Brooklyn Boom Squeezing Buyers and Renters


A dramatic surge in sale prices and rents is causing change and displacement at a head-spinning pace in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy, Bushwick and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, according to a story in Bloomberg. Buyers with more than a million to spend are choosing to buy whole houses in Crown Heights and similar neighborhoods rather than cramped apartments elsewhere. The story said:

Young buyers and renters who can no longer afford such established communities as Fort Greene, Park Slope and Williamsburg are moving to Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant and Bushwick, bidding against investors for townhomes that have been neglected for decades. Longtime tenants too poor to afford the new rents in the predominantly black districts are moving out to less-well connected, more dangerous places.

We were particularly struck by this stark — and potentially depressing, depending on your situation — description of the wealth now required to buy in much of Brooklyn:

Families with children are increasingly choosing to stay in New York City and if they don’t have millions to spend, their options are limited, said Kathleen Perkins, a Realtor at Douglas Elliman Real Estate who helped the Katzes find their Crown Heights townhouse. “My cheapest house for sale in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill is $2,500,000,” Perkins said. “If you have $1,500,000 and you’re my client, I’m driving you to Bed Stuy or Crown Heights.”

The story is pitch-perfect, in our opinion, in its overview of what is happening here and why, even though none of it will be news to regular readers of Brownstoner. Does it ring true to you?

Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights [Bloomberg]

4 Comment

  • Sadly this was sort of what I went through earlier this year. There are still lots of options in bed stuy for under a million but the finishes are cheap and the work shoddy. In crown heights you could find nice turn key options for about a million, places ~650-750k that were cheap reno’s, and full reno houses for about 500k.

    I decided to go for a different train line, I went further out on the 2/5 near BK college, the triangle junction reminded me of downtown fort greene circa 2000. The developers are heading my way. Chetrit, hello living, clipper and lots of smaller guys are doing work. About two weeks ago a place on New york and New Kirk that was purchased for 1.25m was knocked down, I didn’t see the paperwork going up but I expect condos.

    I’m on the east side of flatbush BKC and there was a clear price divide. 2 fam houses that were nearly identical on the west side of flatbush went for 1 million and up, identical houses on the east side of flatbush went for 600. Now I see new listings for 800k on the east side of flatbush because developers are getting hip. If you’re near a subway line direct to manhattan expect them to build.

    • John, I think you are confused. Houses in Crown Heights for $500k…yes, that was probably 10 years ago and not earlier this year. These days you won’t find a house below $1.2M even if it needs a full gut.

      • It was earlier this year. I looked at 4 different houses off of the Kingston and Utica stops, 3 of them were on St Johns 2 of the 3 were SFH, I don’t remember exactly where the 4th house was since I walked there after viewing a condo in prospect heights.

        Heck I was even approached by one broker to look into a short sale/foreclosure that I could get for 425k if I was willing to write the owner a check for 50k to leave without destroying the home.

        I was looking in Jan/Feb/March because I knew that with 10″ of snow on the ground you’re only selling your house if you have to. Which also meant that you could get a deal. I was looking for over a year, and that was the only time I had ever been to open houses at attractive properties where sign in sheets had 4 or 5 names on them.

  • No, this does not ring true to me. Rising real estate prices benefit everyone equally, as does the harmony of public officials, real estate developers, and local residents, such that there is no displacement, and peoples of all income may live in New York City.