MANHATTAN — What's the average two-bedroom renting for these days in Manhattan or the trendy parts of Brooklyn and Queens?
The answer might induce sticker shock as rents across the city continue to climb, with the least expensive "up-and-coming" Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods charging rents that are just as pricey as some neighborhoods in Manhattan, according to reports from real estate firms.
Prospect-Lefferts Gardens — the neighborhood next to Crown Heights that many brokers have labeled the next "it" spot in Brooklyn — offered the borough's most affordable two-bedrooms, which averaged $2,129 a month in July, according to a report from MNS Real Estate. The MNS report looked at North and Northwest Brooklyn, along with South Brooklyn's Bay Ridge and parts of East Brooklyn.
Ridgewood — an area next to Bushwick that's gotten a lot of attention as the next haven for artists — had the least expensive two-bedrooms in Queens, averaging $2,020 a month, according to the MNS Real Estate report. That report looked at the markets in Long Island City, Astoria, Jackson Heights, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Flushing and Ridgewood.
By comparison, Manhattan's most affordable neighborhood, Washington Heights, had an average rent of $2,084 a month, according to a report from Citi Habitats.
On the high end of the spectrum, Manhattan's most expensive two-bedrooms were in Battery Park City/Financial District, where average rents were $5,613 a month, according to Citi Habitats, though MNS found the priciest two-bedrooms were in SoHo's doorman buildings, where rents averaged $8,238 a month. MNS found that two-bedroom rents were highest in Dumbo, where they averaged $5,758 a month, and in Long Island City, where two-bedrooms averaged $3,775 a month.
While prices for two-bedrooms have not been climbing as fast as those of studios and one-bedrooms, rents for two-bedrooms did "edge up modestly," said Jonathan Miller, who authored Douglas Elliman's rental report.
Overall, median monthly rent for two-bedrooms in Manhattan was $4,165, up 1.5 percent from the year before, the Elliman report found.
The median rent for North, Northwest and Eastern Brooklyn — the areas covered in the report — was $3,307 a month, up nearly 2 percent from the year before.
In Northwest Queens — which includes the new development in Long Island City — two-bedroom median rents were even higher than Manhattan and Brooklyn's at $4,335, up 24 percent from the year before. But the market is tiny in this that of the borough, with only 77 units, so it's a much more "volatile" market, Miller noted.
Brokers say two-bedrooms are in highest demand this time of year as college students with roommates or families look to get settled before September.
Douglas Elliman's Luciane Serifovic said her team of real estate agents have noticed more renters are staying put since often it's not worth moving out in a market like this, which makes the inventory even tighter.
For example, a large building the firm regularly rents out units in, for instance, usually has two pages worth of new listings this time of year. Instead, that building's listings only spanned a quarter of one page, she said.
"Whatever we're getting is absorbed very quickly," Serifovic said, noting the firm has many clients waiting for units to become available.
Renters who can wait a few weeks or months will fare better, she said.
"The most popular moving day of year is Aug. 1, then Sept. 1. If you can wait until some time between September and December, inventory increases and prices go down," Serifovic said.