The Rental Market

Rents in NYC dip slightly but are still near record highs

  • Manhattan median rent slipped for the fourth time in five months to $3,976
  • Brooklyn median rent was 18.3 percent higher year over year at $3,250
  • The average rent increase at renewal time was 3.2 percent for market-rate apartments
By Emily Myers | January 12, 2023 - 10:30AM

In Manhattan, the median rent slipped for the fourth time in five months but was still 17.2 percent above the same period the previous year. 

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Renters continue to suffer in New York City with rents at or close to the record highs set in the summer of 2022. The Elliman Report for the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens rental markets in December shows median rents slipping slightly but still above what they were before the onset of the pandemic. 

In Manhattan, the net effective median rent—that is, rent with concessions like a month free—was the highest on record for a December. 

Rents in NYC stay higher than they were pre-pandemic

The winter months are typically slower for rentals in NYC and in Manhattan, the median rent slipped for the fourth time in five months to $3,976. Even so, this was 17.2 percent higher when compared to the same period the previous year. 

Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and the author of the report says what we are seeing are NYC rents staying flat but remaining stuck at a level higher than before the pandemic.

In Brooklyn, the median rent barely changed compared to the previous month but was 18.3 percent higher year over year, at $3,250. This metric is also 10.3 percent higher than rents were before the pandemic. In Queens, the median rent of $2,764 in December fell below the $3,000 threshold for the first time since May last year. 

In Brooklyn, new lease signings declined annually for the third consecutive month and in Queens they declined annually for the ninth consecutive month. 

Luxury apartments see record high rents 

Luxury rents—the top 10 percent of the market—reached record highs during the pandemic and the median rent for luxury apartments in Manhattan declined 4.3 percent to $11,000 in December. This is down from a peak of $13,000 in October 2022 but average and median luxury rents are still the third highest on record with data going back a decade.

In NYC, Manhattan doorman apartments represent the higher end of the market, and in December the net effective median rent for units with a doorman rose 3 percent month over month to $4,934. This is a 14.8 percent increase year over year. 

According to Corcoran's Manhattan rental market report for December, tenants were quicker to sign leases in non-doorman buildings—on average these apartments were listed for 85 days before being leased. In more-expensive doorman properties the average time it took apartments to be leased was 105 days. 

Available apartments are below the long-term average

The vacancy rate in Manhattan, which is the percentage of all the available rental apartments in an area, is slowly trending higher and in December it rose for the eighth straight month to reach 2.69 percent. The long-term average for the decade is 2.74 percent. Miller says this metric is an indicator that the rental market is “still relatively tight.”

Corcoran's December rental report for Brooklyn notes that active listings in the borough fell to the lowest level since July 2022. However, according to the Elliman Report, the average landlord concession paid in Brooklyn in December was 1.4 months free, the highest in fourteen months. In Queens, the market share of apartments with a landlord concession rose to 16.3 percent, its highest level since last May.

Rent increases at renewal are down for the third straight month

According to data from the listing service openigloo, rent increases at lease renewal time have hovered at 5 percent since August of 2022.

In December, the average rent increase at renewal time was 3.2 percent on market-rate apartments. This is compared to an average 18.2 percent increase during the same period the year before. The average increase in Manhattan was 2.4 percent, while in Brooklyn it was 6.7 percent. Of the renewals reported in December, 84 percent had an increase of less than 5 percent.

 

Emily Myers

Senior Writer/Podcast Producer

Emily Myers is a senior writer, podcast host, and producer at Brick Underground. She studied journalism at the University of the Arts, London, and graduated with a MA Honors degree in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh. As host of the Brick Underground podcast she has earned three awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.
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