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NYC Apt. Rents Reach New Heights

Photo of Grant Long Senior economist Grant Long of StreetEasy.

NEW YORK CITY—Notwithstanding a slowdown in the pace of growth, rents in all three of the boroughs tracked by StreetEasy reached record highs in July. Year-over-year growth was lowest in Manhattan, yet in common with Brooklyn and Queens, the city’s highest-priced borough saw significant declines in rental discounts.

“A mix of rising rents and fewer discounts or concessions from landlords shows signs of stabilization after a weaker rental market last year,” says Grant Long, senior economist with StreetEasy. “While welcome news for landlords, renters planning on signing a new lease before summer ends should expect limited negotiating power and will need to act fast. This is especially true in the city’s least expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, and Upper Manhattan, all of which have risen dramatically in popularity over the past year.”

Although up just 0.2% from July 2016, median asking rents across Manhattan rose to $2,980, the highest since StreetEasy has been keeping track. Annual rent growth of 1.3% pushed the median asking rent in Queens to $1,966, while Brooklyn’s median figure grew 1% over the past year to $2,453.

Upper Manhattan’s annual growth in median rents was 2.2%, the highest growth rate for Manhattan although the submarket is still the borough’s least expensive. In Brooklyn, the fastest-growing submarkets in terms of Y-O-Y rent gains were South Brooklyn at 1.8% and East Brooklyn at 1.5%. Median asking rents in Northeastern Queens grew the most of any Queens submarket, up 4% from the year-ago period to $1,931.

Just 26% of rentals in Queens received a discount in July, compared to 40% a year ago. Discounted rental rates by borough were 32% in Brooklyn and 36% in Manhattan, down from a high of nearly 50% in both boroughs last fall. The most-discounted neighborhoods were Manhattan’s Upper West Side and Northern Brooklyn, each at 40%; at the other end of the spectrum were South Queens and the Rockaways, with discounted apartments representing 12% and 13% of their respective submarkets’ inventory.

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