The 2014 population figure for New York City is 8,491,079. What’s remarkable about this number is that it’s just 60,000 shy of the 2020 population projection. New transplants from other areas of the US and other parts of the world are constantly arriving and creating an ongoing need for housing. There are also investors out there looking for the next boom in the City’s real estate markets, which appears to be taking place in the Bronx, and, in particular, the South Bronx.
The Bronx is a Hot Market
The Bronx is the northernmost one of the five boroughs making up New York City with an estimated 2014 population of 1,438,159 and 522,149 housing units in a wide diversity of neighborhoods. Sections of the Bronx are currently experiencing a dramatic increase in real estate transactions. According to Ariel Property Advisors, total real estate investments in 2014 rose 39 percent to $2.39 billion and approximately seventy percent of all properties sold were multi-family buildings. According to a leading real estate company, Bronx home prices have appreciated 12.2% over the last five years. The median sales price for Bronx homes for the period September 15 to December 15, 2015 was $370,400, representing an increase of 5.8% over the prior quarter and 4% over to the previous year. For the week ending Dec 9, 2015, the average listing price for Bronx homes was $424,816, representing an increase of 1.4% compared to the prior week. The most popular neighborhoods included Edgewater Park, Jerome Park, Riverdale, Throgs Neck, Wakefield, and Williambridge.
Is The Bronx the Next Brooklyn?
That’s the question posed by a June 2015 article in Real Estate Week. If you’re standing outside Grand Central Station, the Bronx can easily seem like another planet. But the never diminishing need in the Big Apple for reasonably priced housing is in the process of transforming the area. This is comparable to what happened in Brooklyn, which was once considered to be an “outside” territory, where you would temporarily plant yourself until you could afford that dream residence on Park Avenue. Now, not only can’t you buy that apartment on Madison Avenue, but you also can’t afford to live in Park Slope.
Mark Stagg, CEO of the Stagg Group, one of the Bronx’s prolific developers, feels that the next wave of Bronx inhabitants will be millennials in search of affordable housing in a neighborhood they’d be proud to post to social media from and where they can settle down and raise a family. “Our model is that we provide market-rate apartments for working-class people. The nurses, nurses’ aides, firemen, policemen making $40,000 to $80,000. Those people need a place to live” Stagg says.
Mayor de Blasio’s Affordable Housing Plan
City Limits has identified dozens of Bronx addresses being eyed for rezoning and housing development as part of the mayor’s ambitious program to build or preserve nearly 200,000 units of affordable housing. The bulk of these addresses is in the South Bronx. The plan encourages developers to provide affordable units mixed in with those at market rates, and will contribute to the availability of both classes of housing.
Webster Avenue Vision Plan
This plan is an example of what is happening in the world of Bronx real estate. Webster Avenue is a major Bronx thoroughfare, extending from the communities of Melrose to Woodlawn. The plan focuses on the approximately 1.5-mile long section between Fordham Road and Gun Hill Road. The FBIA (Four Bronx Institutions Alliance – Fordham University, Montefiore Medical Center, The New York Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo) in collaboration with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is facilitating a plan to turn Webster Avenue into a neighborhood “main street,” with more than 950 additional residential units and 430,000 square feet of new commercial development.
South Bronx Sizzle
Without a doubt, the dominant trend in Bronx real estate concerns the South Bronx. Once a picture of urban blight and burned-out buildings, the area is now a magnet for real estate investors. An area that has long avoided gentrification is on the way up, and it’s the perfect place for home buyers looking for affordability. The NY Daily News reports that $2.39 billion was ponied up by investors for Bronx properties in 2014, an increase of 39% from 2012, and 55% from 2013. The South Bronx accounted for fifty percent of that figure. The Real Estate Board of NY reports that home prices are up across the borough, but especially in the South Bronx neighborhoods of Mott Haven, Port Morris, and Hunts Point, where the average sales price in 2015’s second quarter jumped sixty-four percent from the same period a year ago. In June, the Buildings Department issued 759 new residential permits for units in the Bronx, a record for a single month since 2005.
Why is the South Bronx Turning Around?
Experts attribute this real estate boom to one critical factor: the Bronx’s dramatically improved crime statistics. In the 41st Precinct, best known by its nickname Fort Apache in the 1981 film Fort Apache, the Bronx, the murder rate has fallen 91% since 1990 according to NYPD stats. In the adjoining 40th Precinct, which includes much of Mott Haven, homicides dropped from seventy-two to seven during the same period. Residents can now walk the streets and feel safe.
The Bronx is headed for a very interesting and exciting real-estate future that will benefit both investors and owner-occupants. Contact us now to find your perfect residence in the Bronx.