Last Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new plan for the L train repairs that lifted the impending complete closure of the train.
What would have been a full 15-month shutdown, will now maintain the current weekday rush hour schedule. This announcement was received with mixed emotions, as many long-time residents along the L train line had chosen to uproot their lives and comfortable living situations in order to establish more convenient commutes to Manhattan.
According to StreetEasy, upon the initial closure announcement in 2016, rental prices in L train neighborhoods began to drop. By August of 2018, inventory had increased by 25% as renters began to leave the neighborhood to avoid the transportation inconvenience. In the two years since the closure was announced, almost half of the re-listed units were priced lower. On average, 25% of landlords were also offering incentives, discounts, or concessions.
The market will likely see an immediate shift. Some expect that Brooklyn, specifically Williamsburg will see an influx of new renters flooding back to the area and concessions will likely cease. As landlords begin to regain the upper hand in this market, renters will have to act quickly if they want to secure units with the current reduced prices.
“Brokers and developers are arguably the biggest winners here,” says Joe Ben-Zvi, COO of TheGuarantors. “While prices in Williamsburg declined following the initial shutdown announcement, development continued — further creating downward pressure on rental prices. Though they had rebounded and were only down net a few percentage points at the time of Cuomo’s announcement, we expect to see these prices rebound and leasing activity in the area pick up.”
With leasing in Brooklyn expected to rise, it is important to note the typical tenant in neighborhoods like Williamsburg.
The current median age in Williamsburg is relatively young at 29 years, but with its abundance of restaurants and bars, it’s a hot spot for a potentially younger crowd. Traditionally, young renters tend to pose more risks to landlords. Recently, however, landlords have begun to find ways to mitigate these risks. Services like TheGuarantors platform come in handy when filling vacancies — something Williamsburg has been in need of — especially when it comes to accepting tenants that otherwise would have been denied.
TheGuarantors three products, Lease Guarantee, Security Deposit Replacement, and Renters Insurance Compliance are already being used by landlords and renters in Brooklyn, and with the continuation of the L train, we expect to see that continue.