QUEENS — Jamaica might be on the rise, but it's still more affordable than many other neighborhoods around the city, real estate experts say.
The once overlooked and crime-ridden area has been undergoing numerous changes in recent years, as multiple developers plan to build hotels and housing to the neighborhood.
But despite the boom in building in the neighborhood, Jamaica continues to be one of the most inexpensive neighborhoods in the city, with an average listing price of $317 per square foot, according to Constantine Valhouli, the founder of the real-estate analytics company NeighborhoodX.
NeighborhoodX looked at August’s listings of homes for sale in Jamaica and found that the most expensive property in the neighborhood — a single-family, three-bedroom home at 9107 139th St. at 91st Avenue — recently went on the market for $549,000, or $571 per square foot.
“The fact that people are willing to pay close to $600 per square foot to live there means that they are choosing to live there and it’s not a question of the economic necessity,” Valhouli said.
But that's still significantly less than in many other areas around the city, especially in Manhattan and Brooklyn, he added.
For comparison, the most expensive property in Jamaica was still priced lower than the least expensive property in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, which was listed at $637 per square foot, Valhouli said.
On the lower end of the scale, a 450-square-foot studio at 89-00 170 St. is currently priced at $82,500, or $183 per square foot — the cheapest price per square foot in the area, according to NeighborhoodX.
“We haven’t seen numbers like that in Manhattan and Brooklyn in seven to 10 years,” Valhouli said.
For that reason, Jamaica is often sought after among first-time homebuyers, real estate experts said.
Valhouli pointed out that real estate prices may be staying low in Jamaica also is because the neighborhood is relatively far from Manhattan. “In some ways traveling further out on the subway is a little bit like traveling back in time price-wise,” he said.
Homes in Jamaica are often cheaper than in other parts of the city. (DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska)
Jamaica also has big appeal because it's only minutes away from JFK Airport and offers easy access to a number of major highways as well as express subway trains to Manhattan and the Long Island Rail Road station, experts said.
Real estate experts at StreetEasy predicted last December that Jamaica would be the next hot neighborhood for real estate this year, after the area experienced a significant increase in asking rents, sale prices and population.
As crime in the area continues to decline, the city is also trying to boost the area's development with its Jamaica Now initiative and earlier this week the neighborhood won a $10 million revitalization grant from the state to spur local economy and create jobs.