Photo: Gabe Shore/Flickr

The greater Long Island City (LIC) area in Queens is a more affordable alternative to Manhattan and Brooklyn for many New York homebuyers. However, as LIC’s prices start outpacing some Brooklyn and Manhattan neighborhoods, that reputation could be about to shift, according to a new report by New York brokerage Stribling & Associates.

The greater LIC area is comprised of three submarkets: Hunters Point, Sunnyside and Astoria. The current pace for new development projects in LIC is the fastest in the country, says Stribling.

Fueled by the rapid pace of new construction, some 72 percent of LIC’s inventory is condos. Condo sales made up 85 percent of the total new contracts in LIC in the second quarter. The average price of a condo in LIC rose 3 percent from last year to $1.2 million in the second quarter.

Co-ops and townhomes accounted for 10 percent and 5 percent of LIC’s new contracts in the second quarter, respectively. Co-op average prices were up 40 percent year-over-year to $505,000, while townhome prices jumped nearly 20 percent from last year to $1.4 million in the second quarter.

Hunters Point houses 56 percent of LIC’s total inventory. And with over 40 new construction projects being built, its skyline is being transformed. It’s also the most expensive of the submarkets.

The median apartment price in Hunters Point hit a record high of $1.1 million in the second quarter of this year — putting the neighborhood on par with many in Manhattan and Brooklyn price-wise. This was up 7 percent from last year.

And although the units in Hunters Point are the priciest of the submarkets, they are also the smallest, averaging 1,071 square feet.

Astoria ranked as the second most expensive LIC submarket, with the average apartment price up 27 percent year-over-year to $964,251 in the second quarter. Astoria’s units were the largest of the area, averaging 1,361 square feet — 31 percent larger than last year.

Meantime, Sunnyside was the most affordable LIC neighborhood. Units averaged $711,899 in the second quarter, up 4 percent from last year.

Although prices in the LIC real estate market have increased significantly over the past several years, the neighborhood continues to offer great value as compared to Manhattan and even some neighborhoods in Brooklyn,” Stribling’s LIC specialist Patrick Smith tells BuzzBuzzNews.

The impending L train shutdown looming over neighboring Williamsburg in Brooklyn starting in early 2019 should positively impact the greater LIC area.

“The influx of residents from Brooklyn to Hunters Point, Sunnyside and Astoria will make these neighborhoods even more desirable and retail offerings will greatly expand as well,” Smith tells BuzzBuzzNews.

Hunters Point will be attractive to homebuyers willing to pay a premium price for its proximity to midtown, just one train stop away.

“Astoria and Sunnyside are great alternatives for residents who are willing to travel four to six subway stops from Midtown, and they will be rewarded with more cost effective prices in both the condo and rental markets as compared to Hunters Point,” adds Smith.

However, new ferry service to Midtown from waterfront Astoria could also start to impact prices in the neighborhood.

“This will be a game changer. Western Queens and LIC will suddenly be extremely convenient with the launch of the NYC Ferry,” Smith tells BuzzBuzzNews.

New ferry service from Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island to western Queens should also start enticing students to look at LIC.

And even when, inevitably, LIC becomes a hot market and prices increase, homebuyers should give the area a thoughtful look.

“Prices in the LIC real estate market have already increased significantly over the past several years, but the neighborhood continues to offer great value as compared to Manhattan and even some neighborhoods in Brooklyn,” observes Smith.

Click here to read the entire report.

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