Prices experience plateau in housing market

Though data might suggest New York City rental prices to continuously rise, according to CurbedNY, they have recently leveled-off.

Douglas Elliman Real Estate compared rental prices from February 2015 to February 2016 finding rental price in Manhattan to be $4,093 in Feb. 2015, $4,073 in Jan. 2016, and $4,032 in Feb. 2016. These figures suggest a potential plateaued trend in rental prices. Apartment listings that have been up longer suggest less demand, which leads to landlords being more willing to negotiate with tenants. A Citi Habitats Manhattan rental market report demonstrates that a quarter of transactions reflected landlord negotiations.

Prices are slightly up in Brooklyn and Queens.

New zoning policies will increase affordable housing

Though the markets have (at least) briefly plateaued, current rental prices are higher than they had been, and are unaffordable for many New Yorkers. Manhattan average rental prices are $4,000, and Brooklyn and Qheaderueens, $3,000.

Throughout his term, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has developed a plan to increase affordable housing. City Council reviewed the plan earlier this March. According to The New York Times, the Council will likely pass de Blasio’s proposal.

After hearing opposition to de Blasio’s plan, more requirements were put in place, expanding affordability to those earning 40 percent of the NYC area median income.

The plan includes a couple proposal including Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA). MIH requires new developments in rezoned areas to include “below-market-rate” units. Between 20 and 30 percent of all new units will have to fall into this category.

According to DNAInfo, ZQA allows upward building expansion for affordable and senior housing. Initial focus areas include East New York, East Harlem, Long Island City, Jerome Avenue corridor, Flushing West, and Bay Street corridor in Staten Island.

DNAInfo also explores how the plan will affect Greenwich Village and SoHo. Contextual areas, ones with historic character, with lower and narrower buildings will rise five feet. Taller and wider buildings will rise up to 15 feet. In non-contextual districts that have higher density, buildings can rise up to 25 feet. For senior and affordable housing, buildings can be built 20 to 40 feet higher.

Because SoHo is largely zoned as a manufacturing district, ZQA will not affect it so much, but it is subject to MIH restrictions. Developers that cannot include affordable housing in their buildings must donate to a “neighborhood development fund” for affordable housing elsewhere in the district.