Tri-state rents are up and down — at the same time

Prices have surged from last year, but fallen over a month

(Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty)
(Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty)

Rent is in the eye of the beholder. In the tri-state area, at least.

Compared with a year ago, tenants’ monthly cost is higher in most tri-state markets, according to a Zumper analysis of active listings. But it’s cheaper than it was a month before.

Take New York City. Last month, the median asking rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $3,690, easily the most among the markets studied. That was up 13.2 percent year-over-year, but down 1.3 percent from the previous month.

The trend is even more pronounced for two-bedroom units: up 22.1 percent from last year, yet down 2.2 percent from the previous month.

Many tri-state markets tell a similar story. Jersey City, a chart-topper for annual rent growth in recent months, recorded a 3.1 percent decrease in one-bedroom median rent from November. Still, the $2,840 median was up nearly 40 percent from 2022, the largest jump among the markets by more than 20 percentage points.

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In terms of cost, New York City ranked first last month, while Jersey City was third. Between them was Hoboken, where the median one-bedroom listing was for $3,000. That’s only 4.5 percent higher than a year ago but 0.7 percent more than a month ago — making Hoboken an outlier in the metro area.

Among the 19 markets analyzed, only five had higher median rents for one-bedrooms from a month earlier. Four had increases below 2 percent. The exception was Elizabeth, which had a 6.1 percent monthly increase, with the median rising to $1,920. The New Jersey port city’s lawmakers voted in December to eliminate a $20 cap on rent increases.

Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of markets saw rents rise year-to-year, some significantly. The biggest outlier was Yonkers, where the median one-bedroom rent dropped 10.6 percent from last year to $1,860. The number of apartments in the Westchester County city has surged in recent years.

The least expensive rental market last month was Newark, with a median rent of $1,400 among listed units. The second cheapest was Bridgeport at $1,470, followed by East Orange at $1,500. Bridgeport beat out Newark for the cheapest two-bedroom median rent, $1,670.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment across the metro area last month was $2,295.