Daniel Shragaei Featured in NYREJ March 11, 2014

New York Real Estate Journal | Daniel Shragaei
Jamaica Queens: The newest frontier for smart investors?

Much of New York City’s real estate success is predicated on the ability to identify high-potential assets before the market bears down on them en masse.

In recent years, Williamsburg was the place to be. But quickly that submarket became over saturated with hungry investors, ready to pounce on any building with a foundation.

As the real estate market rebounds, homeowners, renters, and investors are rapidly being priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn. And, as competition heats up in those boroughs, Queens, with its sprawling residential landscape and affordable rental rates, is a natural next step for renters and investors.

Perhaps too often, we search for “the next Williamsburg” – a neighborhood readily equipped with eager young renters. But a few miles up the road, there’s a family-oriented residential market ripe for investment: Jamaica, Queens.

Jamaica is historically a stable neighborhood. With the abundance of spacious 1940’s construction, buildings in the neighborhood are a perfect fit for families, typically a less transient and more reliable rental base. The amount of affordable, attractive housing has begun to lure smart investors, making this an ideal seller’s market.

So far, the early returns have been astounding. We recently brokered a deal in which a residential building sold at a rate of $145,000 per door. A year ago, we were brokering similar deals for roughly $105,000 per door. We’ve been able to facilitate an increasing number of deals in the Jamaica neighborhood with similarly lucrative results.

The lesson, as always, for sellers and investors: Strike before the iron is hot.

Daniel Shragaei is an associate director, investment sales at GFI Realty, New York, N.Y.

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