When it comes to the Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant or Bed-Stuy area, the real estate market has been going through the roof. Townhouses going for a million dollars and $2,000 monthly rent for apartments are hardly an uncommon feature over the past few years as this area has really exploded in terms of real estate interest.
This is happening in these two areas of New York City despite the fact that right next door there has been a wave of high violence crime that would normally drive down such prices. Murder, burglaries and muggings have been on the rise, which makes those who live in the Bed-Stuy and Bushwick areas more vulnerable to being victims. And yet the real estate boom continues to buck the historical trend of nearby high crime rates being a factor. The reason as to why this is happening are still not totally understood, but it is assumed that if the crime were to spread more fully into these two areas the real estate market might collapse.
The Rising Crime Rate
Many of the police who patrol the Bushwick and Bed-Stuy areas have been warning those who live there that they must take greater precautions because of their vulnerability. This is because there is ample evidence of crime slowly leaking into their communities. With new people moving in who are seemingly unaware of the situation, they are actually more vulnerable because of being so unprepared.
In fact, many of the people moving in are from out of state which only adds to their unawareness of the high crime rate that is next to their homes. This is because all they are seeing is the beautiful home that they have purchased, yet they are ignoring the housing projects that are surrounding their community.
Quite often the muggings occur when these new million dollar home owners decide to go out at night and find themselves in an unfamiliar and unfriendly territory. Furthermore, they are finding themselves being robbed and burglarized as well since they do not have adequate protection for their homes. Overall, the crime rate in the area had risen upwards of 10% in the past year alone fueled in part by the volatile mixture of wealthy people moving into higher crime rate areas. With a nearly 10% rise in shooting victims and almost 12% drop in gun charges which may partially be a result of the controversial stop and frisk policies which have been curtailed under the current mayor.
So, the question becomes just why are these people so uninformed about the situation that they are moving into at a rising rate? The answer is a combination of many of them being from out of state where they have not been able to access the local news, which informs on crimes regularly and the overall crime rate in NYC which has actually dropped by 4% last year. So, whatever news they hear about the crime rate is usually the overall number and it does not reflect the rise that is happening in the Bushwick and Bed-Stuy areas.
The Renovation in Bushwick and Bed-Stuy Continues
Despite the growing news of the rising crime rate in their neighborhoods, there are now dozens of renovated brick and brownstone townhouses which are rated at well over a million dollars each. It seems as if ignorance or at least false hope has taken hold in the area as the real estate market is continuing to thrive through all of this, but how long will the Bed-Stuy boom will last?
Interestingly enough, in Bushwick, where many of the homes have boarded up windows to protect against burglaries from occurring, the townhouses which are either being built or renovated are being advertised as investment properties which implies some type of long term growth which few in the real estate industry actually see happening. In just one month, rents in the area have spiked upwards of nearly 30% with the average one-bedroom rental costing a whopping $2,647 per month. This is a staggering amount that may not show a decline soon unless the bubble actually bursts.
Interestingly enough, many of those who are looking over the townhouses in the area seem to believe that they are changing the neighborhood for the better. This is because on the surface the crime rate is not present as there are plenty of small retail stores and beautiful townhouses for sale. However, with the recent deaths of some who have been looking after the properties or having recently purchased townhouses in the area, the news about the rising crime rate and appalling violence is now starting to leak out.