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Manhattan Apartment Rents Tick Up Again As Lease Signings Surge


Apartment rents in Manhattan rose by almost a full percentage point in February despite expectations that renters would soon get some relief from last summer’s record rents. 

The average rental price in the borough was $5,186 per month, up 0.9% from January, according to new data from Douglas Elliman. The increase is a reversal from the slight decrease seen in November when prices in the borough declined by 1.7%. 

But median rents didn’t change from the month prior, hovering at just over $4K per month, where they have largely held steady since last summer, which broke all previous rent records in New York City. The rent increase came with a surge in new leases: 1,200 more than in February 2022.

Renters facing increases or the end of pandemic-era incentives like free months appear to be shopping around for better deals, resulting in a 17.3% increase in new lease signings and a nearly 6% decrease in the number of days listings stayed on the market.

Approximately half of all renters signing new leases took on two-year deals, up from 36% in October, as tenants try to stave off further increases, according to the report. Rising mortgage rates are also putting pressure on rents, the Douglas Elliman report says, as the cost of borrowing is keeping some would-be homebuyers in the rental market.

“There is a definite sticker shock,” Corcoran Group Chief Operating Officer Gary Malin told Bloomberg. “People are saying, ‘I was paying this, and I’m supposed to be paying that if I want to stay.’”

Prices will continue to creep upward as summer approaches, tipping just over last summer’s records, Miller Samuel President Jonathan Miller told Bloomberg.

The rental increases in New York buck the national trend — average rents declined month-over-month for five straight months before ticking up again in January, according to