Three years ago, New Yorkers shopping for real estate prized convenience. “How close is it to the office?” was an oft-heard question, and understandably so.
But after a historic global pandemic, things have changed. Suddenly, the office has moved into our homes and the need to be in Manhattan isn’t what it once was. As New Yorkers increasingly work from home, we have seen things like greenspaces, home configurations that double as workspaces, and an overall sense of community become bigger factors for people looking to move. I call it ‘the great reset’ – individuals have reconsidered what their life looks like in this new world, what matters to them most and what they value in a home.
So what does that mean in real estate terms? Well, there is more of a “let’s upsize” mentality in the air right now. People need the possibility of separation – be it separation from their significant others while they are working from home, or separation from our nannies while we’re working from home. “While our nanny is here, let’s get a bigger space.. some outdoor space would also be nice…” – it feels like searching for space is the new post-pandemic version of looking for convenience.
It’s not just indoor space. Now the space outside our four walls is a key consideration, too. Since people are commuting less, they have found themselves spending more of their leisure time locally. That’s a change for those who didn’t even know [in the pre-pandemic era] what their neighborhoods looked like during the daytime. As our neighborhoods become more than mere places to lay our heads down, the character and quality of the local community has become essential. You know it’s an interesting time in New York when people want to actually greet their neighbors on a first name basis. An important question people are asking now is: “what does my neighborhood feel like when I walk out my front door?”
Taking all this into account, where does one go when seeking the above but desperate to avoid the suburbs? The answer is Brooklyn! The days when it lacked the amenities of Manhattan are long past. You now have access to premium grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, endless choices of boutique fitness studios, including favorites like Rumble and Equinox, and some of New York’s top-rated Michelin star restaurants.
Life in the “outer-borough” is calmer and more connected, and you can snag a townhome for the price of a West Village 3 bedroom. It’s an option more and more people are considering, and neighborhoods like Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill are prime examples. Compare the median $1,264 price per square foot of Carroll Gardens or $1,296 of Cobble Hill to the staggering $2,171 of the West Village, and suddenly you see why this is an attractive play for Manhattan residents looking to upsize. The search zone has expanded for many families due to the work from home and hybrid models. These areas that were scarcely on the radar before are now becoming sought-after destinations.
These neighborhoods have the space, the wealth, great schools, and charm. People are recognizing this, and we’re seeing the market reflect that. The median asking rent IN BROOKLYN? just hit $2,800 – 16.7% higher than just a year ago. Can you blame them? You can be in SoHo in 15 minutes or Midtown in 30 minutes, but you don’t have to deal with living in either. None of the hustle and bustle, agitations, and tourists that complicate Manhattan has. And all this without the exorbitant price per square foot. Want to move yet?