Manhattan Sees Record-Low Number Of New Leases Amid Pandemic

city window view

New leases for Manhattan rentals plummeted by 70.9 percent year over year excluding renewals amid “shelter in place” measures made and enforced amid the pandemic, according to a Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel report. The figure represents the “lowest total of new leases recorded in a decade and [the] most significant percent decline ever recorded” per the report.

While the report noted “some limited traction” in digital rental showings, the practice has “not gone mainstream” to take the place of in-person rental showings. The median rental price, for its part, increased by 4.9 percent. According to the report, “price trends for each metric continued to press higher” with significantly fewer lease signings. 

But the report indicated “market feedback” hinted that landlords have been putting effort into keeping tenants when leases are up for renewal, with a steep decline in new leases throughout the region. However, approximately two-thirds of total leasing activity originates from renewals, and landlords don’t provide that price trend information per the report.

The median rental price was $3,650 in April, according to the report, with the average rental price of $4,503 in April. Additionally, the number of new leases arrived at 1,407, while the rental price per square foot was $74.20. The vacancy rate, on the other hand, increased by 0.39 percent, according to the report.

As previously reported, the pandemic is causing many Americans to consider moving from city areas to the suburbs or rural locations, which was said to be a possibly negative sign for businesses.

A Harris poll of 2,050 adults in the U.S. from April 25 to April 27 discovered that 39 percent of city residents said the health crisis has led them to mull living in less crowded locales.

Additionally, 18- to 34-year-olds, who are seen to be at a low risk death from the virus, were more likely to indicate they are thinking about a move than those in other age groups.