It’s the perfect time to lease a New York City apartment as vacancies rose, causing rental listings to jump, CNBC reported.
New York City’s rental market continued to lose ground in May due to the pandemic as residents fled the Big Apple and the real estate industry remained on lockdown, CNBC reported, citing Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants in New York and Douglas Elliman, a New York real estate agency.
Lease signings fell by 62 percent across every borough in May, the lowest number in a decade, the report said.
As signings plummeted, May saw the largest year-over-year increase in new listings since 2016. In Manhattan, the apartments listed for rent increased by a third to 7,420, compared to 5,534 listings in May of last year. That’s more vacancies since Miller Samuel began collecting the data 14 years ago, CNBC reported.
Brokers blamed the drop in leases to the shutdown because agents cannot show apartments or hold open houses.
“The supply of available rental units continues to accumulate,” UrbanDigs said in another report, according to CNBC.
Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, told Commercial Observer that the surge in new inventory stems from consumers and brokers who anticipate that the second phase of reopening in the state is coming, and that’s when the market’s floodgates will open.
“So, listings came back on the market in anticipation of that, combined with less new leasing activity, which is part of the reason inventory swelled,” Miller said. “I suspect within the month that New York City goes to Phase 2, and brokers can physically inspect, I’ll expect an uptick in new leasing and price discovery.”
As inventory soared, the average rent in Manhattan fell by 1.8 percent last month to $4,144 last month, the first annual drop in a year, the CNBC report said. Larger and luxury apartments took the hardest hit. Three-bedroom rents in Manhattan dropped 71 percent in May while the average rental price for the top 10 percent of rentals fell by 20 percent.
It’s all good news for potential tenants because it has forced landlords to make concessions. More than 40 percent of new leases in Manhattan, on average, received free rent for about one-and-a-half months, up from 34 percent, the report revealed.