If you’re wondering if there is any more appreciation to squeeze out of Brooklyn, the answer is yes. But you will have to choose your neighborhood carefully. According to Zillow Bedford Stuyvesant, tops the list. The brownstone heavy neighborhood appreciated over 10 percent last year and is forecasted to continue its assent skywards with a further 7.5 percent appreciation in 2019.
With median home values currently standing around $816,000 and the median square footage approaching $900, continued in investment in up and coming residential development, as well as commercial development (Starbucks, the harbinger of appreciation just announced its first foray into the neighborhood), means that that Bed-Stuy’s value will continue to grow.
Also spurring the growth is the fact that the neighborhood, which has been predominantly African American and Caribbean for the last fifty years, is surrounded by higher priced areas that have already undergone rapid gentrification. To the north of Bed-Stuy is Williamsburg, one of Brooklyn’s priciest neighborhoods and to the west is Prospect Heights which neighbors Park Slope, one of the Borough’s most affluent neighborhoods.
For years Bed-Stuy has been notoriously poverty and crime ridden, earning to moniker “Do Or Die Bed-Stuy” The onset of gentrification has slashed crime in New York as a whole, Bed-Stuy being no exception. Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Tompkins Houses in Bed-Stuy along with the city’s 325 other public-housing developments showed a 22 percent drop in murders, robberies and shootings since 2013. At Tomkins, the article reported, crime is down 45 percent since 2013, with no murders and just two shootings in each of the last two years. New York has outperformed Chicago and Philadelphia, both of which have larger populations than the Big Apple.
However, a report a year ago, still showed that despite soaring housing costs, Bed-Stuy residents, had a higher poverty rate than the rest of the city. It actually grew by about 13 percent between 2009 and 2015.
"It's all about gentrification," resident Meca Killiebrew, 35, a long term resident, told the New York Daily News "People come in with large incomes and landlords are getting tenants who will pay anything.” Her analysis is born out by statistics. According to a report in 2017 entitled, “An Economic Snapshot of the Bedford Stuyvesant Neighborhood,” newer residents who are largely white and younger have median household income is $50,200 while long-time residents it is only $28,000. As this trend continues, along with a booming business growth — up 73 percent since 2000, and 77 percent between 2009-2017 — expect house prices to continue to rise.
Real estate development has both spurred and benefitted from gentrification. Notable residential multi- family buildings about to open include 335-341 Nostrand Avenue, a 24 unit project recently completed between Gates Avenue and Quincy Street. The development will consist of four identical four story buildings.
Elsewhere, a seven-story residential property is being constructed at 376-378 Flushing Avenue containing 78 apartment units.
Coupled with these are the rapidly rising prices for brownstones which are tipping towards the $3 million mark in some places. In fact, the sale last year of 1 Verona Place for a record breaking $3.3 million changed the complexion of pricing in the neighborhood. A scan of the New York Times shows another property 6 Spencer Place currently priced at at $2,999,000 with several others around $2.5 million. Do-Die-Bed-Stuy? Perhaps Buy-Or-Cry Bed-Stuy is more apt.