New York City’s rental market is back, says StreetEasy, and so are its $6-a-day listing fees.
Effective Sept. 1, the Zillow-owned listing portal will end its pandemic-related discount and resume charging $6 per day for every rental listing on its site, according to a notice displayed to agents on its back-end, which reasoned that market conditions “have returned to 2019 levels.”
StreetEasy halved its listing fee to $3 in March 2020 as the pandemic brought the city’s real estate market to a near-standstill. In June, the portal raised the daily fee to $4.50, citing the “normalizing” rental market as measured by days listed and engagement.
“We always closely monitor changing market conditions and adjust our pricing accordingly,” said a StreetEasy rep, who pointed to “apartments spending less time on market and record levels of outreach from renters” as factors leading to the reinstatement of the $6 price.
Today, the company released a report that found renter activity on its portal exceeded 2019 levels in July, with the number of rental listing views up 63 percent from two years ago and contacts on listings jumping 76 percent.
The amount of discounted listings, meanwhile, were at their lowest in a decade. The report said about 9 percent of rental listings were discounted last month, compared to 29 percent discounted in 2020 and about 16 percent in 2019.
“Renters began returning to the market in full force this summer, and landlords are taking notice,” wrote StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu in the report. “They are trying to make up for time and money lost during the pandemic’s lull.”
That said, median asking rents remained lower than they were before the pandemic, at $2,675. Wu said that she expects the rental market to cool off in the fall and winter months.
StreetEasy’s fees have been a point of contention between the company and rental agents since they were first introduced in 2017. The initial fee was $3. It was increased to $4.50 in 2019 and $6 in 2020, just before the pandemic began.
In early 2020, the brokerage community protested the increase to $6 per listing, with some agents saying the new levy would bring their listing expenses on the portal to more than $40,000 a year.