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NYC rents up and income down – while Brownstone Brooklyn gets richer

Cranberry Street in Brooklyn Heights, one of six Brooklyn neighborhoods with an influx of weathy residents over the past decade or so. Photo: Map data for Google Streetview courtesy of Google, Sanborn

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The median apartment rent in New York City has risen by 75 percent since 2000, while real incomes have declined by 4.8 percent, according a report issued Wednesday by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.

Bucking this income trend, a number of Brooklyn neighborhoods are getting richer. Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens have had an inflow of wealthy households over the last decade or so, joining Chelsea, Clinton, Midtown, Greenwich Village and the Financial District.

Of the 43,000 additional households in the city earning more than $100,000 annually, 40,000 live in one of these increasingly posh neighborhoods.  

Poor and working New Yorkers earning less than $40,000 a year are hit the hardest by the rent increases, Comptroller Stringer said in a statement. While low-income renters used to spend a third of their wages on rent, they now spent 41 percent.

“Despite multi-billion dollar initiatives to expand the affordable housing stock in New York City, apartments have become more expensive across every income level with the working poor disproportionately affected,” he said.

According to the report, entitled, “The Growing Gap: New York City’s Housing Affordability Challenge,” rents increased across the rest of the country during the same time period by 44 percent vs. New York City’s 75 percent. While the median home value has doubled, nearly 360,000 apartments renting for $400 to $1,000 per month (in 2012 dollars) disappeared during the 2000 to 2012 period, Stringer said.

More than 52,000 New Yorkers live in shelters, including 22,000 children. This is up from a low of roughly 31,000 in 2002.

Stringer called for a number of fixes, including more low-income housing, investment in the New York City Housing Authority, new policies to reverse homelessness, fixing rent regulation, and addressing the needs of the elderly and disabled.

According to a report issued by Ideal Property Group earlier this month, 89 percent of buyers in Brownstone Brooklyn earned $100,000 or higher, with 30 percent earning more than $300,000 annually.

Ideal says typical Brownstone buyers "most likely looked at properties in Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Prospect Heights, Fort Greene or Williamsburg prior to purchasing.”

April 23, 2014 - 6:23pm


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