Rents in Bushwick Have Actually Declined Over the Last Year

Photos by Aliza Kellerman

Although we regularly decry the rentpocalypse and its steady encroachment upon New York neighborhoods far and wide, one rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn community has seen its average rents decrease over the last year. Bushwick might be home to newly constructed luxury buildings like 1209 Dekalb and upmarket condo-dwellings situated on the border of East New York, but the average rent in the neighborhood has dropped 16 percent in the last year, as per a report compiled by real estate firm, MNS

MNS’s August report contends that the decrease in average rent has much more to do with a confluence of new buildings entering the market in Bushwick as opposed to anything else. Although “Bushwick average rent fell drastically by 15.9 percent from $2,485.62 in August 2014 to $2,090.42 in August 2015,” the decrease “was largely contributed to the sample size increasing over four-fold since August 2014, illustrating the substantial growth in the Bushwick market,” the report maintains.

Andrew Barrocas, CEO of MNS, told DNAinfo that demand for new housing in Bushwick stimulated the building surge, and that there’s now “a supply to meet that demand.” Barrocas made mention of the fact that conventionally less popular areas in Bushwick are entering the bourgeoning rental market, and that the average rent in the neighborhood should be expected to rise in due time.

The surplus in Bushwick housing is also indicative of gentrification’s rapid spread eastward, where new residents are living continuously further down the L train off of stops like Wilson Avenue and Bushwick-Aberdeen. As the possibility of new real estate development moves even further into Bushwick, communities east of Broadway Junction station have solicited help from New York City Government to help keep their rent affordable. The Department of City Planning issued a plan last July stating that 50 percent of developments built in East New York in the next 15 years will fall under the realm of affordable housing.

Still, the inevitable rise of average rent in Bushwick is likely to presume its traditionally surging form, given the new swath of housing recently built along the JMZ line south of Myrtle Avenue. Rents closer to the JMZ trains, which are situated further away from Bushwick’s cultural hub of the Morgan and Jefferson Avenue L stops, are typically less expensive than other dwellings in the neighborhood.

Brick Underground  examined rents in various neighborhoods off the JMZ this summer and predictably, the further away one gets from Williamsburg and the Lower East side of Manhattan, the more affordable rent becomes. Barrocas hinted to DNA Info that the section of Bushwick south of Myrtle Ave,, with its slightly more affordable and plentiful housing crop, represented an alternative for people who “might have once gone to Williamsburg”

Although the decreasing of Bushwick’s average rent might seem like a cause for hope among the community’s generational residents, rent for certain apartment units, like studios and one-bedroom apartments, increased 3 percent from July 2015 to August alone, according to MNS. Studio apartments are regularly leased for upwards of $1,800/month in Bushwick.

Follow Sam Blum on Twitter @Blumnessmonster 

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