The Brooklyn Bubble?

The Brooklyn Bubble?


Renowned for its trendy residential areas and popular retail establishments, Brooklyn has recently been the most preferred and prominent borough in New York City. The rise of Brooklyn was further bolstered by several rezoning projects, where manufacturing and industrial areas were repurposed into residential and retail areas. The accessibility of Brooklyn to Manhattan due to the easy availability of public transport made it an attractive place for people who were working in Manhattan, since sky-high rents made it almost impossible to live there.

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There are major projects coming up in Brooklyn, such as Pacific Park and City Point, which will provide thousands of additional residential units. This gives tough competition to the neighboring boroughs of Bronx and Queens. Though these boroughs are developing at a fast pace, there is still much to be done to catch up with the allure of Brooklyn. There are rezoning projects that could result in industrial areas getting developed into residential areas in the Bronx and Queens, but might take some time to get off the ground.

An enormous brick townhouse in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, sold to the photographer Jay Maisel for $15.5 million, June 15'

A townhouse in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, sold to the photographer Jay Maisel for $15.5 million, breaking the record for the highest price ever paid for a single residence in the borough, June 15′ (Source: NYT)

With prices and rentals in Brooklyn becoming so high that they almost reach the exponential levels of Manhattan, it is clear that Bronx and Queens have the potential to become the next Brooklyn, if there is proper planning and execution of plans.

Rental prices being driven up the roof

Rents in Brooklyn are surging because of the focus on luxury apartments, which result in increasing demands for the non-luxury units, which results in rentals for these units going up. This is a catch-22 situation for people who are looking for affordable housing and affordable real estate space in and around the Manhattan area. Just like Brooklyn is becoming attractive in light of the unaffordable rentals in Manhattan, Bronx and Queens too could become the next in line for being the most sought-after boroughs, if Brooklyn too becomes unattainable, just like Manhattan!

Source: Douglass Elliman

Source: Douglas Elliman

The new supply of residential units in Brooklyn can lead to bubble burst, if it is left to grow unattended. If nobody rents out apartments in Brooklyn because of the high rents, which keep them out of reach of the average professional, then people will be forced to move to other boroughs like Queens and Bronx. While this would greatly help in the development of these boroughs, they do not bode well for Brooklyn. Brooklyn’s growth could collapse back into itself, leading to another real estate bubble burst, which could in turn lead to rentals getting reduced again and reaching more affordable levels.

In Brooklyn, there is expected to be more than 4500 residential units available for rent by the year 2016. Rentals for studios in Brooklyn soared to more than 15% of the previous year. History was made in Brooklyn real estate when a 900-square foot home was listed for $1.5 million this year. The listing of this 17-foot home for such an astronomical figure (when it was originally bought for $150,000 in 1989) shows just how high real estate prices are soaring in Brooklyn. The future possibilities for real estate in Brooklyn is mind boggling.

Demand is growing

With the population of New York City estimated to grow to 10 million by the year 2030, there is definitely going to be increased demand for residential units in Brooklyn, Bronx, or Queens. Many professionals are looking for real estate now in the boroughs of Bronx and Queens. With the economy looking up and increasing opportunities available for young professionals in the city, these places are becoming more and more attractive as potential residential hubs to stay in while working in Manhattan. These boroughs provide a great sense of community, good schools, and a diverse demographic that is conducive to both young professionals as well as retired people who are looking for a more laid-back lifestyle.

Some of the other areas, in and around Manhattan, that are slowly developing and have the potential to give Brooklyn a run for its money are Riverdale (Bronx), Middle Village (Queens), Central Harlem, and Astoria (Queens).

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