Streeteasy puts the number at a staggering $26.5 million!
If the MTA follows through on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new proposal to avert the long-dreaded L train shutdown, renters who signed leases in the affected area over the last year will be the biggest winners.
Rents are now far lower in the areas directly affected by the L shutdown than they would have been without it — down 1.5 percent in North Brooklyn since April 2016, when the shutdown was first announced, according to the StreetEasy Rent Index.
There were roughly 20,000 homes listed on StreetEasy for rent in 2018 in North Brooklyn — an area that includes both Williamsburg and Greenpoint. We conservatively estimate that renters signing new leases in these units in 2018 saved a minimum of $6.4 million compared to what they’d have paid if there were no shutdown and rents had remained flat.
If we assume rents in North Brooklyn would have grown at the same rate as the rest of Brooklyn — 3.3 percent cumulatively since April 2016 — total renter savings rises to $26.5 million.
This higher number is likely closer to the true savings. While it is possible that rents in some pricey luxury buildings would not have risen at such a swift pace, rents grew over the past year in many similar areas, such as Downtown Brooklyn and Dumbo.
Moreover, the full amount of savings among those renters renewing leases, signing leases longer than 12 months, negotiating onsite, and living in other adjacent areas dependent on the L train is likely larger than even the $26.5 million figure.
Landlords are going to be pissed, but I’m sure they’ll make up the difference with rent hikes soon.