Between a massive spike in Greenpoint rents, the ever-increasing average of Williamsburg rents, and an apparent division between "prime" Williamsburg and, uh, the rest of Williamsburg, now seems like a good a time as any to check in on this mess. Neighborhood by neighborhood, here's what you need to know.
Can you still afford to live in "North" Williamsburg—above Grand and west of the BQE—without some crazy, grandfathered-in rent control setup? Well, congratulations richie rich, you're among a shrinking elite, and should come to DUMBO and buy me an overpriced lunch or something.
According to realtors, this area is now considered "prime Williamsburg," with average rents at a staggering $3,499. The factors driving this are pretty straightforward—proximity to the L, proximity to endless bars and restaurants, etc. If for some reason you can afford to invest in property here, now's probably the time to do it.
Just moving south of the Williamsburg bridge slashes average rents significantly, down to an average of $2,900 west of the BQE, and $1,900 to the east. In spite of a development spurt that includes a forthcoming luxury hotel, the neighborhood still has one of the highest concentrations of poverty in the city. "In a lot of ways it’s a composite of different sub-neighborhoods," City Council Member Stephen Levin explained to DNAinfo. "I'm not surprised to see those discrepancies because there are hotter areas than others. But the high-end prices are being driven by gentrification that’s clearly in overdrive."
East of the BQE, in the section of Williamsburg some people are still sort of trying to call Bushwick, rents are almost as high as in "prime" territory, averaging out at $3,324. South of Grand, they drop down to $2,400. "You see a big push going out toward East Williamsburg into Bushwick along the L. And everything in South Williamsburg, near Broadway and especially the waterfront...is becoming a lot more desirable," said MNS Real Estate CEO Andrew Barrocas. Not a huge surprise, given the massive spike in prices nearby in actual Bushwick.
Just a week after a record-breaking $3 million loft hit the market (and sold almost immediately) in the neighborhood comes MNS Real Estate's annual report, which indicates a 20 percent rise in Greenpoint rents over the past year, an average of $457 per apartment.
"A lot of business owners saw such success in Williamsburg and see such similarity in the areas...the retail component is filling in much more quickly, whereas in Williamsburg we're still getting major amenities," Barrocas explained. With major new condo developments now in the works, we can pretty definitely expect to see more and more stories like this coming from Greenpoint. So, uh, lock down your lease while you can? Or, if you have money, just keep doing whatever it is you're doing. Things will work out alright for you.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.