Two New York mayoral candidates think the average home price in Brooklyn is $90K. Here’s what it really is.

A New York mayoral candidate thinks the average home price in Brooklyn is $90K. Here's what it really is.
A New York mayoral candidate thinks the average home price in Brooklyn is $90K. Here's what it really is.
Getty Images/ Drew Angerer

There’s no denying real estate can be eye-wateringly expensive. That’s an even bigger issue in New York City, which happens to have some of the most in-demand property in the world.

Perhaps this is why individuals choose to live outside Manhattan, in boroughs such as Brooklyn or Queens. However, while housing prices may decline the further from Manhattan you go, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re cheaper.

This fact was highlighted during a recent The New York Times interview with Raymond McGuire and Shaun Donovan - two candidates running for mayor of New York City. During the endorsement interviews published Monday, Donovan and McGuire managed to confuse the median sales price for a Brooklyn home by about $800,000.

“Do you happen to know what the median sales price for a home is in Brooklyn right now?” New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay asked Donovan.

“In Brooklyn, huh? I don’t know for sure. I would guess it is around $100,000,” Donovan, who was former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, replied.

“It’s $900,000,” Gay corrected.

In a similar question to McGuire, Gay asked, “And just answer this to the best of your ability, obviously. What is the median sales price for a home or apartment in Brooklyn?”

“In Brooklyn, that number has gone up now. It depends on where in Brooklyn,” the former Citigroup executive replied. “It’s got to be somewhere in the $80,000 to $90,000 range, if not higher.”

Gay responed with: “The median sales price for a home in Brooklyn is $900,000.”

According to Zillow, typical home value of homes in Brooklyn are $651,786.00. However, home values have gone up 2.5% over the past year. It also depends on the exact neighborhood within Brooklyn. While one condo in Brooklyn Heights might set you back $699K another in Sheepshead Bay can be as low as $159K.

Surprisingly enough, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang was the only mayoral candidate to correctly estimate the median sales price for a Brooklyn home. Within moments after the piece went live, McGuire and Donovan immediately received criticism on social media for their ignorance in regards to the city’s real estate reality.

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“How can you fix the city’s housing crisis if you’re this oblivious?” wrote one user on Twitter.

“On one hand, there’s no reason that the HUD Secretary should instantly know median home prices in Brooklyn, when he’s in charge of the entire country. On the other hand, he shouldn’t think that the price in Brooklyn is the same as the price in Akron,” wrote another.

Many excused Donovan’s answer on account of him clarifying later that he initially misunderstood the question.

“Mr. Donovan later emailed to say that his $100,000 answer referred to the assessed value of homes in Brooklyn,” the editor’s note on the story explained.

“I really don’t think you can buy a house in Brooklyn today for that little,” Donovan added.

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