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Rent prices have plummeted to record lows in these neighborhoods

They're the lowest they've been since 2010, according to StreetEasy.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

New York City rent prices have hit an all-time low, according to a new report from StreetEasy

Right before the pandemic hit in January 2020, the median asking rent in Manhattan was $3,417 a month. A year later in January 2021, it had dropped by more than $700 to $2,700. That's the cheapest median rent StreetEasy has recorded since 2010.

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Specifically, midtown (unsurprisingly) saw the biggest drop of almost 15% down to $2,895, followed by the Upper East Side, which dropped by nearly 14% (to about $2,400) in January 2021.

Brooklyn followed suit, too — rents fell by 10% year-over-year, which is the biggest drop the borough has ever experienced, according to StreetEasy. For example, the median asking rent for a one-bedroom in North Brooklyn (Williamsburg and Greenpoint) was $2,500, which is the lowest it’s been in more than 10 years.

This is all likely because inventory (the amount of apartments up for rent) is about double what it was a year ago, the report states. Landlords are offering deals, including free months of rent. More than 44% of Manhattan landlords actually offered at least one month's rent, which is the highest StreetEasy has recorded.

Brooklyn and Queens also had record-high concessions or deals at 25.4% and 26.6%, respectively.    

"Renters don’t need to rush to sign a new lease this second to claim a great deal, though," said StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu. "It will take time for prices to rebound. But the rentals market does react to economic activity much more quickly than the sales market. As the city continues to recover, competition will slowly start to pick up." 

In Queens, the median asking rent is the lowest it's been in eight years at about $1,999 in the first quarter of this year. Rents dropped the most (9% year-over-year to $1,800) in the most expensive neighborhoods — Astoria, Long Island City, and Sunnyside.

Despite these very low numbers, StreetEasy predicts that median asking rent will begin to increase as more people move back into the city. Already, there are fewer available apartments than there were in the summer of 2020.

Wu says prices could stay low but rental activity will start to take off this summer.

"With the weather getting warmer and more people rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated, New Yorkers are starting to feel a sense of normalcy," Wu says. "As this continues, the rate at which apartments come off the market will continue to ramp up."

Check out how your neighborhood's median rental prices changed below:

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