New York City Rents Continue To Fall

Real Estate

New York City rents continue to fall, according to a first-quarter report released today by StreetEasy. 

Manhattan rents fell to $2,700 a month, the cheapest since 2010 for the Zillow-owned listing site. By comparison, the median asking rent in Manhattan was more than $3,400 in the first quarter of 2020, before the start of the pandemic.

Midtown saw the biggest decrease, with rents falling 14.8% to a median price of $2,895. 

 In Brooklyn, the median asking rent hit just under $2,400, the lowest they have been since 2011. In Queens, the median asking rent dropped below $2,000, to $1,999, for the first time in eight years. 

In addition, a record high 44.2% of Manhattan rental units were advertising at least one month of free rent, nearly double the 22.5% of rentals with those concessions last year.

High inventory levels are driving the price down. The report found that the number of rentals available in New York City has more than doubled compared to 2020. 

StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu believes that prices could stay low, with rental activity picking up over the summer.  

“With the weather getting warmer and more people rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated, New Yorkers are starting to feel a sense of normalcy,” Wu said in a statement. “As this continues, the rate that apartments come off the market will continue to ramp up.”

Wu noted that renters don’t need to rush to sign a new lease to claim a good deal. 

“It will take time for prices to rebound,” Wu said. “But the rentals market does react to economic activity much more quickly than the sales market. As the city continues to recover, competition will slowly start to pick up.”

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