New York City Rents Rise to Records

High mortgage rates and rising prices turn would-be homebuyers into renters.

Railroad apartment tenement building NYC

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Median rents in Manhattan rose to records, while Brooklyn and parts of Queens approached their own all-time highs as higher mortgage rates and home prices pushed would-be homebuyer into the rental market. 

Key Takeaways

  • Median rents in Manhattan are up 12.8% from one year ago and show no sign of letting up heading into the spring and summer.
  • Inventory and new leases are also on the rise in New York.
  • Part of the uptick can be attributed to high mortgage rates pushing would-be homebuyers into the rental market.

Median rents in Manhattan are up 12.8% from one year ago, ending the month of March at $4,175, a record, according to data from Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Inventory and newly signed leases are also up month-over-month and from the same period a year earlier. Inventory in Manhattan rose 40.5% from a year ago, rising from a near record low this time last year. 

Signed leases are up 15.4% from a year ago, after also being near record lows.  Part of that shift can be attributed to high mortgage rates pushing potential homebuyers into the rental market, according to Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel. 

“A lot of this is coming from mortgage rates," he said. "You have a doubling in mortgage rates over the last year, which has kept rental prices flirting with records since the summer, because would-be buyers are being tipped into the rental market." 

Pressure on rents will remain through the spring and summer months, as leasing activity picks up, he said. 

“We saw a year-over-year 15.4% increase in new leases, which is a big number," Miller said. "And not only that, we actually saw on a month-over-month basis a 20.5% increase in new leases. So there's been this big uptick in leasing activity."

The same is true for the rental markets in Brooklyn and Queens. 

In Brooklyn, the median rent rose 16.4% year-over-year, ending March at $3,493, the second-highest on record. Month-over-month, rents increased just slightly by 2.7%. 

The number of new leases was also up significantly, rising 37.3% month-over-month and 27.3% year-over-year. Listing inventory bounced back similarly to Manhattan, with a 25.2% increase in listing inventory year-over-year. 

In northwest Queens, the median rent rose 13.9% year-over-year, finishing March at $3,300. It was a 1.9% increase month-over-month, as well. 

The number of new leases and available listing inventory didn't have the same dramatic gains that Brooklyn and Manhattan experienced. 

The number of new leases rose 5.3% year-over-year but fell just under half a percent month-over-month. At the same time, listing inventory grew 14.3% year-over-year and 2.9% month-over-month. 

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