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The L train shutdown is already affecting rents in Brooklyn

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Rents in north Brooklyn have been on the downswing for seven months

The L train shutdown is still a year away from happening, but its effects are already being felt across the city. According to a new StreetEasy report, rents in north Brooklyn—which the firm categorizes as Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and East Williamsburg, i.e. the neighborhoods that’ll be directly impacted by the shutdown—are on the downswing, and have been for seven consecutive months.

This isn’t to say that rent in the area is cheap—it’s still hovering at $3,000, according to StreetEasy’s data—but it’s a 0.6 percent decrease from the same time last year. Now that the shutdown is actually closer to becoming a reality, renters may be acting accordingly.

“Now that we’re in the period where new leases will overlap with the shutdown in April 2019, we’re seeing landlords get more liberal with discounts to make sure they attract tenants—and maybe even incentivize them to stay for longer than a year,” Grant Long, StreetEasy’s senior economist, said in the report.

The use of incentives—such as a month or more of free rent, or a better deal on a two-year lease—is already pretty commonplace in the rental market, but StreetEasy’s data for February of this year showed that landlords in North Brooklyn are amping up the practice. According to the report, one in four rentals got some kind of price cut, which was the highest of any Brooklyn submarket that StreetEasy tracks.

While renters looking in that area (and willing to deal with the inevitable mess that the shutdown brings) may be able to get a deal, buyers aren’t so lucky. StreetEasy reports that prices actually rose, even though it’s taking longer for those homes to sell.