Your Next Move

What you can get for $1 million in Long Island City, where your dollars go farther and commuting is easy

  • Housing is predominately new construction condos and rentals; co-ops and townhouses are rare
  • Median sales prices are $679,000 for a studio and $957,000 for a one-bedroom condo
  • It's more expensive than Astoria and has more full-service condos than Greenpoint
By Nancy A. Ruhling  |
October 18, 2023 - 9:30AM
your next move brick underground

A studio at Skyline Tower, the tallest condo building in Queens with luxe amenities, is on the market for $685,246.

BGY Cityview

Have you always wanted to live in Long Island City but assumed you were priced out? In this new series, Brick looks at listings in New York City’s most in-demand neighborhoods for under $1 million—roughly the median sales price for Manhattan co-ops and condos—as well as higher-priced options below $2.5 million. 

If your goal is to live large, think small: Buying a studio or one bedroom is a way to net the nabe of your dreams. New to buying NYC real estate? Be sure to wrap your head around the difference between co-ops and condos. Co-ops are generally less expensive but also are older and have fewer bells and whistles than condos—plus more rules. With that in mind—happy hunting!

In this week’s Your Next Move, Patrick W. Smith, an associate broker at Corcoran, and Serene Powers, the founder and CEO of Serene Powers Real Estate, give us the inside story on Long Island City, a vibrant, cultural-rich community defined by its waterfront parks.

What draws buyers to the neighborhood?

Calling Long Island City one of the more desirable neighborhoods in New York City, Smith says that its varied amenities, which have exploded in the last eight years to include restaurants, bars, and big-box retailers like Target and Trader Joe’s, are the main draws.

“It’s a one-stop subway ride to Midtown Manhattan,” he says, adding that the addition of two ferries and the 2015 extension of the No. 7 line to Hudson Yards have made it even more accessible.

Smith points to new businesses in the offing, notably Chelsea Piers Fitness, the indoor skydiving center iFLY, and the public boathouse in the Gotham Point waterfront complex (with no-fee luxury rentals), as making Long Island City even more attractive.

These recent additions, he says, have unified Long Island City’s three micro-neighborhoods—Hunters Point, Court Square, and Queens Plaza—creating a real sense of community in what was once considered a bedroom community outside of Manhattan primarily for people who commuted to Midtown East.

“Long Island City’s real estate is a real value proposition,” he says. "The neighborhood’s not a secret anymore.”

Powers says Long Island City has a lot to offer to prospective purchasers, namely a vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene, and the location is prime.

“It offers a faster, more convenient commute to Midtown than from the Upper East or Upper West Side” and is one to two stops from the nightlife of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, she says.

The neighborhood’s real estate is equally appealing. “Most residential buildings are very new and equipped with a lot of amenities, including a washer/dryer in the unit, a state-of-the-art gym, and sometimes even swimming pools,” she says, adding that parking is a lot more affordable than it is in neighboring Manhattan.

What are housing and pricing like?

The main type of housing in Long Island City is rentals, followed by condos. There are only two co-op buildings because developers are no longer building them in this new-construction neighborhood. One-family to three-family townhouses are rare—there are only about 250 in the neighborhood.

Smith reports that prices range from about $675,000 to, in rare cases, $3 million to $4 million for townhouses.

What type of property can I get for under or around $1 million?

You can find a lot of choices in this price category, Smith says, noting that the median closing price in 2022 was $679,000 for a studio condo and $957,000 for a one-bedroom condo.

StreetEasy currently lists 38 properties on the market in this price range.

I can stretch my budget. What can I get for $2.5 million?

In this price range, you can buy practically anything you desire and still have a substantial amount of money left over, according to Smith.

A two-bedroom penthouse with outdoor space and parking is one option, he says, noting that the median closing price (in 2022) of two-bedroom condos was $1.4 million; for three-bedroom condos, it was $2.15 million.

Are there any newer condo developments I should check out?

Newer condos typically offer the most luxurious amenities and finishes, features that attract many buyers.

The 2021 opening of the Durst Organization’s Sven, a rental building in Queens Plaza Park that’s the second tallest structure in Queens, has greatly contributed to the residential development of the areas around Queens Plaza North, an area that Smith advises prospective buyers to check out.

“Several high-end projects have recently opened there, and several more in the pipeline will transform the north side of LIC,” he says.

One of these new developments, Noble LIC, is set to open next year. The six-story luxury building has 46 studios, one bedrooms, and two bedrooms. Each condo has private outdoor space, a washer/dryer, and high-end finishes. The building has a fitness center with a terrace, a residents’ lounge, pet spa, and landscaped roof deck with a grill station. An on-site garage and bicycle parking are also available. There are no active listings.

What are the nearby neighborhoods, and are they less expensive?

The two communities that are closest in character to Long Island City, what Smith calls its “sibling neighborhoods,” are Astoria and Greenpoint.
Astoria, he notes, is less expensive than Long Island City.

“It’s more difficult to compare prices with Greenpoint,” he says, “because the properties are different. Greenpoint, which is a 10-minute walk away and is further culturally along than Long Island City, has boutique condo projects; Long Island City has more full-service buildings, which can be more expensive.”

Check out these listings that are around $1 million in Long Island City.

your next move brick underground

10-50 Jackson Ave., #6A

Listed for $999,000, this corner one-bedroom condo is 843 square feet and has a full bath, half bath, balcony, open kitchen with an island, washer/dryer, heated engineered-wood flooring, and walk-in closets. The pet-friendly 48-unit, 12-story building dates to 2007. Amenities include an attended lobby, fitness center, and 2,000-square-foot roof deck with panoramic views. Bicycle and personal storage are available. 

your next move brick underground

37-26 32nd St., #N4E

This 1,217-square-foot unit, which has one bedroom and one bath, is in Eden Condominium, which opened in 2022. It has oversized windows, a dishwasher, and wide-plank oak floors and asking price of $795,000. The two-tower development has a courtyard with cabanas, an outdoor sauna, barbeque stations, seating areas, and a reflection pool. Additional amenities include on-site parking, bicycle storage, cold storage, a fitness center, yoga studio, and lounge with a full kitchen. Pets are allowed. 

your next move brick underground

3 Court Square, #1106

Located in Skyline Tower, at 67 stories the tallest condo building in Queens , this 420-square-foot studio is listed for $685,246. It has a walk-in closet, marble bathroom vanity, and galley kitchen with a dishwasher. The 802-unit building, built in 2019, features a fitness center, yoga/pilates studio, swimming pool, sauna and steam room, pet spa, playroom, business center, social room with demo kitchen and terrace, parking, bicycle room, and storage. 

your next move brick underground

4-74 48th Ave., #5P

This 502-square-foot studio has 10-foot ceilings and an open kitchen with a dishwasher. It is in the CityLights development, which opened in 1996. The elevator, pet-friendly building has a full-time doorman, live-in super, concierge services, a gym, community recreation facility, package room, and available parking. The unit is on the market for $450,000. 

your next move brick underground

5-19 Borden Ave., #8L

Listed for $899,000, this 726-square-foot one-bedroom condo has wide-plank oak floors, a balcony, washer/dryer, and an open kitchen with a dishwasher and an eat-in peninsula. The elevator building, which dates to 2010, has a full-time concierge and doorman, gym, bicycle storage, residents’ lounge, landscaped garden with grills, and terrace. Pets are allowed. 

Nancy A. Ruhling is a freelance writer based in New York City.



Nancy A. Ruhling

Freelance Journalist

Nancy A. Ruhling has written for over 50 digital and print publications, including The New York Times, HuffPost and Mansion Global. The Queens-based journalist frequently contributes articles to Brick Underground's Buy Curious column. 

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