In early January the New York Times released its list of 52 places to visit this year, and nestled among the more expected locations like Grand Teton National Park and Napa was one heck of a curveball: the South Bronx. The rationale the paper gave for its inclusion underscores the area’s gentrification; the Times chose to highlight new venues funded by developers who have already placed particular bets on the area’s forthcoming transformation.
The South Bronx’s inclusion on the list is surprising for New Yorkers outside of the borough, but maybe not so much for those living in it. Real estate listing site Zumper, cited by Bronx blogger Ed Garcia Conde of Welcome2TheBronx, has noted that while rental prices dropped throughout New York in 2016, they’ve risen in the South Bronx. Melrose, Mott Haven, and Hunts Point experienced a 10 to 15 percent rise in one-bedroom rents throughout 2016. In that same time, rents throughout the city for similar apartments dropped 9.1 percent.
Conde notes that “all of this data doesn’t necessarily show the entire picture as these are based on listings in a database and may miss out on units that are much higher and much lower” than reported by the listings website.
Similar data from real estate research site NeighborhoodX assesses sales prices in Mott Haven. "The asking prices in the neighborhood for market-rate properties ranged considerably, from $183 to $632 per square foot," NeighborhoodX founder Constantine Valhouli says. "This reflects the diversity of property types in the neighborhood—from ornate houses in need of restoration, to multifamily income-producing properties, to loft condos at the upper end of the market." For comparison, the upper end of the Mott Haven market is similar to Bushwick’s, or the most affordable properties in Inwood that range from $380 to $699 per square foot.
At the beginning of January, the most affordable property for sale in Mott Haven—excluding short sales, foreclosures, and income-restricted properties—was a $489,000 2,000-square-foot multifamily building. The data compiled by NeighborhoodX highlights other neighborhood trends in housing, like the lack of smaller, more affordable market-rate apartments for sale.
Valhouli notes that the price range for Mott Haven’s most affordable apartments is actually higher than that of the Upper East Side, where the ten most affordable apartments ranged from $399,000 to $539,000. (But it’s worth noting that the stock of apartments for sale in the Upper East Side is much larger, so the neighborhood’s ten most affordable apartments represent a much smaller segment of the overall price range.)