Here’s the best time to rent or buy a home in the ‘brutal’ New York City market, according to realtors

TRD NEW YORK /
Apr.April 23, 2016 10:00 AM

The real estate market in New York City is unlike the rest of the markets in the US.  According to the March 2016 Elliman Report, the median rent price in Manhattan is $3,300 — a 2.8 percent decrease from last year — making New York City the second most expensive US city to live in.

Douglas Elliman’s Margolis team, a partnership between Howard Margolis, Marie Espinal, and Jeff Adler, tells Business Insider “the rental market here is brutal compared to the other cities, because in any city in the world you can walk down the street, point to a building and say, ‘I want to live in that building.’ In New York, it doesn’t work that way.”

In fact, only the top 17 percent of earners in The Big Apple can truly afford to live in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

And for buyers, things aren’t much better: Real estate website Zillow found the median price of homes listed in Manhattan to be about $1.93 million.

But if you want to live in New York City despite the hefty price tags, you should consider looking to rent or buy between late November and early January.

That’s when you’ll find the best prices for homes, the Margolis team says, because activity is low during the holidays and there could be more opportunity and rental concessions form the landlord to fill the apartments.

“Landlords might offer one or two months of rent for free or just a lowered monthly rent to give prospective renters more of an incentive to sign their lease,” they tell Business Insider.

But, even with a “prime time” to buy in this city, rent prices are still high and out of reach for most.

“Any apartment here is worth more than a rental anywhere else, by virtue of being in New York City,” says the Margolis team. “New Yorkers are willing to stretch themselves just to be here. The location justifies the price — making it all worth it.”


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