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Rents Drop to Normal After Bushwick's 'Abnormal' Price Leap, Report Shows

By Meredith Hoffman | April 3, 2013 5:02pm | Updated on April 3, 2013 5:06pm

BUSHWICK — Frantic renters can take a deep breath — Bushwick may be hot, but it's not quite as red-hot as it recently seemed.

After "abnormal" leaps in February hiked the neighborhood's rents by nearly 20 percent, prices dropped back down in March to "more common" rates, a new report by MNS Real Estate says.

The February rent increase of 17 percent — which MNS' CEO Andrew Barrocas said was unprecedented in the city and "incredible" — was partly due to the opening of new high-end buildings like 949 Willoughby Ave., Barrocas said, noting that a wider variety of less expensive inventory opened in March.

"A new product came into the area at a higher price point," he said of the Willoughby building. "If there's no new inventory in that building left the next month, prices drop back down...Rent's still higher [in Bushwick] than it was before and it's going to go even higher."

In March, a wider spread of other rentals that opened up at lower prices caused a 12 percent price drop, the report found.

Still, rents were far more expensive than last March, with studios an average of $1,750 compared to last year's $1,265, one bedrooms were $1,882 compared to last year's $1,612, and two-bedrooms averaged $1,977 compared to last year's $1,871.

The area's rapid boom has sparked recent concern among longtime residents, including members of Bushwick's Community Board 4, which is pushing to rezone the neighborhood to stave off high-rise developments.

Barrocas said that March's rent decrease "absolutely does not" mean prices will continue to drop.

"In next 12 — 24 months you're going to see a continued increase in the Bushwick market," Barrocas maintained, "especially as prices in areas like Williamsburg and East Williamsburg go up, and it causes a ripple effect."