North Brooklyn rents are dropping amid looming L train shutdown

Rents in neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Greenpoint fell for the seventh straight month in February, according to StreetEasy

Mar.March 30, 2018 07:00 AM


The L train shutdown is about one year away, and rents in North Brooklyn are starting to reflect the upcoming inconvenience.

Rents in the Brooklyn submarket — which includes L train-dependent neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Greenpoint — dropped to $3,027 in February, marking the seventh straight month of decline, according to a report from StreetEasy. Additionally, 25 percent of rentals in North Brooklyn took a price cut in February, which was the largest share in the borough.

“Now that we’re in the period where new leases will overlap with the shutdown in April 2019, we’re seeing landlords get more liberal with discounts to make sure they attract tenants — and maybe even incentivize them to stay for longer than a year,” StreetEasy senior economist Grant Long said in a statement. “Renters should consider the reality of limited transportation to these areas, but there are bargains to be had if that’s a trade-off they’re willing to make.”

The average home sales price in North Brooklyn stayed fairly strong despite the impending closure, jumping 3.3 percent year-over-year to about $1.1 million. But the time spent on the market hit 108 days — a 34-day increase from a year earlier. And houses in the neighborhood took longer to sell in February than they did in any other submarket in the borough.

Queens also saw its share of decreases in rents and sales prices. On the whole, rents in the borough fell by an average of $41 per month to $2,064, and the amount of price cuts offered on homes hit 5.9 percent in February. In the borough’s priciest submarket, Northwest Queens, rents dropped 3.3 percent year-over-year to $2,148. Homes in the area sold relatively quickly, spending a median of 81 days on the market.

Meanwhile, Manhattan rents stayed relatively flat, rising just 0.6 percent to hit $3,129. Home prices rose 8 percent to about $1.2 million, although they dropped in Upper Manhattan and on the Upper East Side by 1.9 and 1.3 percent, respectively. The Upper West Side offered the most discounts on rentals, with one in four properties receiving one.

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