High times: Rent up 10% in Brooklyn from 2011

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Don’t cry, you can still afford to live in Brooklyn. For now. Photo by Rachel DeLetto

BREAKING! More people want to live in Brooklyn, so rents are going up. This according to a muckracking report from the New York Post. Median rental price in Brooklyn is up 10.1 percent from 2011 as compared to Manhattan which saw a a 1.4 percent increase. Yes that’s a big difference. But the rental market in the City has been pushing the boundaries of insanity affordability for decades. It’s still cheaper to live in Brooklyn, at least for now. 

The report they cite was prepared by real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Prudential Douglas Elliman. And while our already strained bank accounts cringe at the phrase “Brooklyn is catching up,” it’s probably thought of as a positive thing from a commission potential perspective. Apparently real estate professionals still don’t think people move to Brooklyn because it’s an incredibly cultural, creative, inspiring, and generally wonderful place to live. Instead they credit the Brooklyn “boom” to “the affordability factor” and “fueled by the very tight credit market — which makes renting more attractive than buying a home — and the improvement in the city’s economy in 2012.”

Studios especially saw a jump in rental price to an average of $1,852, a 12.4 percent increase. But you also get double the space according to the report’s price per sq ft numbers ($28.76 in Brooklyn vs. $54.47 Downtown, $50.79 East Side, $58.46 West Side, $41.13 Uptown). Shockingly, the more “affluent” neighborhoods of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, and Cobble Hill are especially in demand.

If you are in the market for a new place, our Real Estate listings have a bunch of studios and other great apartments for well under what is now apparently “average” rental price.


  1. Conal Darcy

    Wait, so the average studio in Brooklyn is only 6.5′ x 10′ ($1,852/$28.76)? That’s smaller than the dystopian apartments in “The Sixth Element” and only slightly larger than a prison cell.

    • jonathanmiller

      Hi Conal – thanks but the rent per sq foot is an annual figure – sorry that wasn’t more clear – divide the rent psf by 12 before you apply your formula – you’ll end up with an average square foot of 773.

      Jonathan Miller (author of the report)

  2. jonathanmiller

    Hi Rachel,

    Actually, the Elliman report is prepared by my firm, Miller Samuel, an appraisal company and independent from the brokerage firm Douglas Elliman since they are only interested in providing a neutral benchmark for the market. You’ve got the “catching up” part wrong in your post – the only point being made in the article was that since Brooklyn rents were rising faster than Manhattan rents, the spread between them has narrowed. And that’s due to all the factors you’ve mentioned. Thanks for your interest in our research.


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