The rent really is too damn high in some New York City neighborhoods, according to market experts.
While pads are flying off the shelves — or, in this case, listings sites — in some areas, in others they’re struggling to attract tenants.
In Midtown South, for example, it took a whopping average of 48 days for landlords to rent out a property in August, and 30 in Downtown Brooklyn, according to data compiled by the listings site StreetEasy. However, it took only 15 days to fill a space in West Harlem last month, 16 in Gowanus, and 15 in Ridgewood, StreetEasy found.
Alan Lightfeldt, a data scientist with the company, said “48 days by any measure is a lot,” since the median amount of time to rent was 21 days for Manhattan apartments and 25 days for Brooklyn units in August. The delays could be explained by a lack of affordability in those neighborhoods, he said.
The median rent in Midtown South in August was $3,850, and in Downtown Brooklyn it was $3,300, according to StreetEasy. By comparison, the median rent in West Harlem in August was $2,485, in Gowanus it was $3,025, and in Ridgewood it was $2,398.
Borough-wide in Manhattan, median rents hit $3,400 in August, a 7.1% rise from a year earlier, according to the real estate group Douglas Elliman. They reached $3,112 in Brooklyn, a 10.8% jump from the year before.
But as the weather turns colder, it will get more difficult for landlords to rent out apartments citywide. This is a yearly trend that benefits renters who don’t mind moving in the cold.
To lure renters in the fall and winter, landlords offer lower prices or incentives like a free month’s rent or a complimentary broker fee, Citi Habitats president Gary Malin said.
If they don’t succeed, landlords could lose tenants to more affordable places like Jersey City or Queens.
The market will be especially in the favor of renters in November and December, Lee Lin of the listings site RentHop said.
And incentives are being offered particularly toward the end of the month, when landlords are worried about apartments sitting empty for another rent cycle, he said. “If you’re willing to move in on shorter notice, less than two weeks’ notice, then the landlord’s willingness to pay the broker fee is a lot higher,” he said.