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Williamsburg rents plummet as L train shutdown nears

WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn — Get set for the pre-shutdown shutdown of the L train, which starts this weekend and continues for the next 15 weekends.

In April, a 15-month shutdown of the L train will start. But for people who rent in Williamsburg, there is a silver lining: rents are going down.

“That’s awesome,” Aaron Cansler, a Williamsburg renter, told PIX11. “Is there any other response to it other than great?”

Williamsburg renters were thrilled to hear that a new report from StreetEasy has found that rent prices in Williamsburg have declined to 2015 levels and that 48 percent of Williamsburg apartments listed on StreetEasy have an average reduction of $250 a month.

And because more and more people are leaving the neighborhood because of the impending L train shut down next spring, inventory is up 25 percent. That means it may just be great time to negotiate a cheaper rent.

“I think landlords right now would negotiate,” Nate Mallon, EXR Director of Residential Leasing & Sales, told PIX11. “It’s all supply and demand and certain areas will hold demand, other areas will skip a bit, like East Williamsburg and North Williamsburg.”

Broker Nate Mallon showed PIX11 a high-end luxury rental, a three-bedroom penthouse at 321 Wythe Avenue for $7,700 a month, which already factors in two months free rent.

With the average rent in North Brooklyn at $3,000 a month, many renters are hoping they can negotiate even more concessions.

“We’re just hoping that when the lease is up again, we get the same deal or better because the L will be out and no one knows what that will really be like,” Richard Martin, a Williamsburg renter, told PIX11 News.

The best savings right now for renters in Williamsburg is at 44 Berry Street, according to StreetEasy, with an average price drop of $448 per unit while the building with the most unit turnover in the last two years was at 395 Leonard Street with an average rent drop of $170.

Many renters are taking a wait and see attitude.

“It seems only fair that it makes sense for the rent to go down because it’s really inconvenient,” Carly Gorga, a Williamsburg resident, told PIX11.
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