While prices for both resales and newly-built condos and co-ops in Manhattan have seen a decline of as much as 30% as a result of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, prices for units in Brooklyn and Queens seem to be holding their own - and even rising in some cases. This unusual and unexpected trend was discussed in a recent New York Times article, and confirmed by sources The Cooperator reached out to as well.
One property that seems to be sidestepping the current downward slide is The Bevy, located in Astoria Queens at 14-11 31st Avenue. The brand-new condominium consists of 10 studio and one-bedroom units. Modern Spaces, a Queens-based brokerage firm, recently launched sales at the Bevy and is exclusively handling marketing for the building. Units range from $418,000 to $784,000.
“While coronavirus has created much uncertainty when it comes to New York City real estate,” says Dimitrios Koufakos, a broker with Modern Spaces, “Astoria has been performing quite well, with home sale prices rising 19% in second quarter 2020, in line with the neighborhood’s transition to a more hip, up-and-coming place for young professionals. The homes at The Bevy cater to singles and couples.”
Big City Elegance, Small Town Feel
The Bevy is conveniently located just two blocks from the East River waterfront, and a mere seven-minute walk to the Astoria ferry terminal, providing easy access to Manhattan. The 30th Ave Subway Station is a short walk away as well, with access to the N and W lines. It’s also near some very popular cultural venues and galleries, including Socrates Sculpture Park, the Noguchi Museum, and Rainey Park, which features a scenic riverside promenade, baseball fields, and dog-friendly areas.
“Due to COVID-19,” says Koufakos, “many people are working from home and still making the same salaries, freeing up money spent commuting. Additionally, mortgage interest rates have gone down, making it a great time to invest. Buyers in this market indicate that they want to get away from city congestion and cluttered buildings with several residences per floor, but still want to be close to the city - and they’re capitalizing on this opportunity.”
Koufakos goes on to explain that Astoria’s small businesses are holding their own fairly well, considering the circumstances. Outdoor dining and bars are open for people who still want to go out. Additionally, many streets and roadways are closed during certain hours so people can walk, ride their bikes, and interact with others out in the open, which makes residents feel more at home in their neighborhood. Overall, the area around the building reflects the reality of what buyers are seeking when choosing a neighborhood today.
Apartments at the Bevy feature the usual perks and finishes usually included in new residential units: ultra-modern kitchens with stainless steel KitchenAid appliances, floor-to-ceiling windows, and central HVAC. Most units have private balconies, and residents have the use of a rooftop deck, as well as the option to purchase individual parking and storage spaces. However, “One unique element of The Bevy is the apartment layouts,” says Koufakos. “They are designed very efficiently, have a great sense of space, and the floor-to-ceiling windows add an abundance of natural sunlight throughout. Residents can comfortably work from home and sit at a large island in their kitchen to eat. We have set up the model unit so potential buyers can get a real feel for the flexibility of the space. Seven out of 10 units have a private outdoor space, and the other three have a backyard or rooftop. This is a huge bonus, as people are finding that having outdoor spaces is a necessity due to COVID. The Bevy is a boutique building with only two units per floor for ample privacy.”
As the repercussions and impacts of the pandemic continue to emerge and evolve, sales rates and prices for units in all five boroughs and more outlying neighborhoods will of course continue to change as well. While it’s very much up in the air where values and demand are headed, it’s clear that buildings like the Bevy, with their close-but-not-too-close proximity Manhattan, ample space, desirable amenities, and walkable surrounding neighborhoods, seem to be attractively positioned to weather the current tumult.