The Real Deal National

King of the hill: Manhattan tops list of priciest place to rent in US

A new report showed the island is far and away the priciest place to rent; LA ranked 7th, ahead of Chicago and Miami
By Keith Larsen | July 16, 2019 05:09PM

New York City apartment building (Credit: iStock)

New York City apartment building (Credit: iStock)

Here’s a case for New York state’s recently-passed and highly controversial sweeping rent reform law: A new report shows that Manhattanites pay the highest prices for monthly rent in the U.S.

The average monthly rent of a Manhattan apartment totaled $4,190 in June, nearly $500 more than the next highest city, San Francisco, according to a new report from RentCafe. Boston was third at $3,509.

While the Manhattan prices were far and above the priciest, they were actually down ever so slightly — 0.1 percent — from the beginning of the year. It marked the only dip of any of the large cities RentCafe analyzed.

Overall, the U.S. average rent increased by 3.2 percent, to $1,465 in June. The reason: Rent is rising across the country as more people are choosing to rent instead of buy, according to RentCafe.

Los Angeles had the seventh highest rent at $2,508, a rise of 2.2 percent since January 2019. In Chicago, rents jumped to $1,990, an increase of 4.8 percent from the beginning of the year and in Miami, it stood at $1,713. Market pros expect that rent prices for new construction units in Miami will soon fall, amid a glut of supply of condos being rented on the so-called “shadow rental” market.

New York’s historically sky-high rent prices led to statewide legislation passed last month, which eliminated vacancy bonuses that allowed for up to 20 percent rent hikes when a tenant vacated an apartment.

Real estate lobbyists and developers argued that the law would cause developers to stop building new housing in New York City. This week, a company affiliated with J. Wasser & Company and Martin Templer said the new rent laws have made closing on two Bronx apartment buildings impossible and filed a lawsuit to try to back out of the contract.

What was the most affordable place to live, according to RenCafe? Wichita, Kansas, took the title. In June, average rent was $656 a month.