Brooklyn’s median rent tops $3,000 for first time: report

Price spread between Manhattan and Brooklyn was just $288 in August

Downtown Manhattan viewed from Brooklyn (credit SmartSign/Flickr)
Downtown Manhattan viewed from Brooklyn (credit SmartSign/Flickr)

Brooklyn’s median rental price topped $3,000 in August – a new record, and don’t expect it to taper off any time soon.

According to Douglas Elliman’s monthly rental report, the borough’s median rental price jumped 10.8 percent year over year to $3,112. At the same time, the average rental price rose 7.8 percent to $3,421 – another record. Listing inventory slipped 2.4 percent to 1,753.

“There’s no real relief in sight,” said Jonathan Miller, founder of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report. “What’s driving this isn’t likely to change in the immediate future, such as tight credit, record employment growth and a robust New York City economy.”

According to the report, the price spread between Manhattan and Brooklyn was $288, and Miller said the boroughs are “see-sawing back and forth” in terms of price growth. Brooklyn’s record-high prices in recent months show a steeper rise lately, but Manhattan – where the median rental price in August rose for the 18th straight month to $3,400 – showed steadier growth.

Tight lending standards kept many first-time buyers in the rental market, according to the report, which found the number of new rentals in Manhattan increased 35.6 percent year over year, to 6,171 in August. Luxury prices slipped 5.9 percent to $7,094.

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Overall, the Manhattan vacancy rate increased to 2.3 percent from 1.87 percent, even as listing inventory declined 3.3 percent to 5,357.

“Manhattan rents have plateaued at high levels, but apartment seekers now have the freedom of choice – hence the higher summer vacancy rates,” said Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, which released its own rental report today. According to Citi Habitats, rents in Manhattan hit an all-time high with the average apartment renting for $3,507 in August – the highest since the brokerage began tracking rental prices in 2002.

According to the Elliman report, the median rental price in Queens dropped 1.4 percent to $2,750. That was $362 less than Brooklyn and $650 less than Manhattan.

Overall, the number of new rentals jumped 2.1 percent to 295 while inventory slipped six percent to 298.

Price gains in the luxury market bested the overall market, thanks to a 2.7 percent increase in the median rental price to $4,592.