NYC Apartment Rents Climb to Highest Level On Record

Manhattan apartment rents surged in April, hinting at another summer of record-breaking prices for NYC’s property market.
May 10, 2024
Manhattan apartment rents surged in April
  • Manhattan saw record-high apartment rents this year in April (and in May so far), while Brooklyn showed moderate growth.
  • Northwest Queens, for many years a CRE darling thanks to hotspots in Long Island City and Astoria, reported lower rents.
  • Landlords are busy capitalizing on low vacancies, driving tenants to accept higher rent prices.
Key Takeaways

Manhattan apartment rents hit a new high in April, reaching $4,250 per month, driven by a lack of relief across New York City’s boroughs and renters turning away from home buying due to high mortgage rates.

All Roads Still Lead Here

Despite a whole lot of doom and gloom in the doldrums of the pandemic years, Manhattan is bouncing back in a big way, proving to the world that the Big Apple won’t be displaced as the nation’s capital in everything but name anytime soon.

A 42% apartment leasing activity spike in Manhattan shows strong residential demand despite higher-than-ever rent prices. Many people want to keep living in the big city even working from home.

While occupancy rates are high, tenant churn—where tenants opt to move elsewhere instead of renewing leases—is also high, thanks to the expanding inventory of available apartments. In Manhattan, inventory shot up 23% YoY in April to 7,996 units.

Which Borough is Best?

On a borough-by-borough basis, median rents in Manhattan hit record highs of $4,250 in May (up $9 from April) and Brooklyn enjoyed moderate growth of 2.8% to $3,599. But northwest Queens, formerly a market darling, suffered a surprising 8% drop in rents to $3,244.

Notably, Manhattan rents peaked in July 2023 at $4,400, then fell 9% before hitting the bottom back in December.

Why It Matters

NYC landlords haven’t missed a beat, appealing this year’s higher assessments and disputing property taxes while taking advantage of low vacancies to hike rents, putting pressure on prospective tenants to accept higher prices going forward as the norm.

But the data indicates landlords may have little to worry about. Forecasts predict moderate growth in 2024 compared to the spikes seen in 2023, but rents are still going in only one direction for now.

I’m an award-winning copywriter and digital marketing consultant who co-founded Tailored Ink. I help business owners and marketers craft the right messaging and create content at scale to grow their brands, generate leads, convert them into customers—and even get acquired by their competitors. As a member of Young Entrepreneur’s Council (YEC) and a columnist for sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Business Insider, I also help mentor current and aspiring entrepreneurs and marketing professionals.
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