Queens takes over as NYC’s most competitive rental market 

Low inventory, record prices in Manhattan, Brooklyn drive renters to borough: StreetEasy

Brick homes in Astoria; Queens map; graph line
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Queens has risen in New York City’s frenzied rental market to be crowned the the city’s most competitive, according to StreetEasy.

Asking rent in the borough rose 12 percent year-over-year, outpacing the city-wide average of 10.7 percent, according to a monthly report from the listings giant. The borough’s median monthly rent climbed to $2,800 in May, setting a record for the second consecutive month. 

“Despite concerns over affordability, the city’s strong labor market is supporting demand for rentals,” StreetEasy found. “Competition among renters is fierce, albeit not as tough as during the market’s peak last summer.”

Demand in Queens is up because renters are flocking to the borough to escape higher prices in Manhattan and Brooklyn, even though inventory in Queens is a fraction of what it is in the neighboring boroughs.

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Rents are rising the fastest in Astoria, where the median asking rent rose to $2,750, a 10 percent annual increase. But the highest rents in the borough are in Long Island City, where the median rent in May surpassed $4,200 per month, 52 percent above the borough median. The area has seen a number of new development projects in recent years.

There is a silver lining for renters: The hot market has led to more owners renting their homes out instead of selling them, which is driving an increase in inventory. Rental inventory has seen double-digit growth since January, though it’s still down nearly a quarter from pre-pandemic levels.

“While it’s unlikely that asking rents will drop compared to last year, year-over-year rent growth will likely continue to slow this year,” StreetEasy said in its report. 

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