QUEENS — Whitestone, a well-off waterfront neighborhood with a suburban feel, consists mostly of single-family homes, but there are also several co-op buildings which offer home hunters options that can be significantly cheaper than trendier parts of NYC.
Real-estate analytics company NeighborhoodX looked at January’s listings of homes for sale in the neighborhood and found that the 10 cheapest properties in Whitestone were all co-op apartments, ranging from a one-bedroom unit at 15-44 160 St. for $152,000 to a one-bedroom property at 9-05 166th St. selling for $238,000.
Price per square foot was not included on many listings, making it difficult to provide more detailed analysis, but for several properties where it was available, prices ranged from $237 to $270 per square foot, the analytics site found.
That's significantly less than in many other areas around the city, especially in Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to Constantine Valhouli, the founder of NeighborhoodX.
“If you are willing to sacrifice a bit of commute time in order to remain in the city, it’s an option,” he said.
Whitestone is also cheaper than in “hot” portions of Queens like Astoria, where, according to an analysis NeighborhoodX conducted last October, prices began at $320,000 and $339,000 for co-ops, jumping to $497,000 to $615,000 for condos.
The analysis is part of an ongoing study examining affordability and the cost of market rate, entry-level properties in major U.S. cities. It excludes some residences including studios, which Valhouli calls less viable as long-term residences, properties that cannot be purchased with conventional financing, those with a long-term rent controlled tenant in place, affordable and age-restricted housing, and certain listings with incomplete or contradictory information.
Seven out of 10 cheapest apartments in Whitestone were located in the Beechhurst portion of the neighborhood, mostly within a few larger Tudor Revival and post-World War II complexes, according to Valhouli
The area, despite lack of subway connection nearby (residents need to take the Q15 bus to Flushing for the 7 subway line or the Long Island Rail Road), has a lot to offer, Valhouli said, including good schools, stunning views of the Throgs Neck and Bronx-Whitestone bridges, easy access to Little Bay Park and the East River waterfront.
"There are actual beaches there," he said, adding that the neighborhood is known for a quiet life, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
"It doesn't have that lively street life," he said. And while for some it may be a disadvantage, those who like suburban life would actually appreciate it, Valhouli said, especially considering that the area has lower taxes than the “real suburbs.”
Beechhurst also has an interesting history, he noted. The neighborhood served as a favorite vacation spot for the stars of the Silent Movie era, including Rudolph Valentino and actress Mary Pickford.