Rents rise to $3K mark in Brooklyn, Queens

Landlords are also cutting back on concessions ahead of the summer rental season
By Sylvia Varnham O’Regan | June 13, 2019 09:30AM

(Credit: Miller Samuel)

(Credit: Miller Samuel)

Rental prices in two of New York City’s outer boroughs have continued their upward march as property owners dial back potential discounts.

In Queens, landlord concessions dropped in May for the third consecutive month, to 33.3 percent, almost half the record rate set in April 2018, according to the latest Douglas Elliman market report.

At the same time, the median rental price in northwest Queens surged 15.4 percent last month, to $3,000, when compared to the same time last year, per Elliman data. The median net-effective rent, which includes concessions, jumped 17 percent in the borough, to $2,908. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, the median rental price increased 2.6 percent year-over-year in May, to $2,900.

Jonathan Miller, author of the Elliman report and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, said it wasn’t immediately clear to him why rental prices are rising faster in the outer boroughs. He noted that Brooklyn remains a tight, fast-moving market with strong demand. Development in the borough has also skewed toward the luxury tier, he said, which often affects rental prices.

The data from Queens should be considered with new development in mind, Miller added. New residential projects generally generate a higher volume of rentals than older buildings in Manhattan, which can affect overall rental trends.

“This month, 37 percent of the rental activity [in Queens] was in new development. In Brooklyn, it was 19.9 percent, and in Manhattan, it was 6.5 percent,” Miller said. “The higher the rental activity is in new development, the more subject to skew the trends are.”

Elliman’s report also showed that the number of new leases in Queens rose 15.9 percent in May, to 379. It was the 10th time in 11 months that a year-over-year increase in new leases was recorded in the borough.