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Fewer rental apartments, higher rents in Brooklyn as NYC emerges from pandemic

November 17, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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It’s a lot harder than it was last year to find a rental apartment in Brooklyn, according to StreetEasy, a leading New York City real estate listing and market-data website.

Recently, as renter demand has come roaring back citywide, rents, which were at a record low due to low demand, have jumped back up to just shy of their pre-pandemic highs.

As rents rise, NYC rental inventory, or the number of apartments that are available, has been on a downward trajectory since last October and now sits at 30,326 rentals available on StreetEasy. That’s a 59 percent decrease from October 2020, when there were 74,078 rentals available

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Inventory of available rental apartments in Manhattan fell 68.3 percent from this time last year, StreetEasy said. Brooklyn rental inventory was right behind Manhattan, with a decline of 53.7 percent from last October to 11,150 rentals. In Queens, rental inventory was down 34.5 percent from last October to 5,186 rentals.

In Brooklyn, changes in the market, though important, were less dramatic than in Manhattan. For example, the median asking rent in Brooklyn was $2,600 in October — 6.1 percent higher than one year ago, but still a bit lower than the pre-pandemic highs around $2,700.

Also in Brooklyn, the share of apartments being offered with a discount on rent was 11 percent, down from 23.8 percent last year. Also, the median asking price of for-sale homes in Brooklyn was $948,000, remaining stagnant from last year.

StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu said Manhattan’s rental trends are different than most of the rest of the city because of factors related to the pandemic.

“Transient Manhattan renters were most likely to leave the city either temporarily or permanently during the height of the pandemic, which drove the highest share of rental vacancies in Manhattan among the boroughs,” she explained. “That’s why we’re now seeing Manhattan’s inventory experience bigger swings and more dramatic changes as it recovers — because it saw the biggest shift from what a normal market would look like.”

In Queens, Brooklyn’s neighboring borough, the median asking rent was $2,250 in October, 7.1 percent higher than one year ago. And the share of apartments offering a discount on rent was 10.5 percent — the lowest of all the boroughs, but only half a percentage point less than Brooklyn.
Still, the median asking price of for-sale homes in Queens was $599,000, much less than Brooklyn’s $948.000.

Not all apartment types are experiencing the same increases, according to StreetEasy. Studio apartments have had the slowest recovery in rents month-over-month since the beginning of the year across all boroughs.


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