New York City Becomes A Renters' Market

January 6, 2017

Facing vacancies and rising inventory, landlords in New York City are slowing rent prices.

The New York Times reports that Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens will be renters' markets in 2017. Rent rates, which had been forever rising, have leveled off in both more expensive buildings and older buildings. Property managers are luring new renters by waiving broker’s fees and offering gift cards and months of free rent.

Half of all renters in the city are cost burdened, meaning that they spend more than one-third of their income toward housing. Between that and the influx of high-end new apartment buildings, many renters sought affordable apartments outside of the city.

Despite the perks, rent in New York will still be expensive. The median rent in Manhattan in the third quarter of last year was $3,405 a month.

Landlords would rather offer a few months of free rent than lower the base rent, because when base rents fall, the building’s value falls too. But come March or April, when the rental season moves into high gear, landlords will be pressured to move apartments. “Rents have got to come down. That’s the only way to get the absorption rates back,” says David J. Maundrell III, the executive vice president of new developments in Brooklyn and Queens for Citi Habitats.

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