New Yorkers looking for more affordable real estate have their sights set on Queens. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
Move over Brooklyn! According to experts at StreetEasy.com, five of the city's 10 hottest neighborhoods are in Queens.
"Twenty years ago, we were talking about Williamsburg being this sort of hip, new place. The story now turns to Queens," said Alan Lightfeldt, a data scientist for StreetEasy.
Jamaica tops the list. Jamaica Estates, Woodside, Elmhurst and Kew Gardens Hills are all in the top 10.
The rankings are based on changes in rent, asking sales prices, population count and page views per listing.
"There is this recognition Jamaica is primed for growth, and we are starting to see more New Yorkers attracted, and the demand is really growing," Lightfeldt said.
Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the "Jamaica Now Action Plan" earlier this year. It's an effort to build upon and invest in the neighborhood.
Katz say Jamaica has a lot to offer.
"It’s the hub of transportation, which is getting new restaurants," Katz said. "The retail is remarkable. I buy my children's clothes in Jamaica, Queens. Every time I go there, I make sure to buy stuff. And other folks are noticing that as well."
Hope Knight of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation agrees. She says there are currently about 2,600 residential units and 2,000 hotel rooms in various stages of construction, in addition to a major project at the Jamaica train station that will yield almost 600 mixed-income residential units.
"We've been investing in this neighborhood for decades in trying to get it to this place where it is today. And so we expect many great things to happen here in this community," Knight said.
Experts say the greatest challenge will be keeping prices reasonable.
"As more people are attracted to the borough and neighborhoods like Jamaica, I think really top of mind for most people will be maintaining affordability," Lightfeldt said.
But with median rents in Queens expected to hit about $2,500 a month versus $2,700 in Brooklyn, living in a hot neighborhood definitely comes with a price tag.