Moving to a New Home? Don’t Let Jackhammers Surprise You After You Unpack

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July 2, 2019

> One out of two homes on the market in Brooklyn are within 0.1 miles (roughly one Manhattan block) of a construction site, according to an analysis by Localize.city

> Citywide, roughly 40 percent of properties on the market are near construction sites — many of which have not even broken ground yet

> Brooklyn neighborhoods of East Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy and Greenpoint were among those with the highest share of listings closest to construction sites

> Looking for a new building? Beware: roughly 70 percent of apartments on the market built after 2016 have a construction site within 0.1 miles.

For many New Yorkers looking for a new home, having a construction site nearby is a non-starter. It could mean years of noise, dust, rats, scaffolds and sidewalk detours. Once completed, the new buildings could block your view, your sunlight, and even your neighborhood’s charm.

For some home buyers, especially real estate investors, new development is often a draw. It signals new investment to an area and often spurs neighborhood amenities like shops, cafes and new public spaces.

Regardless of how you feel about construction, Localize.city can help you know if there’s construction today, or if it’s coming in the next 12 months. This is critical information, considering more than one in three homes on the market today has new construction within one city block (~0.1 miles away) from a property with approved permits for new construction — of those, 1 in x hasn’t broken ground yet, Localize.city found

Localize.city is taking the construction gamble out of home hunting

“When we talked with house hunters in NYC, we found that they typically visit properties in the evenings and on weekends — times when there’s no construction,” said Localize.city data scientist Nir Gonen. “So, you might miss the construction site down the block. Even worse, you might only find out about new construction after moving in because the project hasn’t started yet.” 

Localize.city has plotted in 3D, every construction site (current and planned) in New York City. The platform has even assessed if future construction may block your precious view. Every home on the market is presented with the exact location and shape of buildings in the pipeline, along with a timeline for construction.

“By making it easy for anyone to know about current or planned construction, we’re helping New Yorkers make smarter decisions about where to live,” said Steve Kalifowitz, President of Localize.city 

Brooklyn leads the city for most listings near new construction

One in every two Brooklyn properties on the market, whether for sale or rent, is within a city block (0.1-miles) of a residential construction site.  For this research, Localize.city analyzed Department of Buildings permit data and homes for sale and for rent as of June 1, 2019. 

“Brooklyn is often considered a quieter alternative to the bustle of Manhattan. But moving to Kings County might not necessarily bring you peace and tranquility, at least in the near term as the borough’s building boom continues,” Gonen said.

“Brooklyn had more listings than other boroughs near construction sites,” he continued. “Roughly one out of nine Brooklyn home listings have front row seats to construction sites: about 160 feet away, which is about the width of a football field.”

Nine out of the top 20 neighborhoods for listings near construction sites are in Brooklyn.

East Williamsburg,  Bed-Stuy and Hudson Yards had the highest percentage of listings that were about 160 feet within construction sites, which was the closest distance Localize.city measured. 

Neighborhoods on Localize.city’s top 20 were included if they had at least 20 listings on the market within 160 feet of a construction site and had to have at listings in at least five buildings within such a distance. 

Only two neighborhoods on this list were in Queens. None were in the Bronx or Staten Island. While the Bronx is undergoing its own building boom, the borough did not have enough home listings near construction sites to make the cut.

New buildings are often near even newer buildings

Residents who move into new buildings often find themselves living near even newer construction. While neighbors may have complained about the construction of their recently completed buildings, the residents in these new buildings then become the ones who complain about the new construction.

“Nearly 70 percent of listings in buildings built in 2016 and later are located about a block from an even newer residential building,” Gonen said. “Nearly 1 out of 5 are within 160 feet. So if you’re considering moving into a shiny new building, check the address at Localize.city to find out if you’ll have to deal with construction soon.”

METHODOLOGY

Localize.city’s data science team aggregates, decodes and analyzes tens of thousands of building applications for new residential buildings with four or more units from the NYC Department of Buildings in real time, as the data itself is updated. To create the timeline of construction projects, Localize.city created a proprietary predictive model that accounts for a project’s various phases (beginning with the early stage of pre-filing), as well as the probability that a project might not conclude successfully.

Localize.city’s urban planning team also examines the implications new construction has on residents in these neighborhoods as well as those eyeing potential moves to these areas.

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