Hello Brooklyn: No One Can Afford It
Brooklyn used to be synonymous with Biggie and hipsters, and not too long before that many regions of the borough were considered slums. Once home to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Manhattan’s real estate rival is now flourishing with hues of black and white for the Brooklyn Nets — whose arena is a monolith known as the Barclays Center.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, the borough has become the least-affordable housing market, relative to income, in the United States. Brooklyn’s transformation into the chicest and most coveted borough appeared to occur overnight, but just as quickly as yuppies flocked to “BK,” they are now fleeing from its pricey embrace.
Soaring rents and aesthetically unrecognizable neighborhoods have begun to push Brooklynites out. A Brooklyn resident “would need to devote 98 percent of the median income to afford the payment on a median-priced home of $615,000,” Bloomberg reports.
Dubbed the “worst in U.S. for home affordability,” Brooklyn has sent the same doe-eyed buyers who not long ago valued the borough’s bohemian appeal on their way to New York City’s ‘sixth borough’, Hoboken, and have also shipped out to places like Jersey City and Sunnyside, Queens. Long desired for its reasonable square footage, Brooklyn no longer equates to more space.
Once home to working and middle class families, Brooklyn has now become something of a Manhattan-manqué. Brown-stone and tree-lined streets, accessibility to the capital of the world, bodegas and delicatessens drew people close, but price hikes and bidding wars are sending people on their way, and the mom and pop atmosphere is being forced out along with them.
It is bittersweet, perhaps more bitter than sweet, to see delis turn into lavish ‘brunch’ spots and native Brooklyn dwellers leave their homes for a more affordable Manhattan. We can hope that this cycle will break, that this surge of newcomers will soon be pacified, before all of its charm and originality has been swept away.