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Moving just two blocks across a neighborhood line could mean cheaper rent: Report

Real estate site RentHop has a new report on how moving across a neighborhood boundary could save renters money.
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View of the Upper East Side, New York, from 96th Street residential tower. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for a cheaper apartment, but don’t want to stray too far from the area in New York City you’ve come to love, here’s some good news: in some cases, just moving across the street could save you money in rent, according to a recent report.

Real Estate site RentHop looked at how the rent prices of one-bedroom apartments vary across the street boundaries of New York City neighborhoods.

At East 96th Street in Manhattan — the dividing line between East Harlem to the north and the Upper East Side to the south — median rents see a sharp drop, RentHop found, when you go just two blocks north.

Both walk-up and non-walkup apartment buildings, which RentHop defines as “buildings with either a doorman or an elevator feature,” saw that effect, with rents going down $1,350 and $381.25 respectively.

Across lower 3rd Avenue, RentHop found a price savings of $995 per block when moving toward the east side of the neighborhood boundary.

The outer boroughs saw similar patterns. In Brooklyn, residents living around the Broadway boundary could save up to $300 by moving to a walk-up apartment three blocks west, and in Queens, renters could save $250 if they move just two to four blocks south of 36th Avenue.

Selina Wong, a data scientists at RentHop, explained that one of the main reasons for a price drop across a street is due to “recent advancements in gentrification where more high-rise buildings and condos are developed.”

This is evident at East 96th Street, she noted in an email, though the 2017 opening of the 2nd Avenue subway station in East Harlem could have also lead to some price differences.

“In Brooklyn, the difference in rent prices across street boundaries can be traced back to the rise of luxury condos and new buildings,” she continued, “such as in the case of Classon Avenue, which separates Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Prospect Park on the West and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts on the East.

Another surprising finding from this report, Wong pointed out, was that renters would typically save more when they choose a non-walkup building across East 96th Street, West 72nd Street, Houston Street and Lower 3rd Avenue, compared to walk-up building apartments. So if you need to walk a few more blocks to your new place, at least you could have the perks of a doorman or elevator.