Albany is currently debating rent reforms to help solve the ever-worsening affordable housing crisis in NYC, and two new reports show that apartment rental prices have reached historic highs in Brooklyn and Queens, with the exception of North Brooklyn, and retail rents are dipping in Williamsburg while rising in Greenpoint.
The StreetEasy Q1 2019 Market Report shows that rents “in Brooklyn and Queens reached all-time highs of $2,608 and $2,173, respectively.” A 0.5 percent decrease in North Brooklyn’s rental prices is linked to the L train debacle and the uncertainty that the Canarsie Tunnel repair schedule caused.
The full Q1 findings for Brooklyn:
Rents reached an all-time high. The StreetEasy Brooklyn Rent Index rose 2.2% to $2,608, an all-time high for the borough. Northwest Brooklyn rents rose the most — up 3.3% to $3,068.
The share of rent cuts fell the most. Only 17.1% of rentals had a price cut in the first quarter, down 6.7 percentage points from last year and dipping to the lowest share since 2011.
Sales prices rose slightly. The StreetEasy Brooklyn Price Index rose 0.4% to $712,413. Prices increased the most in South Brooklyn [v] — up 4.6% to $726,979.
More sellers cut their asking price. The share of homes with price cuts rose 6.3 percentage points to 21.2% borough-wide. While the share of price cuts grew, the median price cut remained unchanged from the previous year at 5.2%.
Homes took two weeks longer to sell. Homes for sale stayed on the market for 14 days longer than last year — up to 85 days total, the longest period since 2012.
The Real Estate Board of New York’s bi-annual Brooklyn retail report also cites an L train-induced decline in Williamsburg, where asking retail rents for addresses in the “Williamsburg retail corridor,” mostly declined.
Four of the five Williamsburg retail corridors surveyed witnessed declines in ground floor average asking rents during the winter of 2019. Along Bedford Avenue, between North 8th Street and North 12th Street, the average asking rent fell to $147 per square foot (psf) representing a 17 percent year-over-year decline. Similarly, above Grand Street and up to North 8th Street, the average asking rent decreased 11 percent to $319 psf compared to the winter of 2018. According to REBNY’s Brooklyn Retail Advisory Group, over the past year, asking rents along the corridor underwent price corrections to levels that have fostered a recent uptick in retail transactions. Prime spaces have been leased by tenants such as Alo Yoga, Happy Socks, Chase, and Sephora. Current asking rents are based on the leftover available space and no longer include these pricier spaces.
The retail rents in Greenpoint seem to have benefitted from the L train partial shutdown, as average asking retail rent increased on both Manhattan Avenue and Franklin Street.
In Greenpoint, the ground floor retail average asking rent on Manhattan Avenue, between Driggs Avenue and Kent Street, rose nine percent to $70 psf, compared to the winter of 2018. Likewise, on Franklin Street, between Meserole Avenue and Commercial Street, the average asking rent increased 23 percent year-over-year to $70 psf. This upward trend is due to a combination of increased local foot traffic from new, high-density residential developments along the Greenpoint waterfront and an increased willingness among owners to accommodate a diverse spectrum of tenants, by building out retail space and providing long-term lease agreements.