New Yorkers looking for a new apartment in the next couple of months shouldn’t expect any bargains, according to a StreetEasy report released Thursday.
The real estate listing site’s report on the first quarter of 2019 for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens properties found that median rent for the three boroughs reached new highs.
Manhattan’s median rent was $3,217 — a 2.6% jump from the first quarter of 2018, and, according to StreetEasy’s records, the quickest jump in rent in the borough since 2016. Brooklyn’s median rent was $2,608, a 2.2% jump from the same period last year; and Queens’s median rents were $2,173, a 2.5% increase from the first quarter of 2018.
StreetEasy senior economist Grant Long said fewer leases in the first quarter came with asking-rent cuts as a concession, particularly in Brooklyn. About 17.1% of units in the borough came with offers for rent markdowns in the first quarter of 2019, compared with 23.8% during the same period last year, according to the report.
“We’re coming out of an unusually competitive winter rental season in which many renters found themselves in a weaker negotiating position than in years past," Long said in a statement.
Long predicted that landlords will "have the upper hand" in the spring and summer when it comes to leasing.
“As would-be buyers opt to embrace renting while sale prices are falling, the competition that new grads and other transplants entering the city’s workforce would typically bring this time of year will be even more pronounced," he said.
The report said there was one location in the three boroughs that saw a year-to-year dip in median rents: northern Brooklyn. The median in the first quarter was $3,061, a 0.5% decrease from the same time last year, due to an oversupply of units in neighborhoods such as Williamsburg and Greenpoint. StreetEasy cited the now-canceled total L train shutdown as the main factor for those vacancies.
The report found that northwest Brooklyn saw the largest median rent increase in the first quarter. Median rent for units in the area was $3,068, a 3.3% jump from the first quarter of 2018.