Let’s play a game. When someone brings up Brooklyn, guess whether they’re actually talking about the borough itself, or merely its thoroughly gentrified waterfront.
Take rent prices, for example.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that rising rent prices are causing some Brooklyn residents to move back into Manhattan. And the rates are showing no signs of slowing, having grown 10.4% in the last year, as opposed to 8% in Manhattan on the average.
The Journal then includes a chart that compares the rent for a studio in neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, and Dumbo to the rents in areas like Greenwich Village, the Financial District, and the Upper West Side. Comparatively, with their respective neighborhoods stacked like that, Brooklyn does seem more expensive.
But looking at the same reports the Journal reported on (their chart does include average rents, but cites no exact figures), the average cost of rent for a studio apartment in Manhattan as of last month was $2,260. The average for Brooklyn is $1,832. Thats a difference of $428. You could get an apartment in Orlando for that much. With a separate kitchen.
While it is true that rent prices are rising across the board– which, as the Journal suggests, can’t possibly bode well for the city remaining an affordable place to live–Brooklyn rents are only now surpassing those in Manhattan in a few neighborhoods, and a few pricey neighborhoods do not a borough make. The most expensive average price for a studio in Brooklyn ($2,750 in Dumbo) is still nowhere near the most expensive non-doorman studio in Manhattan ($3,328 in TriBeCa), and it’s more than twice the average price in Bay Ridge ($1,200) or Bed-Stuy($1,316).