In fact, according to a monthly report by real estate firm Douglas Elliman, they were close to reaching all-time record levels.
Median (net-effective) rent in Manhattan increased by a record rate of 23.3 percent year-over-year, averaging $3,467. That’s also the second-highest level ever for January (since these numbers started being recorded, around 2010).
At the same time, vacancy rates fell to 1.7 percent, a huge difference from the 11.79 percent rate the previous February. Open rentals are much more scarce, contributing to the increase in prices as well. Remember, on the other hand, in November 2020 when there were over 16,000 vacant Manhattan apartments?
And the outer boroughs aren’t much better, with Brooklyn rent rising year-over-year for the third month in a row to $2,747. And in Northwest Queens, average rent increased annually for the fifth straight month to $2,811.
Last month in December, which is normally a quiet time for real estate, Manhattan rent prices did hit an all-time record. The median (net-effective) rent was $3,392, 21 percent higher than the same time last year, and the highest for December ever.
It was also the first month Manhattan’s median rent price was actually above pre-pandemic levels (though only by 0.1 percent, according to the Times). Experts say these are signs of the NYC rental market returning to “normal” following the effects of COVID-19.