The New York City rental market is hot right now.

Last year, across New York, landlords were forced to cut rents and offer freebies when the coronavirus pandemic all but shut down the city.

Meanwhile, those who stayed were upgrading or moving to avoid rent increases on their lease – and many people who always wanted to live in New York City decided that, with prices unusually low last summer, it was finally the right time.

Now, renters who left New York City at the start of the pandemic are returning in droves, preparing to go back to the office, or school in the New Year. After leaving the city for the ‘burbs, renters are coming back with big expectations – looking for larger spaces, with more amenities – at affordable prices.

However, all of the deals that renters were taking advantage of at the beginning of the pandemic are becoming few and far between – and renters need to prepare their expectations, and their wallets, for the shift in the market.

Current rental prices seem pricey – soaring almost 30% in some neighborhoods compared to just one year ago – and that’s not expected to change anytime soon. Coronavirus discounts are a thing of the past as landlords have withheld concessions and raised rents because of booming demand in the city.

Median asking rents borough- and city-wide remain lower than they were prior to the pandemic. But in some neighborhoods, asking rents have now surpassed pre-pandemic levels. This is particularly the case in popular downtown Manhattan neighborhoods, including Flatiron, the East Village, the Financial District, and Nolita.

During the third quarter, New York City’s rental market was bustling. Citywide, rent prices continued to trend upward with the median asking rent reaching $2,699 — about $100 short of the pre-pandemic highs around $2,800.

Competition is higher in part because of lower inventory. Rental inventory was down 44% from its peak last summer, with 20,377 rentals on the market.

Recently, competition has gotten so high that there are even bidding wars happening for rentals (yes, you read that right) – and as competition increases, concessions fade faster.

The share of apartments with a concession was at 22.4% in Q3 2021, down from 42.8% in Q1 2021 – so while prices jump, perks fall.

Prices are on the rise but don’t worry! Price hikes have ever-so-slowly mellowed as offices have pushed re-openings into Q1 and Q2 2022. Renters, this means one thing: talk to a Platinum Properties agent and secure your dream rental now.

Given the low amount of inventory, it’s extremely important to work with a knowledgeable broker who can help you navigate the rental market quickly enough so you don’t miss out on the right opportunity.

Message us to be connected with a Platinum agent who can help you find your next home.