Why fewer Brooklyn and Queens tenants are moving

More renters are opting to renew their leases, according to a recent report from Douglas Elliman
By Erin Hudson | July 11, 2019 01:30PM

Among Brooklyn's priciest spots is DUMBO; pictured is the neighborhood's Main Street Park (Credit: iStock)

Among Brooklyn’s priciest this month is DUMBO; pictured is the neighborhood’s Main Street Park (Credit: iStock)

Landlords offering incentives to renters in Queens and Brooklyn are increasingly in the minority as prices rise and a rising number of tenants renew rather than move.

Concessions fell for the sixth consecutive month in Brooklyn, while in Northwest Queens it was the fourth month running where tenant perks declined, according to Douglas Elliman’s latest rental market report.

Meanwhile, both boroughs saw rents tick up. The median rental price, including concessions, in Brooklyn rose 5.9 percent year-over-year to $2,914. In Queens, it rose 1.6 percent compared to the previous year — though the borough saw a 4.1 percent decrease in price compared to May, according to Elliman.

The market share of concessions in Brooklyn fell from 40.4 percent in June 2018 to 38.4 percent last month. In Queens, the drop was even more pronounced with concessions falling from 45.7 percent to 36.2 percent in the same time period.

The level of leasing activity in both of the outer boroughs was also dramatically lower. Brooklyn saw a 25.4 percent drop in new leases in June, compared to May, and a 16.6 percent drop year over year. In Queens, the fall in transactions from May to June was 29.3 percent and 11.3 percent compared to June 2018 levels.

Miller doesn’t characterize new lease drop-off as “that large” and explained that was an indication that “landlords were better at retaining tenants upon renewal.”

“We’re are tracking new leases, not renewals – new leases decline, renewals go up,” he continued.

In Queens, inventory on the market fell to the tune of 5.3 percent compared to May. In Brooklyn, however, supply grew by 4 percent.

In a separate report prepared by Citi Habitats, Brooklyn’s priciest neighborhoods for the month, according to median monthly rent, were DUMBO at $5,200, Brooklyn Heights at $3,950 and Downtown Brooklyn at $3,720.