Queens beats Brooklyn for most in-demand rental market in NYC
- The median asking rent in Long Island City set a new record high in May at $4,259
- In Astoria the median asking rent for May rose 10 percent year over year to $2,750
It will be no surprise to residents of Long Island City and Astoria that Queens has now surpassed Brooklyn as the most in-demand rental market in New York City.
According to a report from StreetEasy, hybrid work is reshaping the Queens rental market: Renters are seeking affordable neighborhoods with quick commutes to Manhattan, but that competition for apartments is driving up rents. A limited number of listings in Queens is also a factor; the borough has just a fraction of the apartments available in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Queens apartment listings in May received 133 percent more inquiries compared to pre-pandemic levels, as per the StreetEasy report, while Brooklyn saw a 108 percent increase compared to the same period in 2019. Demand for apartments in Queens pushed the borough-wide asking rent 12 percent higher year over year to $2,800 in May, setting a record high for the second, consecutive month.
This is consistent with the latest data from the Elliman Report, which put the median rent for apartments in the northwest region of Queens at $3,402 in May, 15.3 percent higher than the same period last year. The data also reflects recent rankings of neighborhood popularity by RentHop, in which Astoria jumped from ninth place to first, taking the lead as the hottest spot in NYC to find a rental.
The increased popularity of northwest Queens
Northwest Queens largely comprises the neighborhoods of Astoria, Long Island City, and Sunnyside. In these neighborhoods, StreetEasy found the average listing in May received 150 percent more inquiries compared to the same period in 2019 before the pandemic.
Breaking down the data by neighborhood, median asking rents in Long Island City set a new record high in May at $4,259, up 3.9 percent compared to the same period last year. This is 52 percent higher than the borough median and reflects the area's new developments with luxury amenities, as well as its proximity to Manhattan and convenient access to Midtown.
Rents are increasing fastest in Astoria, where the median asking rent rose 10 percent year over year to $2,750 in May. Sunnyside also set new records this May with a median rent of $2,455, up 6.7 percent compared to the same period last year.
There's more demand than supply
In May, there were 3,983 apartments available for rent in Queens, which was a fraction of the inventory available in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The number represents an increase of 5 percent year over year but a 28.4 percent decrease when compared to the pre-pandemic levels of May 2019.
Brick's look at the most affordable neighborhoods in each borough highlighted Woodhaven, Middle Village, and South Ozone Park as the neighborhoods with the cheapest rentals in Queens. At publication time, median rents for a one bedroom in these areas was around $1,700.
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