The “hipsters” that call Brooklyn home may be onto something.
Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group, Manhattan’s largest privately-owned real estate firm, says that while Manhattan still has its appeal for buyers and renters alike, Brooklyn is hotter than ever.
“Brooklyn is hotter than Manhattan,” the real estate mogul says. “Manhattan pales in comparison to what is going on in Brooklyn—it’s the new Manhattan. If you want to be cool, you can say you’re living in Manhattan, but if you want to be cooler, you say ‘Yea, I am living in Brooklyn.’”
Corcoran says the “developers of tomorrow are scooping up dilapidated homes in non-historic areas of the borough, including Bushwick, and putting up six-story condominiums. While these developers may be young, she says they’re getting funding and selling out quickly.
“They are going to make a ton of money,” she says.
Bushwick is experiencing a major influx of members of both the gay and creative communities, Corcoran says. And following the creative crowd is a surefire way to cash in down the road.
“If you want to find out where the next big deal is, you always follow the creative community--they are always there first. They turn the neighborhood around—and you can always buy now and make money in two years,” she says. “There are so many good areas in Brooklyn, but you can’t get close to that Brooklyn Bridge anymore.”
And on the other side of that bridge in the Big Apple, Corcoran says it’s a sellers’ market and will be for some time.
“That switch was thrown about six months ago,” she says. “Six months ago you could have gotten anything in New York for roughly 15% cheaper than you are going to pay now. This market has turned around, and it’s like a train coming down a track that’s fueled with cheap money and tremendous demand. There is no way it’s going to be a buyer’s market for a long time coming.”
But if you are looking to buy, and are worried about being priced out, the No.2 real estate agent in Manhattan says there are still deals, just be prepared to commute.
“The best deals are still in Manhattan, if you are willing to go as far as Washington Heights and very Upper Harlem,” she says. “Prices are going up so quickly, and yet people somehow haven’t remembered that those areas are there. They are being discovered and you can get the best deals in town and be guaranteed you are going to make money by living there.”