Katy Golvala

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Rents in Bushwick are at an all-time high, and landlords want them to get even higher.

In 2016, according to data from the American Community Survey, the median amount that landlords requested for vacant units was $2,599, the highest it’s ever been. But in that same year, the median amount renters in Bushwick paid was $1,433 per month. This means that the asking rent landlords are requesting for newly available units is 80 percent higher than the median rates for units that are currently occupied.

The median rent in Brooklyn overall was $1,369, so rent levels in Bushwick appear to be about on par with the rest of the borough. But, the median asking rent in Brooklyn overall was $1,855, which is 30 percent lower than the median asking rent in Bushwick.

The discrepancy between the median rent for occupied units and the median asking rent for vacant units is likely because many of the apartments available for rent in the neighborhood are in new luxury buildings where the cost of living is much higher than anything Bushwick has seen before. This serves as proof of what local housing activists have feared: The wave of new luxury buildings coming up in the neighborhood provide very limited options for low-income, longtime residents.

But, developers and landlords could be in for a rude awakening.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg published an article about falling rents in many parts of New York. In Brooklyn, rents dropped 6.3 percent between March 2017 and March 2018. Move-in incentives and discounts were including in an astounding 48 percent of new leases signed in March 2018. In the same month last year, these types of incentives were only included in 16 percent of leases.

Specifically in Bushwick, the supply of luxury apartments is surging, while demand for these types of units could be slowing. In 2017, there were a total of 67 newly completed buildings in Bushwick, and the neighborhood had the highest rate of new buildings per square mile in all of Brooklyn. With the L-train shutdown looming, some landlords may begin to have trouble finding enough people to move into all of the high priced apartments.

To explore rent trends, as well as other Census data for the city and for Bushwick, check out Coredata.nyc, a tool presented by the NYU Furman Center.

So that’s your fast fact of the week, Bushwick! Have a question about the neighborhood that you want us to try and answer using data? Leave a comment below!

Cover image courtesy of Pepi Stojanovski

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