Manhattan rents increased by an almost unprecedented 23% last month

So much for New York being dead.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
Senior National News Editor
NYC skyline
Photograph: Shutterstock

A mere two years ago, many people were pronouncing the death of New York City. We wonder what they'll have to say about this new bit of information: Manhattan rents surged by 23% in January compared to the same month last year, inching very close to record highs set just before the start of the pandemic in 2020.

The exact figures are reported by real estate appraiser Miller Samuel in a new survey of the city's real estate market. 

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According to the report, the number of available apartments for rent has also drastically decreased. In January of 2021, a total of 25,883 units were listed. That number dropped to 4,316 in January of 2022. That's an 83.3% decrease and, yes, that is a lot. Not only are apartments more expensive than almost ever these days, but there are also less of them available around town. 

But wait, there's more. According to the reports, the record high median rental price ever for an apartment in Manhattan was $3,540 in April of 2020. In January of 2022, the price was $3,467—that's just 2.1% less than the historical record.

StreetEasy also released a report regarding the subject last month, detailing similar trends. "The market is in the process of normalizing after nearly two years of uncertainty," explains StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu in the report, which you can read in full right here. "That's good news for the city's recovery overall but, understandably, many renters or hopeful renters might be feeling uneasy right now." She's clearly talking to us. 

The reasons behind these massive changes are varied. There have been concessions that the government has given out to landlords that are set to expire, for example, and folks who had moved out of the city during the thick of the pandemic are bracing for a return to the island. As a result, there is less inventory available, a fact that allows those who do have apartments to rent out to increase their prices given the higher demand.

What this all means to you, fellow New Yorker, is that you can comfortably go back to screaming about rent prices being too damn high—while simultaneously listing the reasons why you will never move out of here. We may live in one of the best cities in the world, but it also happens to be one of the priciest.

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