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Residential Development In Outer Boroughs Overtakes Manhattan For First Time Since 2009

Rendering of the rooftop at Brooklyn Point

For many New Yorkers, it was once Manhattan or bust. No longer.

Last year, Brooklyn had more new and converted apartments up for sale than Manhattan. That hasn’t happened in nearly a decade.

Meanwhile, the number of new developments in Queens is set to overtake the number in Brooklyn in the next two years, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing housing pipeline data from Nancy Packes Data Services. In recent years, almost 50% of apartments hitting the market were in Manhattan, but this year the share is expected to slide back to 30%.

The shift is driven by the city’s rising population and the high cost of living. People are looking beyond Manhattan for more affordable homes. Between 2000 and 2016, the number of jobs in the city went up by nearly 17%, but the number of housing units went up by just 8%, according to New York University's Furman Center.

The high cost of building in Manhattan is also pushing developers further afield.

“The numbers just don’t pencil out in Manhattan, especially for rentals," Extell President Gary Barnett, who has developed some of Manhattan's most expensive residences, told the WSJ. "Nobody can afford to build there."

Extell is developing Brooklyn Point, a condominium skyscraper at 138 Willoughby St., the developer’s first project in the borough.

The Bronx has also seen significant activity, with Brookfield planning a major mixed-use development on the waterfront that will feature 1,300 housing units. In Long Island City, Developer Chris Jiashu Xu is aiming for a $1B sellout at Skyline Tower in Court Square, an 802-unit luxury development.