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Manhattan rents are at their lowest level in almost a decade

Median rent prices are actually below $3,000 per month.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

The pandemic caused such a disturbance in Manhattan's rental market that asking rents are now the lowest they've been in almost 10 years.

On Thursday morning, Streeteasy released its third-quarter report, which found that Manhattan's median asking rent was $2,990 between July and September, opening doors for some New Yorkers who may have been previously priced out of the borough.

Landlords were giving about nine percent off asking rent, or about $272 off, during the third quarter—that's $139 more than what was being offered in 2019, the report states. It also notes that the number of Streeteasy's discounted Manhattan rental listings increased almost 23 percent year over year to almost 45 percent, with landlords attempting to attract tenants.

"Landlords across the city, but particularly in Manhattan, have to be willing to face some really hard hits if they want to fill their units," said StreetEasy Economist Nancy Wu. "They’re being forced to cut the location premium out of their asking price in order to compete with larger and more affordable apartments in the outer boroughs."

Most of the discounts happened in midtown. About 48 percent of apartments for rent were dropped in price by 5.7 percent to around $3,000 in the area, since units close to midtown office buildings were no longer in demand.

In fact, numbers show that many renters left their Manhattan homes. The number of available rentals skyrocketed about 70 percent with 72,267 listings available during the quarte—that's 30,000 more than last year.

"Renters are no longer willing to pay the commute premium of living in Manhattan when they do not need to commute to an office five days a week," Wu said.

Brooklyn also saw rent drops during the quarter, though not as much as in Manhattan. The rent index fell about 2.5 percent year over year (mostly in Northwest Brooklyn). North Brooklyn and East Brooklyn neighborhoods, however, remained flat, which is unsurprising considering how in-demand they remain these days.

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