Back To Normal: Manhattan Rents Are No Longer Dropping, Brooklyn Rents Keep Breaking Records

Manhattan rents stabilizing, Brooklyn and Queens getting more expensive

The “Manhattan is getting cheaper!!” trend was always too good to be true—we all knew that, right?—and the new Elliman quarterly report makes it pretty clear that things across the river have leveled off to a nice, comfortable, high-priced equilibrium. Brooklyn and Queens, meanwhile, are still getting pricier by the month.

For the first time since August, Manhattan’s median rental prices didn’t drop as compared to the same time a year before, and the average rental price actually rose by 1 percent to $3,968, though it’s still increasingly common for landlords to offer incentives to the tune of a month’s free rent in hopes of luring in new renters. “I’d characterize Manhattan rentals as showing stability,” said Jonathan Miller, the author of the report. “In fact rents on a month to month basis have moved ‘sideways’ since last summer […] I think the pressure on rental prices will keep prices fairly stable but at their current high level.”

But Brooklyn keeps setting and breaking its own records (in “North and Northwest” Brooklyn, anyway), with the highest average prices since Elliman began tracking the numbers back in 2008; average rental prices jumped 9.5 percent to a record high of $3,254 (!!), and high prices are pushing more and more people to move in search of lower rents; the number of new rentals here “surged” 174.6 percent from the same time last year.

The only thing that’s down in Brooklyn is the rate of sales, and that’s only due to “chronic lack of inventory,” not any kind of decline in price or demand. Similarly, the market share of condos has dipped slightly, but only because “most new development in Brooklyn right now has been targeted for luxury rental instead,” according to Miller.

So, what are all the prospective buyers doing, then? Well, the number of home sales in Queens jumped 32.8 percent, and average time on the market decreased by a month, so draw your own conclusions. It’d be kind of nice to share all of the apocalyptic real estate headlines with another borough, wouldn’t it?

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.

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