Ask any New Yorker why they’re living in NYC, and one thing you definitely won’t hear is because of the super affordable rent. Not only is NYC the most expensive city in the country, it also has the most expensive rent in the U.S. which is pricing out a third of its tenants.
But the good news is there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel.
According to real estate firm StreetEasy, November marked the slowest year-over-year rent growth in NYC–with a growth of only 2.9%–since August 2021 when rents began to increase rapidly following the pandemic-induced lull.
And while it’s normal for rents to decline following their summer highs as colder weather and holiday travel starts to set in, November’s year-over-year rent growth of only 2.9% marks the first time since the pandemic that rents rose less than 3%.
But what’s causing the slowing down of rent prices?
Well, according to the study it’s likely due to an increased inventory of apartments across the city. In November 2023, for example, there were a total of 32,049 rentals on the market, an increase of 8.6% compared to a year ago.
Low inventory causes competition, which was seen in 2022 when median asking rents rose 23.6% year-over-year in November of that year, nearly ten times higher than what it is today.
When looking ahead to 2024, StreetEasy predicts that rent growth in NYC will likely continue on this decline, making for a calmer rental market. Though they urge New Yorkers to not expect any sharp drops as inventory is still pretty low compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Though if you are in the market for a new apartment, you’d be surprised to hear that, of all boroughs, you’ll find some relief if you’re looking to make the move to Manhattan as that’s where inventory is rising the most.
The number of rentals in Manhattan clocked in at 15,885 this past November, a 10.2% increase compared to a year ago. This caused the median asking rent in this borough to increase only 1.2% compared to last year, much lower than the 17.3% year-over-year growth seen in November 2022.
Landlords in Manhattan will therefore have to compete with each other on prices in order to attract renters, and renters will also find more apartments offering concessions.
When looking at some of the other boroughs, StreetEasy has found that rent growth has pretty much remained steady in Brooklyn though, on the bright side, competition is cooling.
As for Queens, however, rent growth is on the rise.
The median asking rent in Queens didn’t change much between October and November of this year, but it did increase a total of 11.5% compared to November 2022. Though often looked at as the more affordable borough compared to Brooklyn and Manhattan, Queens is the only borough where rent growth isn’t slowing.
While rental inventory is rising quickly in a few Queens neighborhoods, such as Long Island City and Flushing, inventory across Queens as a whole is limited due to a strong demand to live here.
The full study can be found here.