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Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill Heat Up Brooklyn's Rental Market

By Sonja Sharp | February 8, 2013 6:43am

BROOKLYN — After skyrocketing through much of 2012, rents in Brooklyn's ever-growing roster of coveted neighborhoods seem to have slowed their meteoric rise — though finding a pad is still a pricey endeavor.

Boroughwide, rental prices rose more slowly and in some neighborhoods even dropped slightly in January of 2013 after strong gains in 2012. The average rent remains about $200 higher than it was a year ago, according to a report released Thursday by MNS Real Estate.

"I don't think you’ll quite see the growth that we saw in the last year, but I do think you’ll see a growth," said Andrew Barrocas, the company's CEO. "Unemployment is dropping, so regardless of where it is, you see a lot of demand right now in the market."

Studios now command 13 percent more than they did last year, while one and two bedrooms each rose by about 7 percent.

Though rents increased nearly everywhere, Central Brooklyn made the biggest gains. New renters in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant are paying at least $100 more today than they were a year ago, the report showed.

The average rent for a studio or a two-bedroom in Fort Greene is more than $400 higher than it was in January of 2012, while the price of a one-bedroom jumped more than $600, from $2,597 to $3,254.

Similarly, the average rent for a two-bedroom in Clinton Hill jumped about $300, while the rent for a one-bedroom in Bed-Stuy grew by nearly $200.

The borough's popular northern neighborhoods saw another year of rapidly rising rents, with the average rent for a studio in Greenpoint rising by close to $1,000. Dumbo remained the most expensive place to rent, with studios commanding an average of more than $2,700.

"These are areas that saw tremendous growth with limited inventory," Barrocas said. "It’s not stopping."

Still, in many of the borough's sought-after areas, rents have either dipped or held steady.

Although Boerum Hill's two-bedrooms are dramatically more expensive than they were a year ago, renting a studio is cheaper now than in January of 2012.

Likewise, studios in Crown Heights are slightly cheaper on average than they were a year ago, and two-bedrooms are roughly the same price, $2,050. But one-bedrooms now command about $200 more.

"There’s a lot of rental growth and opportunity there as things get pushed out," Barrocas said. "The Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights market is doing very well."