Brooklyn new development: a building boom is underway that is transforming some neighborhoods. So if you’re interested in a brand new Brooklyn rental apartment, either today or sometime in the next, oh, three years… you’re in luck!
Not only does the great County of Kings have some of the prettiest, most conveniently-located, most sought-after neighborhoods in all of New York City–Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Park Slope, and the winner of the 2011 Curbed “Neighborhood of the Year” Cup, DoBro (aka Downtown Brooklyn), to name just a few–but there are also plenty of terrific communities where you can find Brooklyn rental apartments for a relative bargain, such as Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Greenpoint, Bay Ridge, and Prospect Heights.
And as if there haven’t been enough new developements built in the past few years (certain parts of DoBro are barely recognizable from a decade ago), recently the Wall Street Journal reported that, as of right now, there are some 14,000 new residential units in the early planning stages in the borough, as compared to only 5,000 in all in of Manhattan. Nearly three times as many!
The question is, how will this seemingly never-ending building boom effect the Brooklyn rental apartment market in the coming years… or, for that matter, the Manhattan rental apartment market? The answer seems to be: no one’s totally sure.
On the one hand, Brooklyn rental apartments have already been rising at near record rates; in 2011, in fact, the average rent of all size apartments rose more than 6.5%, and one-bedroom Brooklyn rental apartments going up a discomfiting 9.59% over the 2010 average rates. In comparison, rents in 2010 only went up less than .5%.
So all of the new inventory on the market last year seems to have driven rents higher, both in the areas in which they opened–notably Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn–as well in spillover neighborhoods Crown Heights and Clinton Hill. But what about when the boom REALLY hits?
A couple of things that real estate pros will tell about people who want to live in Brooklyn rental apartments: 1. they tend to be creative types and tech workers, much more so than your average apartment-seeker in Manhattan; 2. they’ve got an image in their head of an idealized Brooklyn, and it’s all about brownstones, not glassy towers.
It’s been noticed over the years that creative types spend a lot less of a percentage of their salary on rent than, say, finance workers. So: small is ok, as long as it’s well-designed, and they’re not necessarily wowed by the sorts of luxury amenities that have become such a part of contemporary buildings, such as pet spas, shiny gyms, and communal fire-pits.
Which is why, perhaps, even as Brooklyn rental apartments have gone up, they still average $700 – $1,000 less per month than their Manhattan counterparts. And only time will tell if developers treat Brooklyn renters as a different sort of New Yorker. This much is certain: new development in Brooklyn will continue for the next several years.
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