Is the rental market going to crash?


This scorched-earth insanity shows how truly bad the rental market is, as well as how a lot of these landlords view themselves vs tenants. Firstly, these are not units which just became vacant - they have been vacant since at least January 1st and in most cases longer, some significantly. Example: the unit across the hall from mine vacated October 1st. It has never been listed on the market and even when I called the leasing office was told it is not available, yet there it sits. So even if prices rise 20% how long will it take to make up 9 to 12 months of vacancy rather than just rent at current market? (Also factor in that if prices rise they would have been able to increase rents on these units anyway). I think this shows these landlords believe "market" to rent out all their units is worse than the reports are saying.

I also think it is a game of brinkmanship to try and trigger the vacancy provision in the New York State Rent Stabilization statute. I predict this is another tactical mistake because in my opinion the same coalitions that handed the Real Estate industry it's head with the totally tenant sided version of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 will most probably just change that provision. I also think that Cuomo won't be in a position to prevent it given his recent issues.

Secondly, even if demand does increase significantly, what happens when these units all come flooding back on the market within a short time frame? Supply vs demand in pricing still holds. It won't be worth losing these huge amounts of rent.

Thirdly I think this proves my statement that the uptick in deal volume in January and February is more evidence of market churn rather than "improvement." That is to say rather than tenants moving back I think most of these deals are:
Landlords are giving both discounts off rents and concessions to new tenants but largely refusing to budge on renewals. So a lot of tenants who had no intention of moving but are being given extreme financial incentives to move and disincentives to stay are pulling the trigger. Often times moving very short distances (like the building next door, around the block, etc) to larger spaces for less money. This yields a false narrative of volume meaning the market is "improving." If the market was improving would you ever see this warehousing?

Also note the reaction from legislators and housing advocates. This is not great PR for an industry facing a pretty big "cancel rent due to pandemic" movement. It totally contradicts the narrative of "poor landlords can't afford to lose rents" and "we will go back to 1970s with mass property abandonment." If they can afford to willingly carry large amounts of units vacant with no rent how can they argue that forgiving rent to some occupied units will bankrupt them?

But it's the same in the sales market: if developers really believed how great the sales market was doing what are we still seeing with projects like One Wall Street? It was scheduled to launch sales over 2 years ago and wrap up in 2020. They announced Core as the sales agency but still haven't launched sales. If Macklowe believed the current hype why not? And that's not the only one.
Would be interesting to plot monthly subway ridership against rental activity. The former being a proxy for getting back to work and some level of improved overall activity in the city. Your point about churn makes a ton of sense. I'm also seeing a decent amount of activity crossing back into Manhattan from Brooklyn when it comes to rentals. Especially from areas that are farther in.
 

David Goldsmith

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Even with record new activity the hole seems too deep still.

April leases soared across city; so did concessions​

Rental signings hit record highs but prices fell as landlords cut deals​

Manhattan, Brooklyn and parts of Queens saw record residential lease signings in April, the latest indicator of the market’s steady rebound. But overall rent prices also fell, as landlords across the city were still willing to offer concessions to close deals.
In Manhattan, there were 9,087 leases signed last month, while Brooklyn had 2,175, according to Doulgas Elliman’s rental market report. In the Queens areas of Long Island City, Astoria and Woodside, there were 570; those Queens signings were the most since 2011.

The eye-popping year-over-year signing increases — 546 percent in Manhattan and 395 percent in Brooklyn — highlighted the record low numbers in April 2020, when Covid lockdowns slammed the brakes on leases.
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Jonathan Miller, who authors the Elliman report, said college students are contributing to what he called the “unbelievable surge in activity.” As schools prepare for in-person classes, rental demand has picked up.
But the jump in leases has not driven up prices. Rents declined at the highest rate on record, as concessions boosted activity.

Manhattan’s net effective median rent — which factors in concessions — was $2,791 in April. That was 6.2 percent less than the month before, breaking a four-month streak of rising prices. It was also the largest month-over-month price decline in a decade, Miller said. The April rent price was a 21.2 percent drop year-over-year, marking the second sharpest dip since 2008. The sharpest drop was in November.

“The metrics are still too weak,” Miller said. “The good sign for landlords is that there’s been a significant surge of activity, but at the same time, there’s still high vacancy, a large use of concessions marker-wide.”
The 2.2 months of free rent Manhattan landlords offered in April was the second highest concession total that Miller’s appraisal firm Miller Samuel ever recorded.

In Brooklyn, net effective median rent was $2,614, essentially flat from March. But that was an 18.2 percent drop year-over-year. And the 1.9 months of free rent landlords offered was also the second highest total since June 2010, according to the report.

In the three Queens neighborhoods, net effective median rent rose 3.4 percent from March to $2,370. Still, that price was 15.7 percent below April 2020. Tenants last month also received 2.6 months of free rent, the highest amount Miller Samuel has recorded.
The high number of new developments to hit the Queens market has also given tenants more options, Miller said. A third of leases signed in that area last month were for new construction buildings, though most of the deals were the result of landlord concessions.

Despite the deals, there is still an inventory glut in the three boroughs.
The number of units on the market in Manhattan stood at 20,743 in April, 5.7 percent more than March. But the total was far above the roughly 4,700 units on the market in April 2020. In Brooklyn, the 16,154 units on the market last month fell by 8 percent from March. But that didn’t tell the whole story. Last month’s total compared to just 1,350 units on the market in April 2020.

And in the Queens neighborhoods, available inventory stood at 3,598 last month, a 10.5 percent drop from March. But that compared to just 336 units on the market in April 2020.
 

David Goldsmith

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NYC Apartment Rents Plunge 21%, Even as New Leases Hit Record Highs​

The median rent for a New York City apartment posted the biggest monthly decline in 13 years, even as new leases hit a 12-year high​

Rents Drop, But Lease Signings Are Up in NYC

Rents in New York City are falling – even as lease signings make a huge jump. Lynda Baquero reports.
Everyone's coming back to New York City ... and they're paying less than they have in years.
There were just over 9,000 new apartment leases signed in the city in April, the highest number ever recorded in a month, according to the new monthly market report from brokers DouglasElliman and appraisers Miller Samuel.
But all that demand came at a cost to landlords. The "net effective median rent," or rents minus landlord concessions, fell to $2,791.

That's down about 21 percent year over year, and it's also a drop of more than 6 percent in just one month -- the biggest month-on-month decline in NYC apartment rents since 2008. Some of that may be due to a flood of empty apartments raising the vacancy rate that is now nine percent higher than 2020.
The surge in demand as the city reopens is evident - just from March to April, the number of new lease signings surged 82 percent in Manhattan, 71 percent in Brooklyn and an eye-watering 224 percent in Queens.
What may be driving some of that demand is a little cabin fever. After a year of largely being stuck inside for most of the time, New Yorkers have grown weary of their cramped quarters and are on the hunt for new digs.
"You think to yourself, wow, maybe I can get a bigger apartment," said real estate broker Nikki Beauchamp. "Maybe I can get an apartment in a different neighborhood that was out of my reach before."
No matter the borough or apartment size, though, rents are plunging as landlords both cut prices and sweeten the pot with deals to entice tenants. With the exception of three-bedroom units in Queens, where prices actually rose slightly year over year, median rents are otherwise down double digits across the board.

Coming Back From a Pandemic
It seems hard to imagine when life in New York will get back to normal but at a museum dedicated to the city, its history shows how New York City came back from another pandemic one century ago. Michael Gargiulo reports.
While it's been a buyer's market for some time now in regards to apartment hunting in NYC, that may not last long. With offices reopening and more cultural draws coming back — Broadway, museums, sports, etc. — haggling over pricing may become more challenging as the city that never sleeps wakes up from its pandemic slumber.
 

David Goldsmith

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"But despite record lease signings, rental prices are still falling hard. Or should I say, because rental prices are still falling hard, new lease signings are rising sharply."

The NYC Rental Market Saw Record New Lease Signings And Significant Price Declines​

This week Douglas Elliman published our April rental market research for Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. This is part of a growing Elliman Report series I’ve been authoring since 1994.

Over the four months, prior to April, it was beginning to look like rental prices were beginning to stabilize. After all, net effective median rental price did not see a decline for four straight months and the rate of annual declines, while still huge, at 16%, were down significantly from 20%+ in the fall.





But despite record lease signings, rental prices are still falling hard. Or should I say, because rental prices are still falling hard, new lease signings are rising sharply.



Elliman Report: April 2021 Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens Rentals

______________________________________________________
MANHATTAN RENTAL MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

“The highest number of new lease signings on record spurred on by continued price declines.”

  • The highest number total number of new lease signings and the highest annual rate of growth since monthly tracking began in 2008
  • Month over month net effective median rent declined annually for the first time in five months and at the highest rate in a decade
  • The second-largest year over year decline in median net effective rent in more than a decade
  • Landlord concessions rose to their second-highest level, falling just short of the record set back in January
  • Both doorman and non-doorman rentals saw their largest year over year declines in nearly a decade of tracking
  • Existing rentals saw their largest annual decline in six and a half years and were twice the rate of new development rentals
  • The market share of luxury market concessions continued to be less than the remainder of the market






______________________________________________________
BROOKLYN RENTAL MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

“The market was characterized by record new lease signings combined with a record decline in net effective median rent.”

  • The highest number total number of new lease signings and since monthly tracking began in 2009
  • Landlord concessions rose to their second-highest level, falling just short of the record set back in January
  • While median rent for all apartment sizes fell year over year, 1-bedrooms and 2-bedrooms fell at record rates






______________________________________________________
QUEENS RENTAL MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

[Northwest Region]
“The numbers of leases surged to a new record as net effective median rent fell month over month for the twelfth time.”

  • Landlord concessions jumped to their second-highest level, falling short of the record set back in January
  • The highest number total number of new lease signings and since monthly tracking began in 2011
  • Highest market share of new development listings in eighteen months




 

David Goldsmith

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With inventory high and landlords needy, NYC renters are upgrading​

The rent was too damn high — and now New Yorkers can live it up in nicer apartments.

“This is a golden age to be a renter in the city right now,” said John Walkup, 47, co-founder of real estate data and analytics platform UrbanDigs.

“You have a ton of inventory so you have great choices, you’ve got landlords who actually need you, and so they’re offering concessions and they’re offering lower rents.”
During the COVID-19 lockdown, a wave of apartments hit the market, bringing rental-home availability to record highs. Eventually, landlords slashed prices to lure in tenants.

In the first quarter of 2021, according to StreetEasy, median Manhattan rents reached a new low of $2,700 per month, down from $3,417 a year earlier. Brooklyn median rents fell 10 percent to $2,390 year-over-year and those in Queens slipped below $2,000 for the first time since 2013.

“The pandemic was really the shock that cracked this open,” said Walkup.

How long will the deals last now that the city is in recovery mode?

Despite “fear that rents are going to start spiking,” supply remains high. “I honestly don’t see that happening for at least a year,” Walkup said.

Here are three locals who snagged bigger and better flats for themselves — either for a price similar to their previous one, or less.

He got twice the space for less​

Old rent: $2,550 per month
New rent: $2,350 per month


Software engineer Raylen Margono, 26, traded a 450-square-foot one-bedroom in East Williamsburg for a 900-square-foot one-bedroom in the heart of Williamsburg — and is paying $200 less in monthly rent.


“There’s just so much space that you can finally make it an apartment,” said Margono.

It’s also nicer.

At his previous building, issues mounted during the pandemic. There was a fly infestation — and when his air conditioner broke in the sweltering days of summer, building management told him he’d need to wait a week for a new one. Ongoing construction on the property’s facade made matters worse.

“I was hearing drilling on the side of the building, and it would shake the apartment while I was working from home — it was horrible,” he said.

So he took advantage of pandemic pricing and scoured listings.

“You’re looking at what you have right now and you’re looking at what you can have at a better rate — and what you can have is a better apartment at a better rate, [so] why not jump on it?” he said.

In January, he negotiated two free months on a 14-month lease on his new place, which also has high ceilings and an “enormous” bathroom. Like at his former pad, Margono’s air conditioner broke this week, but the new building’s management told him they’d fix it that day.

“This place really has their s–t together,” he said.

They scored luxe amenities such as a roof terrace for $55 more
Old rent: $2,395 per month
New rent: $2,450 per month

Connor Verde and Alanna Kaminski will soon move across the street to a luxury Astoria building whose roof deck looks out to the Manhattan skyline.
Connor Verde and Alanna Kaminski will soon move across the street to a luxury Astoria building whose roof deck looks out to the Manhattan skyline.
Stefano Giovannini
When high school sweethearts Connor Verde and Alanna Kaminski, both 22, moved into their roughly 500-square-foot Astoria one-bedroom last July, they immediately noticed one thing. The building across the street was much nicer.


“It’s got a gym, it has a rooftop, an elevator, more responsive management … how do we get over there?” said Verde, who works in finance.

Since they had moved to New York during the pandemic, they had rented the walk-up pad — with no building amenities — sight unseen. They soon realized it wasn’t worth the expense.

“I was unhappy with the condition of the apartment in terms of issues with roaches … management was pretty unresponsive, leaks in the ceiling would take weeks to fix,” said Verde. “It was impossible to justify that price any more.”

Aided by their agent, Triplemint’s Theresa Persaud, they asked management for free months and a lease break, but nothing worked.

So they kept an eye on listings across the way as prices slipped. A similarly sized one-bedroom popped up for $2,500. The couple negotiated the price down and move in Tuesday.

“Moving here was the right choice because we have all these amenities and we’re paying relatively the same price,” said Kaminski, a nanny.

“I love looking at the skyline and watching the sunset,” said Kaminski. “Now we can go to the rooftop and watch that every night.”

She scored a second bedroom for the same price

Old rent: $2,995 per month
New rent: $2,995 per month





“This place really has their s–t together,” he said.

They scored luxe amenities such as a roof terrace for $55 more
Old rent: $2,395 per month
New rent: $2,450 per month


Connor Verde and Alanna Kaminski will soon move across the street to a luxury Astoria building whose roof deck looks out to the Manhattan skyline.
Connor Verde and Alanna Kaminski will soon move across the street to a luxury Astoria building whose roof deck looks out to the Manhattan skyline.
Stefano Giovannini
When high school sweethearts Connor Verde and Alanna Kaminski, both 22, moved into their roughly 500-square-foot Astoria one-bedroom last July, they immediately noticed one thing. The building across the street was much nicer.


“It’s got a gym, it has a rooftop, an elevator, more responsive management … how do we get over there?” said Verde, who works in finance.

Since they had moved to New York during the pandemic, they had rented the walk-up pad — with no building amenities — sight unseen. They soon realized it wasn’t worth the expense.

“I was unhappy with the condition of the apartment in terms of issues with roaches … management was pretty unresponsive, leaks in the ceiling would take weeks to fix,” said Verde. “It was impossible to justify that price any more.”

Aided by their agent, Triplemint’s Theresa Persaud, they asked management for free months and a lease break, but nothing worked.

So they kept an eye on listings across the way as prices slipped. A similarly sized one-bedroom popped up for $2,500. The couple negotiated the price down and move in Tuesday.

“Moving here was the right choice because we have all these amenities and we’re paying relatively the same price,” said Kaminski, a nanny.

“I love looking at the skyline and watching the sunset,” said Kaminski. “Now we can go to the rooftop and watch that every night.”


The pair outfitted their former apartment nicely, but knew the building across the street was nicer overall.
The pair outfitted their former apartment nicely, but knew the building across the street was nicer overall.
Courtesy of Anna Kaminski and Co
She scored a second bedroom for the same price
Old rent: $2,995 per month
New rent: $2,995 per month


Having upgraded to a much larger two-bedroom apartment in the same building, Hannah Shatzen now has the space to seat five guests for a dinner party.
Having upgraded to a much larger two-bedroom apartment in the same building, Hannah Shatzen now has the space to seat five guests for a dinner party.
New York Post
“Instead of being, ‘I wish I had this, I wish I had that,’ I live comfortably now — and I have all the amenities that I need,” said 31-year-old Chelsea resident Hannah Shatzen, who traded a roughly 600-square-foot one-bedroom for a nearly 1,000-square-foot two-bedroom one floor below.

That includes more space for entertaining.

“I’ve always wanted to be able to have a dining room table that can fit four to five people,” she said, but the space in her old unit didn’t allow for it. (A table with a leaf couldn’t expand.)

Now it’s out, and set with three new chairs and a bench — all under a vibrant work by the late painter Jules Olitski.

“This is my goal: to be able to have a dinner party in my apartment — and I can do it now,” she said.

She nabbed the larger unit for the one-bedroom’s original $2,995 rent — she had gotten a brief COVID concession — after seeing it list on StreetEasy and working with Corcoran agent Trina Cooper to make it hers.

Shatzen, who works in marketing, moved in Valentine’s Day..
Now, she uses the second bedroom as a wardrobe and home office.

“When I’m done, I can walk out and actually have a moment of serenity in another area of my apartment that doesn’t symbolize work,” she said. “That wasn’t the case before. I was always staring at my desk.”
 
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David Goldsmith

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Tenants locking in longer leases as apartment rents rise​

Brooklyn and Manhattan see most leases signed since '08​

The days where you could easily score a Manhattan apartment for under $3,000 may be almost over, but tenants have a plan: Sign longer leases.
As concessions fade and rents creep up in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Northwest Queens, tenants are signing longer leases to lock bargains in, according to the latest rental market report from Douglas Elliman.

In Manhattan, 9,491 new leases were signed in May, while Brooklyn saw 2,506 new leases. It was the highest number of new lease signings either borough had seen since 2008, and a strong sign that the pummeling the city’s rental market took during the pandemic is coming to an end.

In Northwest Queens — which includes Long Island City, Astoria and Woodside — 510 leases were signed. It’s the second-highest number of new leases signed in the borough, after last month’s record.
This surge in activity has pushed rents up. Median net effective rent, or rent that factors in concessions, was $3,037 in Manhattan in May, the first time the number crossed $3,000 since falling under that threshold in September.

In Brooklyn, net effective rent was $2,644 in May, and in Northwest Queens it was $2,304.
Tenants are signing longer leases to lock in the current rents while they still can. In December, 77.6 percent of leases being signed were for one year. In May, that number fell to 37.6 percent, according to Jonathan Miller, who authored the Elliman report. The average lease term in Manhattan was 15.6 months in May, compared to 13.3 months in February.

“Tenants are showing through action that they don’t anticipate a sharp drop in rental prices in the near term,” Miller said. “They’re signing longer leases to lock in the savings.”

The same trend is playing out in Brooklyn, which had an average lease length of 15.1 months in May, compared to 13.6 months in February. In Queens, tenants signed an average lease length of 16.2 months in May, compared to 13 months in February.
That’s not to say that concessions have completely disappeared. The two months of free rent that landlords gave tenants in Manhattan was the third-highest it’s ever been. Though that’s 33 percent higher than it was a year ago, it’s a decrease from the 2.3 free months the borough saw in January.

In Brooklyn, the amount of free rent fell by 5.3 percent to 1.8 months in May. In Northwest Queens, that number fell 7.7 percent to 2.4 months.
 

David Goldsmith

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Manhattan Is Cheap Again, and Brooklyn Isn’t​

This past year Brooklynites have been time traveling back to when Manhattan rents were $1,600 or $1,700 for a one-bedroom apartment in the West Village or the Upper East Side.

A 27-year-old woman who sells advertising for NBCUniversal gave up her apartment in East Williamsburg and lived with family for a year in Florida. When she returned, prices hadn’t dropped in Brooklyn but they had in Manhattan, she found, and she nabbed a sunny, well maintained one-bedroom in the West Village in April of this year for $2,050 and two months of free rent, reported the New York Times.

A 23-year-old restaurant manager snagged a rent-stabilized one-bedroom on the Upper East Side for $1,600 in June 2020. “I was like, ‘This has to be one of those fake listings,’” he told the Times. “When I went to see it, it was also no-fee. It blew my mind. I was like, ‘Jackpot!’”

“For those who had always hoped to secure a foothold in the priciest borough, the past year presented a rare opportunity: Apartments in prime Manhattan neighborhoods were, in some cases, cheaper than comparable spaces in Brooklyn or Queens,” said the Times. “In Brooklyn, rents dropped by about 11 percent during the pandemic; in Manhattan, they dropped 22 percent.”
 

David Goldsmith

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Brooklyn, Queens lease signings soar, as do Manhattan rents​

Rental activity surged past levels typical for November; vacancies scarce​

Manhattan rents jumped and lease signings soared in Brooklyn and Queens last month.
Renters signed more November leases in the two outer boroughs than they have in more than a decade, according to a report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

Brooklyn renters inked 1,361 leases, up 21 percent from last year and 55 percent from November 2019. In Northwest Queens, 369 leases were signed, up 102 percent from last year and 58 percent up from the year prior.

In Brooklyn, net effective median rent, which factors in concessions, was 4.5 percent higher than last year at $2,737. In Northwest Queens, it was 10 percent higher at $2,504.
Leasing activity fell by 18 percent in Manhattan, but rents rose at the fastest rate on record. Net effective median rent was 23 percent higher than it was last year — $3,369.

The price surge brought Manhattan rents to within 4 percent of its pre-pandemic level. Higher-priced apartments are now above where they were before Covid.
“The metrics are improving for landlords faster than anyone on the planet expected.”
Jonathan Miller
Net effective median rent for Manhattan units with a doorman was up 27 percent year-over-year, a record growth rate. The net effective median rent of $4,108 exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 2.3 percent.

Units without a doorman, which skew to the lower end of the market, had a median net effective rent of $2,584. That’s 11 percent higher than a year ago, but 12 percent lower than in 2019.
“The high end of the rental market, like the purchase market, is outperforming the balance of the market,” said report author Jonathan Miller. “That’s an inversion from pre-pandemic patterns.”

Concessions in Manhattan have disappeared at record rates for the past four months. New leases with concessions made up just 25.8 percent of the market in November. A year ago 56.6 percent of leases included concessions.

And concessions themselves are not as sweet as they were. They averaged 1.5 months of free rent last month, down from 2.1 free months in November 2020. They still exceed the pre-pandemic average of 1.2 months in November 2019, but the gap is narrowing.
“All the metrics in the rental market are tightening and improving for landlords faster than anyone on the planet expected,” Miller said, adding that it isn’t a total surprise given that employees were expected to return to the office in September, though variant concerns have pushed the timeline back.

The vacancy rate in Manhattan was just over 2 percent, as it was in October, but it has plummeted by two-thirds in the past year, the largest annual drop on record, Miller said. The borough had only 6,187 rentals available in November, a 59 percent drop from last year and a 76 percent drop since January, when listings peaked at 25,883.

Things were different in Brooklyn and Northwest Queens: Brooklyn had 3,864 units available, a modest 6.5 percent drop from a year ago, whereas Northwest Queens had 793, an uptick of 32 percent.
The market shift has resulted in a return to normalcy in terms of lease length, as tenants gained confidence in the city’s recovery and the price hikes it would bring. In Brooklyn, 24 percent of leases signed were for one year and 73 percent were for two years. That’s a reversal from last year, when 70 percent of leases were for one year and 25 percent were for two years.

In Northwest Queens, 15 percent of leases were for one year and 83 percent were for two. Last year, 85 percent of leases were for one year and 15 percent were for two.
“Tenants out there have a clear understanding that rents are rising and will continue to rise, so they’re locking in the longer term to enjoy the savings, whereas early on, they would [sign] shorter leases because they thought rents would continue to fall,” Miller said.
 

David Goldsmith

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The next 6 months in the NYC rental market will be interesting. About a year ago we saw record numbers of listings even though prices had plummeted. Then rather rapidly we saw both a large number of new lease signings and owners pulling product off the market and warehousing it. This was followed by a huge spike in new lease signings and prices through the Spring season. However it was fairly widely reported that the vast majority of owners were only giving 1 year leases. The will be a very large number of those expiring in the coming months, with current pricing at much higher numbers than last year's leases.

What is going to happen? For those who were renting below their means, they will have a tough decision but I think many will bite the bullet, grumble, and renew at higher numbers. I'm uncertain what will happen with those who were already at or near the long held belief of credit worthiness for rent limit (1/40 annual salary). If someone signed a lease a year ago at that number can they renew at +25%? And even if they choose to what will we see in terms of non-payment if the long held 1/40 is and accurate predictor?

The next few months will be telling. I think if we see listings start to increase substantially that will be a clue. However since owners have learned from last year to hide availability we may not get an accurate picture of the market looking at officially listed units.
 

David Goldsmith

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Follow up:
Anecdotally I have been hearing stories all week of leases coming up for renewal where landlords are asking for large increases and tenants electing not to renew. That means all these units will be coming back on the market. The rental guys are telling me they are seeing inventory already rising (estimates of 10% to 15% and rising).
 

David Goldsmith

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Manhattan rents hit highest-ever December record as supply plummets​


Listing inventory plunged 81% year-over-year in December, with less than 4,800 apartments listed as available for rent.Getty Images
The average cost of Manhattan apartment rentals surged to the highest ever for a December, with landlords demanding double-digit rent increases amid sharply dwindling supply.
The median rental price for Manhattan properties, including discounts, hit $3,392 last month — the highest for a December in more than a decade of record keeping and up 21% from the year-earlier December, according to a market report compiled by brokerage firm Douglas Elliman and appraiser Miller Samuel.
Median rents for doorman buildings – a proxy for luxury apartments, was $4,298, an annual increase of nearly 23%. By comparison, non-doorman buildings saw rents increase about 8% to $2,695.
Studio apartment units saw the biggest jump, with the median rental price jumping 22% to $2,550 for December.

Apartments located in downtown Manhattan were most expensive, with a median price that rose 28% to $4,095 for the month.
Median rents for doorman buildings – a proxy for luxury apartments, was $4,298, an annual increase of nearly 23%.Getty Images
The numbers marked a stark contrast compared to December 2020, when surging COVID-19 caseloads stoked concern of a mass exodus from New York City. The vacancy rate dropped to just 1.7%, down from nearly 11% one year earlier.
“What started as a trickle earlier last year has become like a geyser of demand,” Douglas Elliman rental broker Janna Raskopf told CNBC. “I’ve been doing this for 14 years and it’s absolutely unprecedented.”
Listing inventory plunged 81% year-over-year in December, with less than 4,800 apartments listed as available for rent.

The median rental price for Manhattan properties, including discounts, hit $3,392 last month — the highest for a December in more than a decade.Getty Images
The lack of available inventory appeared to impact the number of new leases, which fell nearly 40% to just 3,345 for the month. A surge of COVID-19 infections driven by the Omicron variant also likely affected the numbers.
“The market is coming off of unsustainable activity levels and trending toward more sustainable patterns in the coming months,” Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, told Bloomberg. “Omicron is in the mix for sure, just slowing down activity too.”

user-matching
 

David Goldsmith

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Manhattan rents are back to pre-pandemic levels after January spike​

Median rent jumped 23% year-over-year to within $100 of all-time high​

Rents in New York City approached all-time records last month as inventory grew increasingly scarce.
The median rental in Manhattan cost $3,467 last month, according to the New York Post, which cited the latest report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel. That was up a little over 2 percent from $3,392 in December, but it represented a 23 percent spike from January 2021 — falling just $5 short of the January record set in 2020, when the median rental was $3,472 per month.

Manhattan rents peaked at $3,540 in April 2020, a record that will soon fall if the current trajectory holds: Rents were up 21 percent year-over-year in December, indicating that price growth in the borough accelerated into January.
Northwest Queens saw a similar surge. The median rent hit $2,811 in January, up more than 28 percent from $2,185 in January 2021.

Prices in Brooklyn also rose, although not nearly at the same rate. The median rent jumped 11.1 percent year-over-year in the borough, hitting $2,747 in January.
A major driver of price growth in the housing market during the past year has been a persistent shortage of listings. A similar trend is occurring in the city’s rental market.

The number of rental listings in Manhattan plummeted a shocking 83.3 percent year-over-year in January. While there were more than 25,000 apartments listed for rent in the borough in January 2021, just 4,313 were on the market last month.
Listings in Brooklyn were down 86.4 percent year-over-year, to fewer than 2,800.

Offices in New York City remain largely empty, but with Covid numbers falling, more employers are expected to call workers back to their desks for at least several days per week. Another driver of demand for city rentals was the return of in-person schooling. And some folks who fled the city early in the pandemic tired of the suburban or rural lifestyles they adopted.
 

Noah Rosenblatt

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
Staff member

Manhattan rents are back to pre-pandemic levels after January spike​

Median rent jumped 23% year-over-year to within $100 of all-time high​

Rents in New York City approached all-time records last month as inventory grew increasingly scarce.
The median rental in Manhattan cost $3,467 last month, according to the New York Post, which cited the latest report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel. That was up a little over 2 percent from $3,392 in December, but it represented a 23 percent spike from January 2021 — falling just $5 short of the January record set in 2020, when the median rental was $3,472 per month.

Manhattan rents peaked at $3,540 in April 2020, a record that will soon fall if the current trajectory holds: Rents were up 21 percent year-over-year in December, indicating that price growth in the borough accelerated into January.
Northwest Queens saw a similar surge. The median rent hit $2,811 in January, up more than 28 percent from $2,185 in January 2021.

Prices in Brooklyn also rose, although not nearly at the same rate. The median rent jumped 11.1 percent year-over-year in the borough, hitting $2,747 in January.
A major driver of price growth in the housing market during the past year has been a persistent shortage of listings. A similar trend is occurring in the city’s rental market.

The number of rental listings in Manhattan plummeted a shocking 83.3 percent year-over-year in January. While there were more than 25,000 apartments listed for rent in the borough in January 2021, just 4,313 were on the market last month.
Listings in Brooklyn were down 86.4 percent year-over-year, to fewer than 2,800.

Offices in New York City remain largely empty, but with Covid numbers falling, more employers are expected to call workers back to their desks for at least several days per week. Another driver of demand for city rentals was the return of in-person schooling. And some folks who fled the city early in the pandemic tired of the suburban or rural lifestyles they adopted.
Confirmed. We hinted at this a few weeks ago in our weekly report. We will revisit today in Manhattans Friesssssss day report
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member

February frenzy: Manhattan rents smash records as bidding wars become norm​


Vacancies fell to lowest February levels since 2008​

Forget the winter rental doldrums. Apartment hunting in New York City last month was not for the faint of heart.
Rents in Manhattan broke records in February, hitting $3,700 and outshining the previous high of $3,450 in April 2020, according to a report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

Relocating renters now have a one-in-five chance they’ll face a bidding war before locking down a new lease. Rentals sat on the market for 24-days on average, a 10-day decline from the month prior and down fifty percent from the same month last year.
The surge comes as available units are drying up. Vacancies fell to their lowest level for the month since 2008 and listing inventory slumped by 81 percent year over year — the fastest decline on record.
The first months of the year typically mark the slow season for rental turnover, but brokers have characterized this February as a period of unprecedented demand. Tenants who tabled moving plans through the rise of the delta and omicron variants are now gearing up to be back at their desks this spring.

That demand is hitting all apartment types in the borough. The median rent for doorman buildings surged for the seventh straight month to $4,500. The increase marked a record jump of nearly 29 percent year over year.
Rents in buildings without the luxury service popped to $2,875, a 16 percent increase from the same time last year, the second month in a row of record annualized gains.
And the median rents for luxury digs hit $11,500 in February, the highest price in a decade of tracking and an 18 percent increase from last month alone.

Renters will be hard-pressed to find a deal across the East River, too.
In Brooklyn, median rents hit $2,900, the third-highest price for the month in a dozen years. In Northwest Queens, rents slumped 2 percent from January, clocking in at $2,888. That price still marks the borough’s second-highest rent for the month of February.
In both boroughs, supply slumped from a year ago, dropping by the second-highest rate on record. Still, more apartments came online in February than in the month prior.
Brooklyn inventory rose by 8 percent month over month and the number of new lease signings hit the second-highest level for the month since the firm started tracking metrics in 2008.
In Queens, inventory rose by 10.7 percent in February from January and new leases reached the second-highest level ever.
 

Noah Rosenblatt

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
Staff member

February frenzy: Manhattan rents smash records as bidding wars become norm​


Vacancies fell to lowest February levels since 2008​

Forget the winter rental doldrums. Apartment hunting in New York City last month was not for the faint of heart.
Rents in Manhattan broke records in February, hitting $3,700 and outshining the previous high of $3,450 in April 2020, according to a report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

Relocating renters now have a one-in-five chance they’ll face a bidding war before locking down a new lease. Rentals sat on the market for 24-days on average, a 10-day decline from the month prior and down fifty percent from the same month last year.
The surge comes as available units are drying up. Vacancies fell to their lowest level for the month since 2008 and listing inventory slumped by 81 percent year over year — the fastest decline on record.
The first months of the year typically mark the slow season for rental turnover, but brokers have characterized this February as a period of unprecedented demand. Tenants who tabled moving plans through the rise of the delta and omicron variants are now gearing up to be back at their desks this spring.

That demand is hitting all apartment types in the borough. The median rent for doorman buildings surged for the seventh straight month to $4,500. The increase marked a record jump of nearly 29 percent year over year.
Rents in buildings without the luxury service popped to $2,875, a 16 percent increase from the same time last year, the second month in a row of record annualized gains.
And the median rents for luxury digs hit $11,500 in February, the highest price in a decade of tracking and an 18 percent increase from last month alone.

Renters will be hard-pressed to find a deal across the East River, too.
In Brooklyn, median rents hit $2,900, the third-highest price for the month in a dozen years. In Northwest Queens, rents slumped 2 percent from January, clocking in at $2,888. That price still marks the borough’s second-highest rent for the month of February.
In both boroughs, supply slumped from a year ago, dropping by the second-highest rate on record. Still, more apartments came online in February than in the month prior.
Brooklyn inventory rose by 8 percent month over month and the number of new lease signings hit the second-highest level for the month since the firm started tracking metrics in 2008.
In Queens, inventory rose by 10.7 percent in February from January and new leases reached the second-highest level ever.
Rental market is tight. We hope to build some kind of PULSE for rentals in the future, will be tricky with data we got, but I think we can pull it off.

Question really is if market is in the midst of a minor shift right now, but its too early to see in the datasets
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
The New York Dream of Cheap Rent and No Roommates? It’s Over.

The city is thriving, but many who scored a deal now face rent-renewal sticker shock. Rents rose 33 percent between January of 2021 and January this year, according to an online listing site.

The hallmarks of feeling like you’ve made it in New York City are often as follows: navigating the subway sans map, a maitre d’ who knows you by name and living alone, at last, in your own apartment. For a window of time during the pandemic, when many fled the city and landlords offered rock-bottom rents to tempt those who stayed, some could finally afford to reach that shining hill of solo living.

But as the city thrives again, many who scored a sweet deal now face rent-renewal sticker shock — rents have risen 33 percent, and a lease renewal asking double is not unheard of. Those renters have been hit with a hard reality check: The halcyon days of blasting music, letting dishes pile up in the sink and walking from the bathroom to the kitchen without a towel are over. For them, New York’s soaring real estate prices mean the only way to stay is to bunk with a roommate once again.

At the start of the pandemic, Chelcie Parry was hunkered down in a damp, two-bedroom, no-living-room apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, with a roommate, facing pestilence at every turn: outside was the threat of coronavirus, inside was black mold. For the pleasure, each paid $1,000.

Then in January 2021, Ms. Parry came across a studio in Manhattan’s Financial District complete with a doorman. Before the pandemic it had been listed at $2,614 a month, according to the listing website StreetEasy, now the rent was $1,750. After months of lockdowns, social distancing and working from home in her dank apartment, she jumped at the chance to live spore and roommate free.

“It felt like the closest thing that I could have to a hug at the time,” said Ms. Parry, 26. To afford it, she said, she took on another job; she works at a theater nonprofit, and at a media company. The studio felt worth the hustle: She spent her days decorating to her own taste, practicing TikTok dances free from judgmental observers and indulging her 3 a.m. Hot Pocket habit without anyone catching her in the kitchen, she said.

Then her lease renewal arrived in the mail. On April 1, the rent went up to $3,450 — just shy of double.

“It is swanky, and it is not something I pictured that I could ever be able to afford,” Ms. Parry said in March, while packing up her doorman studio. “Which apparently is right — because I could only afford it during a global crisis.”

She is not alone: Since this time last year, New York City rents have risen 33 percent, nearly double the national average, according to the online listing site Apartment List. In affluent neighborhoods, it’s worse: at the height of the pandemic, in Williamsburg in Brooklyn and on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for example, the median asking rent fell about 20 percent. Since January 2021 it has charged upward by about 40 percent in both places, according to StreetEasy.

In SoHo the median rent jumped 58 percent in the fourth quarter — from $3,800 to $6,002 — according to the site.

Behind the extreme hikes in rent is a rental market crunch driven in part by Covid expats flooding back, attracted once again to a revitalized city or recalled by office jobs. The vacancy rate in Manhattan was 1.3 percent in February 2021, down from the record high of 11.8 percent in February 2020, according to Miller Samuel Inc., a residential appraiser.

The surging median rents are merely course correcting, and align with historical trends that were disrupted by the pandemic, according to landlords and their representatives.

Not every landlord is trying to add zeros to every renewal. To keep tenants in place, Weber Realty Management has instituted a policy that caps most renewals at 10 percent across the 250 rental units it represents in Manhattan — enough to keep in line with inflation, but many are still below the prices of comparable apartments available for rent in the neighborhood, said Marc Weber, one of the property managers. The company’s new rentals are at market rate.

“Landlords are trying to pay for their expenses, with inflation going on everything is getting more expensive,” Mr. Weber said. “But if a landlord is doubling the rent, that is greed.”

Priced out of Manhattan’s solitary-living market, Ms. Parry and her boxes headed to a new residence this month, a four-bedroom basement apartment in Harlem, with three other roommates, for which she will pay $890 a month.

“New York City has always been cutthroat about real estate,” said Stephanie Diamond, the founder and C.E.O. of Listings Project, a newsletter featuring vetted real estate classifieds. Ms. Diamond said that in recent months the housing-wanted ads have poured in. The texts of these new ads, she noted, is increasingly pitched in desperation. “It’s never been fair, I don’t think ever, and now it is off the charts.”

After a year or more of living on their own — a pinnacle of achievement in New York — some say the bump back to earth has been painfully personal. “It feels like a setback, it feels like a failure; because we all dream of coming to New York and having the beautiful one bedroom, or the beautiful studio and that’s not something that I’m going to have,” Ms. Parry said. “It is honestly devastating.”

After initially commuting nearly two hours from Washington Heights in Manhattan to the K through 12 school where she teaches in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Valerie Love found a steal close to her classroom in November 2020. For $1,450, she rented a garden-level studio apartment within a townhouse in Clinton Hill, a neighborhood “on my vision board,” she said. The family who owned the house had fled the city for a second home, she said.

As the pandemic dragged on and the family showed no signs of returning, she began not just to settle in, but to revel: Ms. Love bought a velvet couch customized to fit the Clinton Hill apartment and sets of good dishes to one day entertain. (She arrived in 2019 to New York from Atlanta without furniture of her own, filling her shared spaces with IKEA or using roommates’ pieces.)

When the homeowners returned in December 2021, and Ms. Love had to seek new accommodation, she was floored by the jacked up real estate landscape: She was priced out of living alone close by her workplace. In areas where she might afford a place by herself, there was almost no inventory.

She ended up in Midwood, Brooklyn, in an apartment she splits with a roommate, paying $900 for her share. Her custom couch is now stored in a hallway, covered to protect it from the roommate’s cat; the nice dishes remain unpacked in a rolling suitcase. She doesn’t need either, but can’t bear to part with them, Ms. Love said, mementos of a paradise lost.

“I achieved one of the pillars of living in New York: If you can secure housing in New York, this is how you know you are making it in New York,” Ms. Love said. “It made me feel confident that I was accomplished and that I was just going to go up from there.”

She added: “And now I question: Did I regress?”

If it comes down to a choice between leaving New York City or enduring roommates, many still choose cohabiting — even if it means labeling the milk in the refrigerator and duking it out over whose hair clogged the drain, this time.

For those who choose to stay, the situation is a bit brighter: So far, roommate rents, which fell to their lowest levels in six years during the pandemic, have not risen as steeply as for solo dwellings, according to data compiled by SpareRoom, a roommate and shared housing listings site. The median rent for a person sharing an apartment was $1,199 in February, nearly $100 less than it was before the pandemic began, data shows.

Matt Hutchinson, a spokesman for SpareRoom, doesn’t see it staying that way. “New York is New York,” he said. “It’s one of those suitcase-and-a-dream cities, and I don’t think that’s ever going to change.”

As Galit Nickin’s friends and neighbors high-tailed it out of the city to shelter with family or in less populous areas in the early days of the pandemic, she decided to stay put. In part, it was because for the first time since she arrived from Mexico City five years ago, the downward-spiraling rents meant she could afford to live without roommates.

A year ago, she moved from a shared three-bedroom in Williamsburg, for which she paid around $1,700, to her very own one bedroom on the Upper East Side — which, after the perk of a month’s free rent as an incentive, cost roughly the same price.

Ms. Nickin, 28, leaned into having her own space, including adopting a large Labrador retriever, something unimaginable in her cohabiting days. Then came her renewal offer in the mail: On April 1 she faced a roughly 30 percent increase that Ms. Nickin, who is a project manager for an architecture firm, says she cannot afford.

She is reeling from more than sticker shock, she said, but also from the sense that landlords are turning their backs on tenants who stuck it out with them when others abandoned a troubled city.

“I decided to stay in New York, I decided to give their apartment and their building a chance, and it feels like they clearly don’t care,” said Ms. Nickin, who was granted an extra month from her landlord since she is struggling to find another place. “When they needed help, I rented it. And now they just want more money.”

Factoring in the costs of moving potentially twice within a year, Ms. Nickin now regrets her decision to jump at a cheap space. “It is coming back to bite us in the back,” she said, “when we actually were here supporting the city.”

Still, she’s trying to hang on to her one-bedroom bliss and is currently negotiating with her landlord. In fact, she has little choice, she said. Few roommate listings she has replied to will allow her dog, Lua, and that is one concession she will not make.

“I had really good roommates and I had really bad roommates,” Ms. Nickin said. “But she is a great roommate.”
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member

Manhattan, Brooklyn rents jump to new heights as Queens leasing continues surge​

NYC rental market kept hot with high demand and inventory dives​

As pandemic-era discounts expire across New York City, rental markets in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Northwest Queens are feeling the squeeze of high demand and low inventory.
Manhattan’s net effective median rent and face rent were at their highest level on record, while the vacancy rate remained below two percent for the fourth consecutive month, according to a report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

The borough’s median rental price in March hit $3,700, remaining steady from the month prior but jumping 19 percent from March 2021.

“We’re seeing the highest rents that we’ve seen since 1991,” said Jonathan Miller, the author of the report.
Competition has also been fierce. Bidding wars accounted for one in five new lease signings and the average home spent 61 days on the market, down 9 percent from February and 39 percent year over year.

Listing inventory fell 77 percent year over year to 4,532 listings. The borough’s vacancy rate was just 1.89 percent.
However, Miller notes that inventory is not falling to zero, largely thanks to the excess inventory that was built in late 2020 and early 2021.
“Inventory is pretty close to pre-pandemic levels,” Miller said. “That massive excess has been largely burned off by elevated demand.”

In the luxury market, median rental price hit $9,985, a 13 percent decrease from the prior month but a 10 percent increase year over year. Overall, luxury price trend indicators rose to their third-highest levels on record.

Miller has previously mapped trends between lower and upper income households based on if the building had a doorman. Typically, units in doorman buildings saw rents grow more than those without.
This report is the first time that non-doorman rentals exceeded those with doormen year over year in net effective median rent. Those with had a median rental price of $4,500, a 19 percent increase year over year, while those without had a $2,950 price, a 20 percent hike.

“While [non-dooman] was somewhat late to the party, it has officially caught up with the high end of the market,” Miller said. “The lower half of the market is now rising rapidly.”
In Brooklyn, net effective median rent exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time. Median rental price was $3,000, an 11 percent increase over last year.

However, listing inventory fell year over year by more than 80 percent for the fourth consecutive month. Inventory was at 2,993 listings, 83 percent below that of March 2021.
In Northwest Queens, new lease signings reached their highest level for March in at least a decade, while net effective median rent rose year over year for the seventh consecutive month.

The median rental price in the borough was $2,898, a 21 percent jump year over year.
There were just 460 listings available, a 89 percent decline from the previous year. That is the fourth straight month that listing inventory fell year over year by more than seventy percent.
 
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