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Rent Prices in LIC and Astoria Are Down, Report Says

 New development in Astoria and other parts of northwest Queens is stalling rent growth in the area.
New development in Astoria and other parts of northwest Queens is stalling rent growth in the area.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

ASTORIA — The neighborhood might be gentrifying but living there is getting cheaper, according to a new report.

Rents in northwest Queens dropped slightly in April compared to the month and year before, a dip driven by an abundance of new development in the area that's surpassing demand, according to the market report from Douglas Elliman.

The average rental price in the region — which includes Long Island City, Astoria, Woodside and Sunnyside — was down 3.5 percent in April compared to March, and down 1.6 percent compared to April of 2015, the report shows.

Median rent prices in the area were also down 1.6 percent in April from the month before, and .4 percent compared to April of last year. It's actually dipped during four of the last five months this year compared to last, according to the analysis.

Report author Jonathan Miller attributes the change to a glut of new apartments in northwest Queens.

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"It has a much higher concentration of new development than any other area," he said. 

"The demand is there, but the supply is rising faster than demand can absorb."

The report noted a 46 percent uptick in the number of apartment listings this April compared to the year before, with 488 listings last month versus 334 the same month in 2015.

Luxury buildings are seeing the biggest dip in rents since they make up most of the new development in the area, Miller said. Median luxury rents fell 6.3 percent, from $4,198 last April to $3,933 last month, according to the report.

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The average price of a three-bedroom apartment in northwest Queens was $4,196 this year, down from $5,573 in April of 2015. Studio rents saw a less dramatic change, with an average of $2,232 a month in April of this year compared to $2,282 last year.

While Queens was the only borough in the report to see a drop in rents — those in both Manhattan and Brooklyn were up slightly — Miller said rent prices are growing at a slower pace citywide.

"The days of strong steady rent growth are behind us," he said.