The Rental Market

Rents in NYC have peaked at record highs

  • Median rent in Manhattan falls 1.9 percent to $4,022
  • Brooklyn's median rent falls 0.1 percent to $3,495
  • Luxury average and median rents in Manhattan reach new records
By Emily Myers | October 13, 2022 - 3:30PM

In September, the median rent in Brooklyn was $3,495, the second highest in history and only $5 off the all-time record set in August. 

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Finally, renters in New York City can catch a little bit of a break: After months of record highs, rents in New York City appear to have peaked.

For the first time in four months, the median rent in Brooklyn didn’t set an all-time record. However, at $3,495, it is still the second highest in history and only $5 off the all-time record of $3,500, which was set in August, according to the September edition of the Elliman Report for the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens rental markets. 

“For the first time, we are seeing some relief in that rents are leveling off,” says Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and the author of the report.

Are rents going down in NYC?

In September the median rent in Manhattan fell 1.9 percent to $4,022 compared to August, but this is still a 21 percent increase compared to the same month last year. Net effective median rent in Manhattan—that is, rent with concessions—fell for the second straight month to $3,982, slipping to the third highest on record. 

“After six months of records, we’ve had two months in a row where pricing has effectively moved sideways,” Miller says. 

In Brooklyn, net effective median rent slipped by 0.3 percent month over month to $3,452 for the first time in 11 months. 

What’s noticeable is the average rent in Manhattan continues to reach new highs. In September the average rent increased for the fifth straight month to $5,287 and yet the median—the number in the middle of the data set—is no longer rising. Miller says the average is “skewed higher by the luxury market.” 

Luxury rentals make up the top 10 percent of the market and in September the average rent in this category reached $15,293. The median luxury rent in Manhattan was $11,500. Both these figures are record highs and the median rent is 35.7 percent higher than it was in 2019. The strength of the luxury market can be explained by rising mortgage rates and economic uncertainty pushing would-be buyers into the rental market.  

In Queens, the median rent rose 4.4 percent compared to last month to a new high of $3,200. The median net effective rent, which reflects concessions like a month free, also rose by the same percentage to a record $3,176.

The market share of rents with concessions in Queens declined annually for the 14th straight month, suggesting landlords don’t need to offer these kinds of perks to encourage renters to sign a lease. In Manhattan, the market share of rentals with landlord concessions fell to its lowest level in more than six years.

Is it hard to find a rental in NYC? 

The summer is always a busier time for rentals and the fall in lease signings in September reflects this seasonality but also hints at just how intrepid the rental market is at the moment; the number of new leases signed in Manhattan fell by 23.2 percent between August and September and 14.3 percent compared to September last year.

Likewise, in Brooklyn, the number of new leases fell by 23 percent compared to last month. In Queens, the number of new lease signings fell for the sixth consecutive month.

For those signing new leases, bidding wars are still a feature of the Brooklyn rental market with 21.3 percent of the rents being above the landlord’s last asking price. This has been a consistent feature of the market for the past eight months, and means one out of every five apartments is seeing competition so fierce it is renting for more than the landlord is asking. 

In Manhattan, the number of apartments going to bidding wars fell below prior-year levels.

 

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.

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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