The Real Deal New York

Equity Residential exec says decline in apartment rents is leveling off

REIT claims large supply of new units in LIC isn’t impacting its portfolio
By Rich Bockmann | October 25, 2017 01:35PM

David Santee and David Nethercut

The 800-pound gorilla isn’t looking that scary after all, according to Equity Residential.

As of July, Long Island City had the biggest pipeline of new rental units across the city, with 3,717 apartments projected to open in 2017, according to the search engine RentCafe.

But on the company’s earnings call Wednesday, Equity executives said their Manhattan-centric portfolio hasn’t seen much of an impact from the competition in Queens.

“Our concern was, would value hunters be willing to move out of the city to Long Island City?” Equity’s COO David Santee said. “We just really haven’t seen that materialize.”

Equity executives said net-effective rents across their New York-area portfolio were flat compared to the same time in 2016, which was an improvement over last year when they were down 2.3 percent. Concessions stabilized and ticked down from $485 at move-in to $436.

“These have been positive signs thus far, but we acknowledge the market still faces a significant amount of new supply and slowing job growth,” Santee said.