Dec. 6, 2013 By Christian Murray
The ad reads: “Great big 1 bedroom in Sunnyside…Hardwood floors (recently redone). New Kitchen and bathroom…”
The ad is followed by an eye-popping asking price of $2,000 per month.
This 1,000 sqf. apartment, located at 41-19 41st St# 3, represents the dramatic change that has been occurring in Sunnyside in recent years. Studios that were once less than $1,000 per month are now renting for about $1,300 and one bedroom apartments are reaching heights of $2,100.
Many outsiders are not aware that there has been a significant increase in rental prices in Sunnyside in recent years.
“The New York Times and other publications often say you can get a $1,300 [1 bedroom] apartment in Sunnyside,” said one realtor. However, “that’s very rare.”
Most 1 bedrooms are listed in the $1,600 to $2,100 range, realtors say. Studios often fetch $1,500. But despite the high price tag, there have been some positives.
The quality of apartments has improved—as landlords (or management companies) continue to renovate them to lure high-paying tenants. “They have been gut-renovating them and installing new appliances,” said Linda Santini-Tripodis, a broker at Merit Group & Associates. “In the old days, it was just a quick paint job.”
Nevertheless, there are signs that Sunnyside’s rental market is peaking. “[One bedroom] Apartments that are listed at $1,900 or $2,000 are starting to sit on the market,” said Luis Santa, who owns Rapid Realty in Sunnyside. “Instead of being rented within a day, they might sit on the market for a little over a week.”
Santa and Tripodis —and other realtors who didn’t want to be named–believe the market is nearing a high.
“I think the market is about to peak,” Santa said. “The landlords are very strict about tenants making at least 40 times the rent,” he said. “With rents rising there are fewer people that are meeting those requirements.”
However, several realtors did say that many young professionals have been coming from Manhattan and Brooklyn and are not having any difficulty paying these rents. Therefore, the landlords are holding out to get them.
But Tripodis said that Sunnyside will need to offer these prospective tenants more if rents are to go much higher. “Will they pay 2250 next year for a one bedroom?”
“Will they feel that Sunnyside offers the type of stores and restaurants to pay such rent,” she said. “Do we have the amenities that these people are looking for? I guess we will see.”