Lack of Condos Driving Up Housing Sales Prices in LIC and Astoria: Report

By Jeanmarie Evelly on May 1, 2014 3:10pm 

 An apartment at The Bindery, a condo building at 47-34 11th St. in Long Island City.
An apartment at The Bindery, a condo building at 47-34 11th St. in Long Island City.
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Modern Spaces

LONG ISLAND CITY — Housing prices are on the rise in Long Island City, driven by low inventory in the condo market — and the demand is spilling over into neighboring Astoria, which is also seeing prices soar, according to a new report.

The report from brokerage firm Modern Spaces found the average sales price for an apartment in Long Island City was $930 per square foot during the first quarter of the year, up from $768 during the first quarter of 2013.

The rise is due to a short supply of condos in the neighborhood, which has sellers holding out for high prices as buyers compete over available units, according to the firm.

"That's all because of lack of supply and more demand, since there hasn't been enough condos being developed," said Modern Spaces president Eric Benaim.

Instead, developers have built more rental buildings than condos in recent years, he added.

Last month, brokerage firm aptsandlofts.com reported a similar trend in the neighborhood, estimating that there were more than 10,000 new rental units in the pipeline for Long Island City compared to approximately 500 planned condo units.

Modern Spaces said there are 74 condos currently on the market in Long Island City.

Newer condo buildings that Modern Spaces marketed this past quarter include The Bindery, a 20-unit property at 47-34 11th St. and The Vista, a 48-unit building at 44-15 Purves St., both of which sold out in February, as well as the 27-unit Five27, at 5-27 51st Ave. which hit the 100 percent-sold mark in March.

The highest sale per square foot in the neighborhood during the most recent quarter was at The Vista, where the price peaked at $1,024 a foot for a one-bedroom, one-bath penthouse with a rooftop terrace for a total sale price of $711,769.

The average cost of a one-bedroom in Long Island City was $632,188 this quarter, according to the report.

Benaim says the low condo inventory has helped boost prices not only in new buildings, but on the resale market, or units that were previously owned and occupied.

"Even the prices in the older buildings were skyrocketing because of that," he said.

The high demand has spilled over to raise sales prices in neighboring Astoria as well, as buyers edged  out of Long Island City look elsewhere, Benaim said.

According to the report, apartments in Astoria sold for an average of $804 per square foot during the first quarter of 2014, compared to $619 during the same quarter the year before (average prices per square foot for the second, third and final quarter of 2013 were $563, $703, and $644, respectively).

The average cost of a one-bedroom in Astoria was $445,418 during the first quarter of 2014, according to Modern Spaces' data.

"A lot of people who can't find it over here are going over to the next neighborhood," Benaim said, a trend he's seen play out across the city. "This is kind of happening all over."

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