Tale of two boroughs: Rental concessions drop in Queens but double in Brooklyn

Year-over-year concessions in Northwest Queens fell for the first time in 16 months

TRD New York /
Aug.August 09, 2018 10:00 AM

Leases with concessions in Northwest Queens dropped for the first time in 16 months this July. (Credit: iStock)

It’s a tale of two boroughs: rental concessions drop in Queens and double in Brooklyn

It took 16 months, but Northwest Queens finally saw a decrease in year-over-year concessions.

The amount of new leases with concessions in the borough dropped from 40.8 percent last July to 32.3 percent this July, according to the latest report from Douglas Elliman. This was the first time in 16 consecutive months that concessions did not increase year over year.

Net effective median rent in Queens remained virtually unchanged at $2,951, a 1.7 percent increase from last July’s median of $2,901. The length of concessions was exactly the same each year at 1.3 months.

Jonathan Miller,  CEO of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report, said rising concessions continue to be the narrative for Brooklyn and Queens. He saw the decrease as more of an anomaly than anything else.

“It’s not a trend. It just happened,” he said, “But it is interesting to see that break.”

Apartments stayed on the market in the area for 27 days, up just barely from 26 days last July. The amount of new leases last month was at 347, up 9.8 percent from 316 last July. This took place even as listing inventory dropped from 513 to 429 for a 16.4 percent decrease.

Brooklyn saw the opposite trend when it came to concessions, as they almost doubled between last July and this July. Last year, 22.1 percent of new leases included a concession, while this year, 41.4 percent of them did. The size of concessions also ticked up from 1.4 months to 1.6 months.

Apartments in the borough stayed on the market for a much shorter amount of time at 27 days compared to 43 — a 37.2 percent decrease. The amount of listings in the borough also dropped significantly from 2,490 to 1,994 for a 19.9 percent decrease.

The number of new leases and the net effective median rent both went up compared to last July. Leases shot up by 11.2 percent from 1,400 to 1,557, while rent went up from $2,745 to $2,829 for a 3.1 percent increase.


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