Never would we have expected the rent growth in Brooklyn, N.Y. to outpace high-priced Manhattan. But according to reports released by New York City-based real estate brokerage MNS last week, a shift in renter movement is under way from downtown Brooklyn, to uptown Manhattan.
Neighborhoods in downtown Brooklyn, including Williamsburg and DUMBO, surpassed Manhattan rents last year. Williamsburg's average two-bedroom rent increased to $4,002, with DUMBO reaching higher at $4,985. Meanwhile, yearly average rents in Brooklyn were $3,065 for two bedrooms, with an average rent increase of 8.6 percent last year.
This surge in rent is largely due to the opening of Barclays Center and the Atlantic Yards development. As more developments commence this year, the borough expects 1,500 units to enter the market, sequestered primarily in Downtown Brooklyn and Williamsburg.
But over the bridge is a different story. The move into Manhattan doesn't necessarily mean a move to the Upper East Side or Chelsea, two prime areas that are expecting a wave of new developments this year and average just under $4,000 in rent. Nor does it count doorman buildings in the city, which saw 5.3 percent rent growth last year.
Many renters are migrating to the Upper West Side (still Harlem, if you remove the technical boundaries), where prices are trending at $2,846 for a non-doorman building, $4,079 if you choose to be fancy.
Some renters are also moving into more affordable parts of Brooklyn, including Ft. Greene and Greenpoint.
Despite the extraordinary rent prices in Brooklyn, another busy rental season is expected in Manhattan this year, where rent growth averaged 5.8 percent in 2012. Two bedroom units had the highest dollar increase in rents for both doorman and non-doorman buildings, with the average price up at $5,130.
Overall, Manhattan apartments are still a pricier bet than its Brooklyn counterparts, but the borough might as well expand its boundaries to take DUMBO and Williamsburg under its wing now that rent prices are comparable.