"People Are Moving Back" - NYC Rentals Become Scarce As City Life Returns

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Oct 03, 2021 - 12:00 AM

The number of available apartment rentals in New York City has fallen back to pre-pandemic levels as people return to city life for urban work and schooling. 

According to Bloomberg, citing data from real estate firm StreetEasy, in the week ending Sept. 26, inventory of apartments for rent stood at 15,541, compared with 16,649 at the start of March 2020. This is a considerable decline from the 48,753 rentals available in September 2020

The borough of Manhattan is one of the hottest rental markets in all of the city, said Nancy Wu, an economist at StreetEasy.

 "Manhattan residents were more mobile and had the ability to move. That's where we saw the biggest drops in rents [during the pandemic], and the biggest gains back up in the city," Wu said. 

She said it's a "sign we're getting to a recovery in the rentals market, which means people are moving back."

Prices have yet to rebound back to pre-COVID levels, and there are still plenty of good deals, allowing renters room to negotiate. 

The median rent for an apartment in New York has risen since May and hit $2,700 in August. According to Wu, it's still lower than the median of $2,995 in April 2020. Prices are expected to edge higher. 

"I do expect this winter to be busier than what we usually see because people will be moving back the city and adding to the pool of demand," she said.

Wall Street firms such as Deutch Bank, among others, are returning their employees to offices in the financial district over the next six months, which has boosted demand for rentals. If inventories get low enough, a rental bidding war could be seen.  

... and while residential real estate is making a comeback, commercial real estate still remains in a great deal of stress