According to StreetEasy’s Q1 2022 market report, rents are on the rise, particularly in Manhattan, where leases were nearly $1,000 more per month than last year, reaching a record average of $3,695.
In the first quarter of 2021, the median asking rent was $2,700, the lowest it’s ever been, according to StreetEasy data, which dates back to 2010.
Last year, a record 42.8% of Manhattan rentals advertised a concession of at least one month of free rent. This year, only 13.1% of rentals offered a concession.
Renter Rebecca Jaffe knows all about the crazy price hikes faced by manhattan renters. In February of 2021, she paid a COVID-friendly $1,400 a month for her Upper West Side studio apartment in a doorman building.
One year later, the rent soared to $1,850.
“This apartment, pre-COVID, would have been this price if not more because of the location,” she said.
SERHANT real estate broker Krista Nickols says don’t blame landlords, as the losses they suffered during the pandemic are gone forever. What’s happening now, she says, is a return to normal.
“We’re seeing in Midtown, where rents decreased so significantly, that now they are pretty much at pre-pandemic levels,” she said. “So they are where they should have been now that we are seeing such a return to the office.”
Nickols says pandemic-reduced lease agreements lured many first-time renters into Manhattan, and those younger tenants won’t be able to afford the substantial rent hikes. The result it that they move out, and that should boost inventory and ultimately stabilize prices.
Brooklyn asking rents also reached a new high, with a median of $2,800, up 16.9% from last year.
Queens, however, stands out as the only borough with falling prices and rising inventory.
Of the rentals available in Queens during the first quarter, 12.5% dropped their price while listed on StreetEasy. That was down from 17.8% in Q1 2021.
Still, the median asking rent in Queens rose 15.1% year over year to $2,300. The last time rents were this high was the first quarter of 2020, just before the pandemic hit.
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