Brooklyn Building Booms, Manhattan’s Lags — and Rents Rise

Gotham Brokerage helps tenants navigate NYC renters insurance in both boroughs

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In one borough, new residential construction is booming. In Manhattan, it lags. Two recent articles highlight the sporadic nature of NYC apartment construction and what it means for tenants.

This Wall Street Journal story highlights the opening, finally, of several residential developments in WIlliamsburg. The Brooklyn neighborhood, which suffered badly during the recession, is popular once again, and not just with the artists and hipsters that made it a bohemian hangout a few years ago. Manhattanite families and young professionals are flocking over the bridge to savor Williamsburg’s restaurants and take advantage of its more affordable home prices.

And that’s the subject of the other article, which ran in The New York Times on Oct. 16. A lag in construction on the island is contributing to rising rents — in some cases skyrocketing rents.

The article talks about a 28-year-old video producer who — during the great tenants’ market of 2009, when landlords were desperate to rent out their empty apartments — moved into a one-bedroom in a residential tower four blocks from the south end of Central Park. In June, his lease came up, and the poor guy got a letter saying his landlord wanted to nearly double his rent.


We’ve known for some time that landlords call the shots in today’s NYC rental market and set the terms of nearly any deal. But the rent spike has boosted prices above where they were even in the boom times of 2007, according to the brokerage and rental statistics tracker CitiHabitats.

You might think this makes buying more attractive, and in some ways it does. It’s still a buyers’ market out there. But if you’re thinking of buying a co-op or condo, be forewarned that banks are enforcing some new, strict insurance requirements before they approve loans.

At Gotham Brokerage, we can help protect you and your property. Knowing exactly what kind of renters insurance you need and how to save money while still obtaining the best coverage is even more important in a tight renters’ market. Keep in mind, too, that high rents mean higher costs if a disaster forces you out of your apartment and into temporary space during repairs. Make sure you have enough additional living expense/loss of use coverage to minimize the hit you take.

Gotham Brokerage has operated in the five boroughs for a half-century and we know all the potential pitfalls and shortcuts of insurance in the Tri-State area. Whether you’re thinking of renting a luxury apartment Uptown or a more affordable offering in Flushing, we can help guide you to the right policy. Call or e-mail us and request a quote today.

Jeff Schneider
(212) 406-7300

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