Despite the traditional winter slowdown, rents are still high in New York City.

In Manhattan, the median rent last month was $4,095 and the average rent was $5,249 – the third highest on record.

The winter is typically a quieter month for leasing and many renters, disappointed in the lack of rent relief, responded by staying put versus moving to a new place. This resulted in a 32% decline in lease activity last month. In addition, the vacancy rate rose for the seventh consecutive month to 2.42 percent in Manhattan.

“Rents don’t have the upward trajectory they’ve had over the prior years but they are still remaining fairly close to all-time highs,” says Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

New development listing inventory also rose at a much faster rate than existing rentals. The median rental price for new developments was $5,320.

This caused an uptick in the number of apartments leased with a concession, for example, the landlord paying the broker fee or the tenant receiving a month of free rent. The market share of apartments leased with a concession was 16% in November, up from a low of around 11% in August and September.

Miller says there’s a shift slowly creeping in, “but it’s not reflected in rents yet.” He suggests that rents will only begin to fall if there is a recession followed by significant job losses – which is still playing out.

Miller also says that bidding wars are still happening, but there are fewer of them.

New Yorkers are still paying top dollar for one-bedroom units. Sharing space in a multi-bedroom apartment can lead to large savings, but StreetEasy data’ suggests that renters are prioritizing finding their own place – even if it means paying higher rents.

The number of inquiries each rental listing received on StreetEasy – a proxy for renter demand – showed that studio and one-bedroom listings are still highly sought after, while demand for rental listings with two or more bedrooms slowed rapidly after a strong surge this summer.

Asking rents for studios and one-bedroom rentals rose 18.1% year-over-year to $2,962 in October this year.

Renters currently in the market for studio and one-bedroom listings now have less than half as many listings to choose from compared to this time last year. Due to strong demand, inventory shortages are likely to keep rents high.

Despite the uncertainty in the market, it’s still possible to find a great place within budget, and our agents are experts at negotiating with landlords. If you’re looking to make a move next year, please reach out to us.