NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some real estate agents say they’re seeing a shift in recent months with New Yorkers moving from Manhattan to the Bronx.

The O’Shaughnessy family is still getting settled in their new Bronx home.

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“I like the basement because we can stomp in it and play in it,” James O’Shaughnessy said.

They lived in Manhattan for ten years, but when COVID kept them inside, their two-bedroom apartment began feeling smaller than ever.

“We needed more space. We were both working at home. The kids were doing school at home,” Daniel O’Shaughnessy told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.

“Mentally, we were, like, out of apartment living,” Sophia O’Shaughnessy said.

They had heard COVID made New York City a buyer’s market, but found the so-called “pandemic deals” in Manhattan were short-lived.

“For a three-bedroom apartment, which we sort of desperately needed, I mean, it was $800,000, $900,000, a million and just out of reach,” Daniel O’Shaughnessy said.

“What hasn’t caught up and what a lot of folks don’t realize is the Bronx hasn’t quite got there yet, so there’s still tremendous value in the Bronx,” said real estate broker Matthew Bizzarro, CEO of the Bizzarro Agency.

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As of July, the median home sale price in Manhattan was $1.2 million compared to $386,000 in the Bronx.

There are no hard numbers on how many people, but Bizzarro says he is seeing a Bronx shift.

“Right now, we’re getting tons of clients coming to us directly saying, ‘Hey, I love this area. I wanna move to the Bronx,'” he said. “That’s one of the largest trends we started seeing in 2021 like we’ve never seen before.”

More than 90% of Bronx residents are minority residents, a higher share than any other borough. Changes in the real estate market bring concerns of gentrification.

“As people of a higher income move into a community, you have housing developments that go up and the working class can’t afford it,” Bronx native Emerita Torres said.

Torres is vice president of policy at the Community Service Society of New York.

“We need universal tenant protections. For example, good cause eviction protection,” she said. “We need to protect those who aren’t protected under rent stabilization laws.”

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Torres says families who are moving in can be good neighbors by advocating for those who already live there.

Ali Bauman