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Rents are down, vacancy rates are up in NYC rental market

Jasmine Garsd Aug 14, 2020
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The notoriously pricey rental market is in upheaval. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Rents are down, vacancy rates are up in NYC rental market

Jasmine Garsd Aug 14, 2020
Heard on:
The notoriously pricey rental market is in upheaval. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The New York real estate firm Douglas Elliman’s latest report on New York City rentals for July finds record vacancy rates in some parts of the city — and the most significant year-over-year decline in rent in nine years.

The notoriously pricey rental market is in upheaval.

Kat O’Brien rents an apartment in Manhattan, a new place that she found during the pandemic. She’s still getting bombarded with ads, mostly for luxury housing.

“I’ve seen two months free, the most I saw was one on a 24-month lease, up to four months free,” O’Brien said.

“Landlords are having a much more difficult time filling apartments,” said Jonathan Miller, who authored the Douglas Elliman report. In Manhattan, “that’s why vacancy is double what it was a year ago — more than double — and it’s the highest that we’ve tracked in 14 years,” he said.

Average rent in Manhattan went down more than 6% from where it was in July 2019.

Looking ahead, economist Nancy Wu from the real estate firm StreetEasy said, “there’s going to be even higher vacancy rates, and even more supply coming into the market. I expect that we will be in here for a long time.”

But, for now, in Manhattan, that still means rents are averaging more than $4,000 a month.

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