing market was imploding, some intrepid souls bought co-ops and condos in New York City. Property Shark has looked at 1,000 of those homebuyers who sold their apartments in 2017, in an effort to answer a question: Were those people insane or ingenious?

The answer: Looking just at these sales, the median sale price across the four boroughs (excluding Staten Island) was $500,000 in 2008, which increased by more than $150,000 in 10 years to a median of $677,500. Brooklyn led the way with a 50 percent increase, followed by Queens at 32 percent and Manhattan at 25 percent. Only the Bronx was flat. Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods closest to Manhattan saw the biggest price jumps, including Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Boerum Hill, and Park Slope. 

If you factor inflation into the math, though, the numbers are considerably less dazzling. The median sale price of the 1,000-plus assets increased by $91,200 over the past decade. Not exactly beer money, but it does put things in perspective. 

For the $500,000 median price of a co-op or condo in 2008, one could have bought 56 shares of each company in the Dow Jones Industrial Index. If kept from 2008 until 2017, these would’ve ended up being worth almost $1.4 million – a nearly three-fold increase – a profit significantly larger than one would’ve made by selling an apartment. 

Live and learn. Or, better yet, get back to the stock-buying geniuses after the next stock market crash.

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