New York City Real Estate

Looking for a good property investment in the US? Williamsburg (in New York City) could be your choice

Williamsburg in Brooklyn is the hipster center of New York City. However, new condo buildings next to the waterfront and where apartments can sell for $1,600 per sq ft indicate that this area has changed significantly over the last 10 years.

The average price of a condo in Williamsburg is now more than $1 million, according to Corcoran (a real estate agency). That price point is almost at similar levels as condos in Manhattan, where condos are selling for about $1.1 millino in the second quarter.

While the main avenue in Williamsburg, Bedford Avenue, is still full of art galleries and boutiques, there are big hotels and chain stores in place of industrial buildings and row houses just a block away from Bedford Avenue. “The era of a gritty hipster hang-out is essentially gone,” says Jonathan Miller, president of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel. No district has seen sharper price rises over the past 10 years than Williamsburg, Miller says.

The increase in prices is due to the developers that construct evermore expensive condos. Williamsburg is duly in the midst of another building boom, with hundreds of condos in the pipeline.
In recent months however, home prices have been falling and the supply of new condos could cause trouble for the neighbourhood. The average price of a condo in Williamsburg decreased 13 per cent over the last 12 months, according to a survey from Corcoran.

Much of the new construction is happening alongside the East River waterfront. New buildings include the Oosten, a 216-unit development that occupies a full city block near the river. One-bedroom apartments start at around $1.1 million. The project is 75 per cent sold. Another waterfront project Austin Nicols House with 338 units is under construction a few blocks away, and asking prices for studios to three-bedroom condos range from $535,000 to $3 million.

However, one of the biggest potential challenges facing the new developments could be the New York subway system. The L train — a critical link between Williamsburg and Manhattan — is set to be temporarily shut down for 18 months, beginning in 2019. The city needs to repair damage left over from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This upcoming halt in service of a critical subway line halt has left some business owners and real estate brokers worried about what will happen to the real estate market in Williamsburg.

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Source: Financial Times, Sep 16 2016

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