BroBos in Paradise: The Rent Is Too Damn Perfect

brownstone brooklyn BroBos in Paradise: The Rent Is Too Damn PerfectThe housing market in Manhattan may be “meh” at the moment. But who’s doing just fine? As always, the BroBos.

According to a report from Brooklyn brokerage Ideal Properties, rents rose $36 in Brownstone Brooklyn last year–just enough to show the market is healthy but not so much as to drive everyone out to East New York. As Crain’s reports, some areas fared better than others, and they may not be the ones you might expect.

In Brooklyn Heights, rents went up an average of $143 a month; in Cobble Hill, they rose $96 and in Carroll Gardens, they increased by $63. Gowanus was the only Brooklyn brownstone neighborhood to record a decline, dropping an average of $22 a month from 2009 levels.

“Rents will continue to rise this year, and I believe that they will reach their pre-crash levels during 2011, if not even surpass them,” said Aleksandra Scepanovic, managing director of Ideal Properties, noting that rent levels in these Brooklyn neighborhoods are beginning to mirror levels from early 2008, prior to the Lehman Brothers collapse.

Surprisingly, Park Slope, which was declared the city’s most livable neighborhood by New York magazine, saw average monthly rents increase by just $36 last year.

Yep. The land of the Co-op may not be as idyllic as everyone thought. Well, if you’re a landlord, at least. For renters, it’s great news, and really yet another reason Park Slope is  *groan* the city’s best neighborhood.

Meanwhile, it may seem counterintuitive that rents would rise while much of the housing market continues to decline, but it actually makes a good deal of sense. During a tumultuous market, by choice or not, the number of renters tends to tick up. Since people are anxious to buy or sell their homes, there is a limited supply and demand, as both sides wait for prices to either keep falling or finally start rising. After all, it’s happening in much of Manhattan, too.

So rents could very well increase next year, as expected, barring another economic disaster or some sort of crippling stagnation. But once the housing market is back, they could start to come down.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @mc_nyo