Just in case there were any doubt, year-end data from brokerage firm Ariel Property Advisors indicates that Brooklyn’s experiencing a bonafide “land rush.” And not the kind in which hopeful young people uproot themselves in search of the American dream, or anything like that, but the kind in which speculating investors drop around $2 billion on Brookyln development sites. Just so we’re clear.
Development site sales went up by 21 percent between 2012 and 2013, the number of properties traded rose by 35 percent, and the actual dollar value of said transactions went up a whopping 45 percent last year, totaling $1.8 billion. Predictably, Williamsburg saw the most action of any neighborhood, with 40 different development transactions totaling $284 million. The report also notes that, as predicted, the Barclays Center has driven up property values and rents in the surrounding neighborhoods, and one of the company’s advisors noted major price hikes in “emerging areas,” explaining, “Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant, for example, saw prices for some development sites more than double the 2012 average price per buildable square foot.
Overall, Brooklyn saw more commercial sales than any other borough, accounting for 40 percent of New York’s 2013 transactions on account of developers’ newfound interest in so-called “fringe” areas like Gowanus and Crown Heights.
Meanwhile, a separate report this week indicates that turnover is also increasing for renters, but mainly in response to landlords jacking up rents and tenants deciding to move elsewhere. It’s a defensive move, not an offensive one. All of which is to say, hang onto your hats. Or maybe find a nice ghost town to invest in instead.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.