At this point, it’s more or less like clockwork that whenever new monthly or quarterly data about New York real estate rolls out, it’ll warrant a lot of (rightly) alarming headlines about Brooklyn rents skyrocketing, Brooklyn rents closing in on Manhattan’s, and “abnormal” spikes in artificially inflated markets like Bushwick. This time, though, the craziest news is coming out of Queens.
Not to say that things in Manhattan and Brooklyn aren’t also insane. That’s not stopping any time soon. A new report from Reis, Inc. indicates that Manhattan rents are averaging out at more than $3,000 per month and Brooklyn’s have increased to $1,721, a 1.5% annual jump that means prices here continue to shoot up notably faster than in Manhattan. But in Queens? The prices leapt 5.6% in the past year, to an average rent of $1,662. Not a lot cheaper than Brooklyn.
And, of course, there are likely mitigating factors—popular neighborhoods like Ridgewood and Astoria probably nudge up Queens’ numbers, just as the large swaths of Brooklyn that still struggle with dizzyingly high poverty rates almost certainly brought down the averages from increasingly tony neighborhoods, where anyone who’s ever looked at Craigslist can tell you the rents average far higher than $1,700 a month.
Still, this comes as a bit of a shock, and sort of yanks away the safety net of picking up and moving to Queens if things here ever get too out of control. Another telltale sign? When you Google image search Queens, in addition to “map” and “Greek,” suggested sub-categories now include “apartment” and “hipster.” The surest sign yet of cripplingly expensive things to come.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.