By R.M. Schneiderman
The end of May to early September generally marks the busiest rental season in New York. But after a year in which renters witnessed an abundance of deals and some (relatively) cheap prices, apartment hunters in Brooklyn, where the market is typically less chaotic, are also quickly signing leases out of fear that waiting will mean getting a less desirable place.
“The market is moving quickly,” says Andrew Barrocas of The Real Estate Group NY, a brokerage firm. Before, “people were coming in and they were telling us what they wanted to pay. Now it’s kind of reversed.”
That’s especially true for apartments with desirable features like outdoor space, says Michael Guerra of Prudential Douglas Elliman.
In brownstone Brooklyn, he says, first-floor apartments with backyards are going immediately. Those on the second or third floor are moving fast, but not quite at the same pace.
Renters in Brooklyn are jumping on apartments in traditionally desirable areas such as Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights, Guerra said, whereas apartments in Greenwood Heights — a lesser-known neighborhood between Park Slope and Sunset Park — are renting at a slower clip.
Even in Williamsburg, where the market most resembled Manhattan with its bevy of newly constructed buildings, real estate experts say rentals have picked up speed and prices are rising.
“You are seeing some unique properties in Williamsburg renting extremely quickly,” says Guerra.
Meanwhile in Queens, the market did not experience the same sort of fluctuations as in Manhattan. But prices did slide in the last year as landlords tried to lure in tenants.
Over the past six months, however, that pressure has abated, says Bernard Mollahan who runs an eponymous brokerage company in Jackson Heights.
“A friend of mine is a landlord in Astoria and she has no problem renting at all,” he says. “By the time she has advertised… [an apartment], it’s generally been rented.”
He added that rentals in Jackson Heights are also moving quickly.
“A lot of Manhattanites are coming in and looking for lower rents,” he said.