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Manhattan Apartment Rents Dropped 11% Last Month

The vacancy rate in Manhattan hit another high last month.

Apartment rents in New York City are still falling as the market digests the tectonic shifts brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In Manhattan, the median rental price with concessions taken into account was $3,036 in September, an 11% drop from a year earlier, according to figures released by appraisal firm Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman.

Over 55% of the new leases signed had some form of concession included, up from 34% last year. The vacancy rate in the borough hit 5.75%, yet another record. Meanwhile, listing inventory tripled from last September. 

In Manhattan, the median price of a studio was $2,350 a 13% drop year-over-year. The decrease at the upper end of the market, the top 10%, was less severe, dipping 3% to hit a price of $8,216.

The outer boroughs also recorded declines. The median rental price in Brooklyn was $2,815, a 3% decline, with 48% of all leases featuring a concession of some sort. In Queens, the median rental went down a massive 12% to reach $2,442, and nearly 63% of leases had some form of concession.

The data further illustrates the impact the pandemic is having on the city, and the adjustments many residential landlords are making to deal with the impact of job losses and people opting to leave — permanently or temporarily. 

“It’s the way the pendulum swings,” Joy Construction principal Eli Weiss told Bisnow last week. His company owns multifamily properties in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. “Right now, if you’re a tenant, you’re the one who has all the power.”

Robert Nelson, whose company Nelson Management owns rental properties across the five boroughs, put it more bluntly on a recent Bisnowi webinar: “In Manhattan, there is blood on the streets,” he said. “It’s really, really bad.”