QUEENS — Rego Park, a long-overlooked neighborhood in Central Queens, is suddenly a hot spot for renters, boasting prices almost as high as its tonier neighbor, Forest Hills, according to a new monthly report released Thursday by MNS, a real estate brokerage firm.
The spike — nearly 13 percent for one-bedrooms and more than 9 percent for two-bedrooms — was fueled by an influx of high-end buildings and young families clamoring for space in the "family destination" after being priced out of other areas such as Long Island City and Astoria, real estate experts said.
“Rego Park definitely has been a beneficiary of what’s happening all around,” said Andrew Barrocas, CEO of MNS. “As prices increased in areas like Long Island City and Astoria, Rego Park has definitely gotten some of the people who got priced out of those neighborhoods.”
According to the monthly report, the average price for one-bedroom apartments in Rego Park went up 12.28 percent from July to $1,996.
Prices for two-bedroom units increased by 9.31 percent, from $2,347 in July to $2,566 in August, according to the report.
But in some instances, prices for large apartments in the neighborhood can reach nearly $3,000 for one-bedroom units and $3,500 for two-bedroom apartments, real estate experts said.
Only prices for studios decreased. They went down 6.98 percent, from $1,424 in July to $1,325 in August, MNS said.
Harold Valestin, vice president of MNS, said the reason for the decrease in prices for studio apartments is that “Rego Park is becoming more of a family destination, particularly for young families,” who usually seek larger apartments.
This is due in part to the neighborhood's proximity to the shopping areas in Forest Hills and the city.
"If people want to hang out, Forest Hills and Austin Street is not far, shopping options are very good and highway access is phenomenal," he said.
The prices in Rego Park are just shy of those in Forest Hills, where renters had to pay average $1,494 for a studio, $1,926 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,587 for a two-bedroom unit, according to the report.
But they're still a far cry from Astoria and Long Island City where one-bedrooms go for $2,064 and $2,867, respectively.
They also buck the trend for the borough overall where rents were down around 4 percent to $2,034.
Rego Park, the report said, has been also experiencing a “notable growth spurt,” which is the result of "newly available units in high-end new developments,” the MNS report said.
The trend, experts said, started several years ago with The Contour, a 108-unit building at 97-45 Queens Blvd., built in the 1960s as an office building, and recently converted into a residential building.
The units feature oak parquet floors, high ceilings and high-end appliances.
Some old buildings in the area have also been renovated to include modern and luxury apartments, Valestin said.