As the rental season in NYC approaches its traditional summer peak, median rents in Manhattan set a new record for the second consecutive month in April.
Median rents hit $4,241 in Manhattan, topping the March record of $4,175, according to a new report from Douglas Elliman. Median rents in Brooklyn and Northwest Queens also hit record levels in the April report.
Brooklyn recorded a record median rent of $3,500 in April, while Northwest Queens registered a median of $3,525, also a record, the report said, up from $3,493 and $3,300 in March, respectively.
Despite the new monthly records, a comparison of rent growth trends indicates that NYC rents have been plateauing since the beginning of the year, compared to the blistering pace in 2022.
In a YoY comparison, the Manhattan rates were 8% higher in April, the first single-digit YoY rent growth since September 21; in April 2022, YOY rent growth was 32% in Manhattan. Monthly rent growth has been about 2% in each of the past twelve months, ticking down to 1.6% in April from the March level, which grew 1.9% compared to February.
The vacancy rate in Manhattan dipped to 2.31% in April, following a surge to 2.54% in March from February’s level pf 1.55%. Listing inventory increased 2.4% in April, rising to 6,518 units.
The record high prices in April were accompanied by plunges in leasing activity in the three markets covered by Elliman’s report, which was written by appraiser Jonathan Miller of Samuel Miller.
The number of new leases signed in Manhattan in April (including renewals) dropped 20.4% compared to March, to 3,869 from 4,863; new leases in Brooklyn fell nearly 44%, to 1,189 from 2,114. New leases plunged in Northwest Queens by 45% in April, from a total of 497 in March to 274 in April.
Concessions paid by landlords in Manhattan dropped to their lowest level since November 2019 on April, with a median net effective rent on concession deals of $4,205, Elliman reported.
The market share of bidding wars, a proxy for rents above a landlord’s asking price, fell sharply to 14.3% in a YoY comparison from last year’s level of 21.3%, with premiums averaging 8.7%.
The average landlord concession was 1.2 months of equivalent rent in April, down 20% in a YoY comparison, the report said.