- The average condo price in LIC reached $1.2 million, surpassing the average price in Brooklyn ($1.024 million) by 17 percent.
- While studios and one-bedrooms formerly comprised the majority of LIC’s market share, two- and three-bedroom units are stealing the show these days.
- Another popular neighborhood in Queens is Astoria, which revealed an average closed price of $681,921 last quarter and a price per square foot of $762.
- Long Island City has shown a 14 percent increase in average price per square foot for condo sales over the past two years.
Are more Brooklynites relocating to Queens? The figures in the latest Modern Spaces quarterly report support the notion that more New Yorkers are opting for prime Queens real estate, pushing up the average price for condos in the borough’s hottest neighborhoods.
In Long Island City, condo prices increased 30 percent in the last quarter, the report says. What’s more, the average condo price in LIC reached $1.2 million, surpassing the average price in Brooklyn ($1.024 million) by a whopping 17 percent.
Long Island City has become an epicenter for growing arts, culture and restaurants in the past few years, but development hasn’t ceased with the recent influx of residents. More residential and retail sites continue to flood the area, allowing former Manhattan and Brooklyn devotees a similar lifestyle at a more reasonable cost.
“In LIC and Queens in general, you get a better value and more accessibility,” said CEO of Modern Spaces Eric Benaim. “You’re literally 5 minutes from Manhattan. You could walk over the bridge and be in Midtown. In Brooklyn, the subway takes you more downtown with a longer subway ride.”
In addition to accessibility, the waterfront with 15 acres of Manhattan skyline views, commercial and retail development (J. Crew, Barney’s and Ralph Lauren have all recently opened offices in Long Island City) and comparatively fair pricing are drawing people in daily.
“I’ve been here for about 10 years now. When I came here, there were literally two restaurants in the whole neighborhood. Now you can go to a different restaurant every day for lunch and dinner for 3 months straight and never eat at the same one twice,” Benaim said. “At the same time, there’s a small town feel. Even my bank knows me well.”
LIC condos getting bigger and pricier
While studios and one-bedrooms formerly comprised the majority of LIC’s market share, two- and three-bedroom units are stealing the show these days. In the first quarter of this year, two-bedrooms made up 46 percent of closings, an increase from 30 percent the previous quarter.
The average price per square foot — sitting at $1,082 in the first quarter — was the highest at The Corner building, at $1,243 per square foot.
The average absolute price was highest at The View building with a price of $1.9 million, compared to an average absolute of $1.24 million overall.
Astoria comes in second
Another popular neighborhood in Queens is Astoria, which revealed an average closed price of $681,921 last quarter and a price per square foot of $762.
In-contract condos fell slightly between quarters in Astoria. One-bedrooms held average prices of $677,215, while two-bedrooms averaged $906,870. The average price per square foot for one-bedroom and two-bedroom in-contract condos was $968 and $911, respectively.
The Marx in Astoria held the highest absolute price for in-contract condos at $1.455 million.
A brief look at Queens’ rental market
The average price for luxury rentals in LIC is $3,874 per month. Comparatively, the average rental price for all of Long Island City is $3,145 per month.
In the walk-up LIC rental market, apartments cost an average $3,191 per month. The average price per square foot on walk-ups is $43.
Elevator rentals in LIC are less expensive at an average $2,369 per month and $42 per square foot.
To compare, Astoria’s average rental rate was $2,717 last month — a drop from the previous quarter’s average of $3,131 per month. Rents also dropped slightly on an annual scale, from $2,792 in the first quarter of 2015.
“Rents have been going up quarter after quarter for the last few years and we’ve never had so much inventory,” Benaim said. “Once all the inventory comes online, it will level off. People will get a better deal on an apartment to rent.”
One-bedrooms in Astoria made up 70 percent of its rental market last quarter. Studios held 23 percent of the market share, while two-bedrooms came in third, with just 7 percent of the market share.
LIC sales in the long-term
Long Island City has shown a 14 percent increase in average price per square foot for condo sales over the past two years. In the first quarter of 2014, price per square foot was $930, whereas last year it was $1,039. In the first quarter of 2016, price per square foot was $1,082.
“The condo prices will continue to go up in LIC, while the rental prices will start flatlining, but condos are still a lot cheaper than Manhattan,” Benaim said. “In Brooklyn, the prices are sometimes surpassing prices in Manhattan.”
And with 25,000 units slated for construction — 8,000 currently in construction right now — according to Benaim, development isn’t letting up. The majority of the market belongs to rentals (95 percent) with around 2,000 condos currently in development, he said.
“The neighborhood is booming. It’s been booming for quite some time now, but now, it’s coming into it’s own,” he said.