A decade after rezoning, Middle Village remains an affordable bubble

Photo courtesy of Christopher Bride/PropertyShark

When the city approved a 300-block rezoning of Middle Village in 2009, it guaranteed that the neighborhood would continue to consist predominantly of one- to two-family houses. And with one fell swoop, the rezoning locked Middle Village’s status as a homeowner’s neighborhood.

Despite being pierced in the south by the M train, the Middle Village is one transit corridor that, for the most part, young single professionals have not made their way into. Local broker Sal Crifasi, of Crifasi Real Estate, said the lack of apartments and condos ends up chasing off young professionals.

Middle Village had about 12 percent of Ridgewood’s rental stock as of this August, according to StreetEasy. According to 2017 American Community Survey data, 61.5 percent of Middle Village residents are homeowners.

The morning QNS spoke with him, Crifasi said that a single client selling her house in order to buy a co-op elsewhere had asked him, “What do I need with three bedrooms?” 

At the same time, he said he doesn’t have much to offer people looking for co-ops of condos. Crifasi said that the demand has outpaced the inventory in the neighborhood. If there were more, singles would stay there.

“Believe it or not, I’d say maybe 30 percent are one person living in these homes. The kids moved out, and most of the times [the reason] we get the houses that are for sale is the fact that they either moved to the children or they passed away or they moved to Florida,” Crifasi said.

A large amount of the housing that enters the market for sale in Middle Village is from estate sales or people taking advantage of flushing conditions to move elsewhere.

But unlike rental prices, which have outpaced demand, property values in Middle Village has stayed lower than surrounding public transit hubs like Forest Park or Rego Park. 

While the rezoning may have insulated the neighborhood from shifts in development, Middle Village hasn’t remained unaffected by citywide property value trends. And like many neighborhoods across the city, home values in the area have been dipping recently. Crifasi said that this has turned the neighborhood into a buyer’s market. 

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