By Gabriel Rom
The priciest homes in Queens aren’t where one might think. Forest Hills Gardens, not Long Island City or Douglas Manor, took the top spot with a median sale price of $1.3 million, up from $1.1 million last year, according to a new report released by real estate metrics firm PropertyShark.
The leafy hamlet, known for its pre-war Tudor houses and posh tennis club, ranked 15th citywide and is the second-most expensive neighborhood outside of Manhattan, surpassed only by Dumbo in Brooklyn.
Malba, a small enclave near Whitestone, came in as the second-most expensive neighborhood in Queens.
A total of 44 homes were sold in Forest Hills Gardens in 2015. The five costliest properties in that area each sold for more than $2 million, including a house at 56 Groton St. which was purchased on July 31 for $2.7 million.
In 2015, 986 homes, condos and co-op units were sold in the entire Forest Hills neighborhood, including 99 homes at over $1 million, compared to just 55 such sales in 2014.
The priciest single-family home sale in Forest Hills took place in the Cord Meyer section of the neighborhood, where a home at 110-02 68th Drive was sold for $2.86 million this March 6. The most expensive apartment was sold in The Aston, a new 16-story condo building at 108-20 71st Ave., where a penthouse unit was purchased on June 29 for $1.99 million.
The median sale price in Forest Hills reached $789,534, 119 percent higher than the borough’s median sale price of $360,000, the report found.
Overall, the median home sale price in Queens reached $360,000, an eight-year-high. That figure is reminiscent of levels seen before the housing market crisis, the report said.
Queens’ condo prices have also trended upwards over the past year. The borough’s sales price for condos is $493,750, a historic high, according to a 2015 report from real estate firm Douglas Elliman.
As housing prices in traditionally high-priced Queens neighborhoods continue to climb Rego Park has also experienced an uptick in prices. The neighborhood, which is near Forest Hills Gardens, is receiving an influx of high-end housing developments that offer relatively affordable sale prices. A new seven-story condominium currently under construction near The Contour building at 97-45 Queens Blvd. marks the most recent project to pop up in the neighborhood.
Seth Bornstein, the president of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, noted that a growing demand for condominiums is especially beneficial for the borough.
“People want to purchase,” he said. “There is a demand from people who want to invest in the borough and that idea of ownership is a good thing. It adds to a sense of community.”
Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at [email protected]