These neighborhoods provide the most bang for homebuyers’ buck

Queens locales, led by Briarwood, among the cheapest: StreetEasy

(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Want to get the most space for your dollar in New York City? Queens is your best bet.

StreetEasy analyzed the asking price per square foot in the borough, as well as in Manhattan and Brooklyn. It found the median asking price per square foot in Queens last month was $540, followed by Brooklyn ($666). Manhattan ($1,612) was a distant third.

StreetEasy used that figure to calculate how much house buyers can purchase for the median asking price in January, $950,000. That works out to 1,759 square feet in Queens and 1,427 in Brooklyn. In Manhattan it buys a postage stamp: 589 square feet.

“There is a real separation between what is happening in Manhattan and the rest of New York City right now,” said StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu. “The price for a single square foot of space in Manhattan is more than double Brooklyn and Queens. For anyone prioritizing more space for less, looking outside of Manhattan is almost a no-brainer.”

But price per square foot varies widely within each borough. For example, other than their initial letter and the first three digits of their zip code, Brooklyn neighborhoods Brownsville, Bay Ridge and Boerum Hill have little in common.

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By neighborhood, buyers’ bucks go furthest in several Queens enclaves. Briarwood’s median asking price per square foot in January was $339. Other Queens neighborhoods among the five cheapest were Kew Gardens, St. Albans and South Jamaica. Only Brownsville broke up the Queens party, ranking second least expensive at $348 per square foot.

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Brownsville’s median asking price per square foot was almost $100 below that of any other neighborhood in Brooklyn. Canarsie was next cheapest at $420, followed by East New York, East Flatbush and Bergen Beach.

On the other side of the Brooklyn spectrum, three neighborhoods had a median asking price per square foot above $1,600: Cobble Hill ($1,749), Dumbo ($1,693) and Brooklyn Heights ($1,607).

Unsurprisingly, the bastions offering the least bang for buyers’ bucks were all in Manhattan. Nolita was the priciest at $2,498 per square foot. Rounding out the top five in the city were Central Park South ($2,296), the West Village ($2,260), Midtown ($2,216) and Soho ($2,144).

Midtown had among the largest year-over-year jumps in the metric, up 33 percent.

For the city as a whole, $950,000 buys 1,031 square feet, roughly 53 more than in January 2021. The median price per square foot was down 3.8 percent year-over-year in Brooklyn but up 11.1 percent in Manhattan — StreetEasy’s largest recorded boroughwide annual increase since 2015.