The Real Deal New York

Will it ever end? Manhattan median rent now $3,391

No relief in Brooklyn, which hit $2,883

November 13, 2015 08:00AM
By E.B. Solomont

douglas elliman report

Rental apartments priced near their borough’s median. From top left: 878 West End Avenue on the Upper West Side, 66 Rockwell Place in Fort Greene, 1 North 4th Place in Williamsburg and 67 East 2nd Street in the East Village

Here’s to a generous holiday bonus this year! Manhattan’s median rental price jumped another 4.5 percent in October, to $3,391 – achieving a nearly two-year streak of steadily rising prices.

With price gains over 21 consecutive months, the number of new rentals slipped 0.4 percent to 3,469, according to Douglas Elliman’s monthly rental report. Manhattan’s vacancy rate increased to 2.34 percent from 1.96 percent last year.

The lower end of the market showed the most strength, the report found. Though the median price for larger units – those with three bedrooms or more – dropped 7.9 percent to $5,891, the median price for one-bedrooms rose 4.1 percent to $3,340.

“We’re continuing to see more polarization between the luxury market and the rest of the market,” said Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report. “One reason is tight credit tipping first-time homebuyers to the rental market.” New rental product is also skewing toward the luxury end, Miller said.

Compared with Manhattan’s median price of $3,340 for a one-bedroom, Brooklyn’s median price for a one-bed pad set a new record at $2,883, up 6.3 percent year over year.

Overall, Brooklyn’s median rental price was the second highest it’s been in eight years. The borough’s median rental price rose 4.3 percent year-over-year to $2,981, shy of $3,112 in August 2015.

With inventory rising 8.3 percent to 2,031, the number of new rentals in Brooklyn also jumped 18.3 percent to 802.

In Queens, the median rental price dropped 6.4 percent year over year to $2,568 — $413 less than Brooklyn and $823 less than Manhattan.

New development market share rose 6.9 percent to comprise 32.7 percent of new rentals. Listing inventory shot up more than 120 percent to 432 and the number of new rentals spiked 66.7 percent to 220.

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