image of nyc neighborhoods to watch in 2019

At the close of every year, StreetEasy selects the top 10 NYC neighborhoods to watch in the following 12 months. We rank neighborhoods across the city that have seen the highest annual growth in four areas: median asking rent, median sale price, StreetEasy user searches, and new-construction units, based on the volume of certificates of occupancy filed within the year.

NYC Neighborhoods to Watch in 2019

For 2019, the looming L train shutdown and continued interest from developers, renters and buyers in more affordable neighborhoods shaped the list. More than half of our neighborhoods to watch are in Brooklyn. We expect Downtown Brooklyn in particular to generate the most interest in 2019, due to its rising sales prices, continuing construction, and comparable prices and amenities to Williamsburg.

map of nyc neighborhoods to watch in 2019

As L Shutdown Nears, Williamsburg Alternatives Take the Spotlight

With the L train shutdown less than five months away, renters and developers have been looking for alternative neighborhoods to Williamsburg. As of October, we’ve seen renter demand in Williamsburg fall by 1 percent at the same time demand has risen in every other NYC neighborhood. That’s partly why Downtown Brooklyn comes in first on our list: It attracts residents from Williamsburg and beyond with luxurious new buildings, easy access to several subway lines, and prices comparable to the ‘Burg. Downtown Brooklyn has also seen more new development than any other neighborhood on this list, with 904 units coming on the market in 2018.

At number three on our list is another neighborhood similar to Williamsburg: the Lower East Side. Given that this swath of Manhattan is home to vibrant music, nightlife and dining scenes, it’s perhaps no wonder StreetEasy users searched for homes there nearly twice as often in 2018 as in 2017. Brooklyn’s Crown Heights also made the top five, and has similar asking rents, resident age ranges, and commute times as Williamsburg, as our analysis earlier this year found.

More Affordable Neighborhoods Draw All Eyes

As demand for affordable New York City housing continues to grow, developers have been using every available space in the outer boroughs to build new homes. In Brooklyn, East Flatbush — which comes in at No. 2 on our list — Crown Heights, and Bedford-Stuyvesant have all seen a surge in units (141,787 and 589, respectively) from new buildings this year. These neighborhoods have relatively lower rents, with median prices ranging from $2,100 in East Flatbush to $2,499 in Bed-Stuy, compared to $2,539 in Brooklyn overall and $2,677 in New York City. Their relative affordability is driving more interest from renters, buyers and developers, and we will be keeping an eye on how all this attention transforms these neighborhoods in 2019.

Large-scale developments along the South Bronx waterfront will also drive much interest in Mott Haven, the neighborhood where the most expensive transaction on record for a development in the Bronx occurred earlier this year.

Finally, we must give an honorable mention to Long Island City. While it did not make our list this year, due to its relative stability on our four metrics between 2017 and 2018, we anticipate much interest in the neighborhood in light of Amazon’s HQ2 announcement. Since the announcement in November, we’ve already seen buyer interest in the area skyrocket. The volume of buyer searches in Long Island City shot up more than 500 percent in the days immediately after Amazon confirmed its plans to move to the neighborhood.

Neighborhood Median Rent YoY Growth Median Sale Price YoY Growth Nabe Search YoY Growth New Units
Downtown Brooklyn $3,300 7% $1,100,000 23% 17% 904
East Flatbush $2,100 8% $599,999 8% 343% 141
Lower East Side $3,131 4% $1,630,000 9% 92% 685
Mott Haven $2,155 11% $725,000 4% 33% 560
Crown Heights $2,400 2% $1,075,000 8% 70% 789
Bedford-Stuyvesant $2,499 4% $1,250,000 2% 68% 589
Cobble Hill $3,200 8% $1,953,750 24% 14% 36
Corona (Qns.) $1,880 3% $995,500 58% 12% 143
Auburndale (Qns.) $2,048 3% $968,000 8% 31% 225
Prospect Heights $2,975 3% $1,250,000 18% 17% 64

How We Did It

We identified the top 10 NYC neighborhoods to watch in 2019 using an index of four key performance indicators: annual change in median asking rent, annual change in median sale price, annual change in user searches that include a given neighborhood on StreetEasy, and the amount of new construction in the neighborhood. New construction is calculated as the number of residential units from buildings that received permanent certificates of occupancy from the New York Department of Buildings in 2018.

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