Business & Career Library

Business Resources: Property Information in Brooklyn and Manhattan

All Brooklyn Public Library locations will be closed for Labor Day weekend from Saturday, August 30 through Monday, September 1.

Data on recently sold property in New York City is available online at ACRIS (Automated City Register Information System. To locate the price of a property, choose "Search Property Records", then choose the search option "Document Type." Select "Deed" and the date range you are interested in searching. Once you find the list of deeds, click on the "DET" to see the detailed record for each property. The sale price of the propery is listed in the "Doc. Amount" field. Addresses can be converted into block/lot numbers and vice-versa via the "Find Addresses and Parcels" feature. Once you have a block/lot number, this number can be entered into the "Parcel Identifier" search option to reveal a host of relevant documents, not just deeds.

In addition to ACRIS, many NYC government agencies provide other useful information. For example, NYCProperty allows users to look up an address and quickly view block and lot information, owner's name, real estate billing address, property history, property tax payments, assessment data and water charges. Building and lot dimensions are buried within the assessment rolls. The New York City Department of Finance supplies more general information about NYC's real estate taxes. You can check the status of building violations and complaints through the Buildings Department's Buildings Information System.

Information on recent local real estate transactions is also available in book form. In some cases, these can be easier to browse than online resources. Both residential and commercial sales may be found in Brooklyn Comps Directory. Brooklyn Comps reports single-family homes, two- to three-family homes, apartments, condominiums, etc.

The Standard Brooklyn Commercial Directory provides block and lot number, owner's contact information, lot and building size, and sales and assessment data.

The Real Estate Directory of Manhattan provides detailed information on residential buildings in four volumes, including comparable sale prices.

To locate information on residential cooperatives and condominiums in Brooklyn and Manhattan, use the Coop/Condo Directory of Brooklyn and the Coop/Condo Directory of Manhattan. The listings provide a physical description of the building and the names of the managing agent, the board president and the building superintendent. The owners/cooperators of individual units are not listed.

TitleVest is a website that provides copies of condominium and cooperative offering plans and other services such as ACRIS and foreclosure searches.

Realtor.com can be used for locating information on home sale prices. Realtor.com evaluate prices, property taxes and mortgage rates.

PropertyShark is a website that combines proprietary data with public data. The Business Library has a subscription (only available at the Business & Career Library) for locating detailed property listings in New York City. The comprehensive listing of a given property includes its sale history, ownership information, zoning, etc. Foreclosure listings and comparable sales along with telephone numbers and maps are also available.

Zoning is also critically important because it sets limits on how a property may be developed or utilized.

Sanborn Maps are large-scale plans that include information such as the outline of each building, the size, shape etc. These maps also provide street names, sidewalk and street widths, property boundaries and house and block numbers. The Business Library has an electronic subscription (only available at the Business Library), for Brooklyn information.