Real estate brokerage MNS released its market reports for April today, and renters aren't likely to be thrilled with its findings. Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens all saw increases in average rents over the past month, which doesn't bode well for New Yorkers planning to relocate during peak moving season, which runs from this month to September. And in some parts of the outer boroughs, the increases may also serve as predictors of which neighborhoods will next undergo the shift from sleepy to sought-after.
The hikes were steepest in Manhattan, with average monthly rents increasing by 2.79 percent, despite a concurrent increase in inventory. In Brooklyn and Queens, rents went up by 1.84 and 0.65 percent, respectively, but at the neighborhood level, there were some interesting fluctuations in price.
In Brooklyn, for instance, Williamsburg went against borough-wide trends, seeing decreases in the costs of studio and two-bedroom rentals, which MNS primarily attributes to the large waterfront development 1 N 4th. The luxury rental property, which opened in early 2015, has now leased most of its units, and as its pricey apartments go off the market, overall rental rates drop as well.
It's possible there's another factor at play, too: The looming L train shutdown has brokers concerned about a potential early impact on the market, while some residents contemplate a move, reports AM New York.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn's highest rent increase—10.6 percent—was in Bay Ridge, where average studio costs jumped to $1,490 from $1,388, and two-bedrooms to $2,345 from $2,227. The south Brooklyn neighborhood at the end of the R line has been attracting more notice recently, including an April writeup from the New York Times, which noted its old school vibe, mix of ethnic restaurants, and small town feel (though perhaps not for long.)
In Queens, Long Island City remains the most expensive area, and rents on two-bedrooms skyrocketed by nearly 10 percent last month. At the other end of the spectrum, two-bedrooms in Ridgewood, at an average of $2100 per month, are the cheapest in the borough--but that, too, may change. Over the past year, rents in the neighborhood at the Queens-Brooklyn border have jumped by 8.34 percent, which, according to MNS, indicates a strong emerging market. Ridgewood has gotten the Times treatment, too, with the paper touting it an "affordable alternative" for folks priced out of places like Greenpoint and Park Slope.
In Manhattan, too, the MNS report suggests that the tide may be turning in traditionally affordable markets. Though Harlem remains the least expensive neighborhood for rentals across the board—from studios to two-bedrooms, in both doorman and non-doorman buildings—average rents uptown climbed 5.5 percent from March to April. Two-bedrooms in doorman buildings experienced the largest jump, to $3,853 from $3,544.
And since it's been proven that rents really do go up in the summer, it's reasonable to expect these trends to continue for at least the next few months—so you might want to consider staying put for now.
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