'Abnormal' Leap Hikes Bushwick Rents by Nearly 20 Percent, Report Says

By Meredith Hoffman on March 7, 2013 7:32am 

BUSHWICK — Forget Williamsburg's dramatic rent jumps — Bushwick's latest "abnormal" price leaps have just blown other Brooklyn neighborhoods out of the water.

Last month, Bushwick's residential rent prices increased by nearly one-fifth, even as most of the borough's other neighborhoods saw prices decrease amidst winter's slow market, a new report shows.

"It was very, very abnormal ...incredible," remarked Andrew Barrocas, chief executive officer of MNS Real Estate, which issued the report.

Barrocas claimed he has never seen such a quick boom — a phenomenon he attributed to a prime confluence of factors, from a lack of empty apartments to new housing developments.

Bushwick's average rents for studios rose to $2,400, one-bedrooms went for $2,800 and two-bedrooms cost $3,000. In  January, the overall average was $1,815, the report found.

"It takes a combination of low inventory, lower rents in the previous month and new property to see that spike," said Barrocas, noting that the February opening of brand new apartments on 949 Willoughby Ave. had helped push rental averages up.

"There's not a lot of large inventory in Bushwick — it's mainly smaller configured apartments with multiple bedrooms which drives up the price-per-foot."

Since December, Bushwick's average two-bedroom apartment prices have risen 22.75 percent (or $454), and one-bedrooms have increased an average of 21.43 percent (or $375), the real estate release also showed.

"A slight decrease is what you usually see this time of year," Barrocas said.

To Nick Zielinski, the sales and marketing director of Bushwick real estate company Nooklyn who also lives in the neighborhood, the local price jump was in keeping with the trend.

"Honestly, I'm not shocked at all," he said, claiming that price increases were actually common at this time of year. "Bushwick is exploding in popularity."

For longtime residents, Bushwick's rent increases have been a concern, and Bushwick Community Board 4 members have said the trend is pushing neighborhood natives out of the area.

In the future, Barrocas predicted continued rent increases especially with six soon-to-open new buildings in the neighborhood.

He noted that the lack of condos in the area also pushed more residents to rent, and called Bushwick "the art capital of New York ... and maybe of the country."

But Barrocas speculated that the prices would not leap so dramatically again in just one month as they did in February.

"I think you could see this kind of jump on an annual basis," he said of the 17 percent increase. "This area is building in popularity by the second...I always say the L train is the line of gold."

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