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Depressed Apartment Rents May Drive A 'Youth Renaissance' In New York

Bisnow's podcast, Make Yourself At Home, hears from members of the commercial real estate industry about how they are managing this new reality and gaining insight into their day-to-day approaches. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music.

Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller

In this episode, we’re hearing from appraisal firm Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller — New York’s go-to man for data on residential sales and rents.

The city, which has been in the grip of a housing crisis for years now, is experiencing enormous rent drops since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. After hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers left and landlords grew desperate, average rents have fallen 14%, a relative improvement from last fall when the decrease was closer to 25%.

Miller says on the podcast that he expects the price reductions could drive a reshaping of the demographics of the city after years of extremely high prices.

“The city, I believe, is going to go through a youth renaissance where the demographics for the rental market are shifting younger. I’ve been saying for the last few years: The rental market went past through an affordability threshold," he said. "All of a sudden you have, not only this younger demographic like we’ve had in past cycles ... You are also going to have Class-A office space, there’s going to be greater affordability, and that will breathe new, creative life into city.”