After years—decades, really—of mere talk, the Second Avenue Subway is due to make its long-awaited debut at the end of this year. (In theory, anyway; we’ll see what actually happens.) And like other areas of the city that have seen huge, neighborhood-changing projects come their way (the High Line, for example), the line’s arrival will almost certainly affect real estate prices in the Upper East Side and Yorkville—but how?
To get some semblance of an answer, StreetEasy crunched the numbers, and found that—unsurprisingly—the Second Avenue Subway’s arrival will likely spell the end of affordability in Yorkville, traditionally a bastion of cheap rents on the Upper East Side. According to StreetEasy’s research, rents in the neighborhood, particularly along Second Avenue, have been steadily increased in the last five years; the trend is anticipated to continue once the subway line opens. And the jump along Second Avenue specifically was quite large, at 27 percent.
Of course, it’s not the mere presence of the line that could bump prices—StreetEasy also looked at how commute from Yorkville (not the most accessible area currently) to Midtown could change once the subway is up and running. And, as the firm has previously found, shorter commutes equal an increase in rents—to the tune of more than $450 in some areas.
“The subway will also likely make the Upper East Side and Yorkville less affordable for some residents, and have a ripple effect on local businesses,” said Krishna Rao, a StreetEasy analyst. “There is a trade-off to every public project like this one as they transform the tenor and fabric of the surrounding area.”
Still, we’re a long way from the line actually opening; while the MTA says it’s on track to meet the December target, there’s a chance that not all of the stations will open at that point. So, as StreetEasy points out, these changes are more of a wait-and-see thing, and “only time will tell” what will really happen along Second Avenue.