We’ve all had the experience in the past five years of walking the streets of Brooklyn while dodging excessive scaffolding and construction dust. More of these sites have popped up month by month, more re-routed walks devised to avoid them, and, before long, you’ve forgotten what anything looked like before the whole neighborhood became a construction party.
But one good thing has come of it all. As DNAinfo tells us, from a report made by Douglas Elliman, this housing boom has led to a greater number of available rentals, and more rental vacancies, as of last July, than in any other month in the last seven years. And that has prompted brokers to lower rental prices and make concessions to potential tenants so that rents, even in the smallest increments—take a seat for this one—, have actually gone down.
Brokers refer to available housing as “inventory,” the commodity that it is (lol), and this “inventory” across Brooklyn increased last year by 29.6 percent, equaling 2,424 available units, the Douglas Elliman report found. It also noted that, as this inventory created a new housing deluge across the borough, Manhattan vacancies rose, too, by 2.49 percent, the greatest amount in the last nine years.
Developers and brokers may have a lot of power, but they, too, are powerless in the face of the market—despite the fact that it is one they have helped create. More vacancies have given hopeful tenants, at long last, rent that is not quite so breathtakingly high (for now): in Brookyn last month, this equalled a median rental drop of .8 percent. Though, in those high-end luxury buildings going up in Brooklyn, whose construction scaffolding you’ve been avoiding everywhere, rents have increased by 2.1 percent. Hey, someone’s gotta pay for those half basketball courts and lifestyle directors included inside.
And, all the better for the rest of us. For my part, I will take a .8 percent drop in rent in an apartment that is not stacked high within all those brittle towers.