NYC rents hit record lows in first quarter of 2021 – New York Daily News

It’s a renter’s paradise out there — at least, for now.
Most New York City rents fell over the last three months to a low not seen in a decade, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to hammer the city’s once-robust housing market, according to a report Friday from real estate website StreetEasy.
In Manhattan, the median price of a one-bedroom apartment plummeted to $2,700, the lowest average price since StreetEasy began tracking rents in 2010. Since the start of the pandemic last march, the average one-bedroom rental in Manhattan dropped $700 — down from an average high of $3,417.
Nowhere did rents tank harder than in Midtown and the Upper East Side, which both saw drops of around 15% in the first quarter of 2021, according to StreetEasy.
Manhattan remained the most expensive borough despite its precipitous drop in price, in part because rents also slid in Brooklyn and Queens.
In Kings County, the median rent tumbled to $2,390, the lowest it’s been since 2011, according to StreetEasy. In Queens, the median fell below $2,000 for the first time since 2014.
On top of the dropping rents, landlords were offering more free months than in the past, with Manhattan landlords handing out freebies about 44% of the time, the report said.
In Brooklyn and Queens, landlords were offering at least a free month of rent around 25% of the time.
But some lucky city dwellers got even better deals.
One renter said he and his girlfriend snagged a one-bedroom with a terrace in Flatbush that was supposed to go for $3,000 per month — but the landlord offered them 3.5 free months, drastically reducing their yearly outlay.
“It just shows that when there’s more empty apartments on the market, renters have a little more power so landlords have to give concessions,” the lucky renter said.
The StreetEasy report confirmed his theory, saying that the rising number of available rental units in the city is contributing to the drop in rent prices.
“It’s definitely a tough time to be a landlord right now,” said Nancy Wu, an economist with StreetEasy. “Not only is it hard to find people to fill your properties, you’re also making insane concession like for or five months rent for free.”
Another renter said she found a two-bedroom spot in Boerum Hill with outdoor space for $2,700 per month — even though the original asking price was $3,300.
“The landlord was super desperate,” she said, adding that there are still two more open apartments in the building.
The number of available rentals in Manhattan and Brooklyn more than doubled from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, the report said.
The study did not include the Bronx and Staten Island rent prices, but Wu said those boroughs had also seen modest drops in median rents.


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