New York Rent Reaches a Record High

Rent growth remains flat across the country as NYC rents soar

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Median rents reached a new high in Manhattan for the second month in a row in April and show no signs of slowing heading into the summer. 

Key Takeaways

  • Median rents were up 1.6% in April in Manhattan, reaching record highs for the second month in a row.
  • The number of new leases signed in Manhattan fell 20.4%.
  • Brooklyn and Northwest Queens also had record rents.

Median rent was $4,241 in April, up 1.6% from March and 8.1% from April last year, according to data from Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Landlords are also offering fewer concessions, dropping to their lowest level since November 2019.

Brooklyn and Northwest Queens also had record highs in April. As New Yorkers accept that the average rent isn’t dropping any time soon, the number of new leases signed has also dropped, bucking typical springtime trends. 

New lease signings fell 20.4% from March in Manhattan, and more than double that rate in Brooklyn and Northwest Queens, dropping 43.8% and 44.9%, respectively. 

“What that's telling us is that existing tenants are essentially accepting their fate that rents are higher and it's going to be very difficult to go elsewhere and get significantly cheaper rent," said Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel. 

Median rent in Brooklyn grew 0.2% in April and was up 14.8% year-over-year. It was the highest rent since August of 2022. In Northwest Queens, the median rent rose 6.8% and was up 12.8% year-over-year. 

And while rents are rising, high mortgage rates are keeping would-be buyers stuck in the rental market. 

“The Fed is at a place supposedly, where they're going to stop or they're almost done, and they're going to sit for a while. Rates are not going to fall very much, if they fall at all," Miller said. "So you have renters who are would-be buyers in a holding pattern at the moment.”

New York's rising rents are the opposite of the slowdown in rent growth that the rest of the U.S. is experiencing, according to a report from Realtor. At the same time, renters are still renewing their leases at record-high levels, according to CPI Shelter Index.

In April, median rent across the nation’s top 50 metros was up 0.3% year-over-year, the slowest growth rate since the start of the pandemic. An uptick in multi-family construction helped contribute to the slowdown, but New York hasn’t seen the same luck. 

The Realtor survey found New Yorkers are correct in hoping that their rents will stay lower if they re-sign their lease than if they sign a new one elsewhere. Renters signing new leases reported increases of nearly 27%, about double what people who have rented their homes for 1-2 years have experienced. 

Article Sources
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  1. Elliman Report, "April 2023 Manhattan, Brooklyn, & Queens Rentals."

  2. Realtor, "April 2023 Rental Report: Rent Growth is at the Slowest Rate Since the Start of the Pandemic."

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