According to a recent analysis made by Point2 Homes, as of December, 2015, three of the 15 most expensive housing markets in North America were New York boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens! While the first two entries aren’t too surprising, the fact that Queens made the list at all warrants a few comments and reactions. Here is Point2 Homes’ full ranking:

Most Expensive Housing Markets in North America

Many have argued that Queens’ gentrification process would be isolated and slow on account of the relatively high rate of ownership within the borough, and truthfully, till now, the neighborhoods that were affected the most were those in closest proximity to Brooklyn and Manhattan. Just take a look at the gentrification map for Queens between 2005 and 2015:

Queens Gentrification Map

However, as Brooklyn manages to assert itself as a luxury market more and more, it seems only a matter of time until Queens will have to deal with the pressure and heat of not one, but two of the hottest housing markets in North America.

As seen in Point2 Homes’ infographic, Manhattan ranked second after San Francisco with a median sale price of $1,059,000; however, it was Brooklyn that had the most momentum as the borough managed to solidify its status as an expensive market. It ranked fourth in Point2Homes’ list with a median sale price of $620,000 and even managed to outrank Vancouver, generally considered the third most expensive city in the world. Granted, a weaker Canadian dollar pushed cities such as Vancouver and Toronto further down the list as well.

Taking into account Brooklyn’s new-found momentum, it’s no wonder that buyers have started to flock towards other boroughs. While some have even opted to relocate from Brooklyn back into Manhattan, a great deal more are turning their eyes towards Queens.

New Construction Permits Filed in Queens

Investors and developers seem to have noticed the increase in demand for housing in the borough already and were quick on the uptake. As a result, the number of permits filed for new residential and mixed-use buildings skyrocketed over the past three years. The permits amounted to:

  • 3,903,625 square feet proposed in 2013.
  • 6,709,328 square feet proposed in 2014.
  • 8,906,937 square feet proposed in 2015.

At the same time, despite the new inventory added to the market, prices have continued to rise with the median price per square foot reaching $359 in 2015, an increase of 9.8% since 2013. If these numbers are anything to go by, it seems that Queens is indeed flying a bit too close to Manhattan and Brooklyn’s bright sun, which in turn would explain the presence of the borough alongside some of the most expensive housing markets in North America.




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