December was a good time to be an apartment-hunter in Manhattan and Brooklyn: Rents dipped, inventory was robust, and incentives were plentiful.

The Corcoran Group recently released our Manhattan and Brooklyn Rental Market Analysis for December 2020.  Rental pricing continues to decline in both boroughs for most apartment categories, while the vacancy rate again ticked up after falling during November.  The year closed by offering apartment seekers the gift of good values, plenty of inventory, and generous move-in incentives.

During the month, Manhattan rents were a mixed bag when compared to November.  Pricing for studio and two-bedroom homes fell 4% and 5%, respectively, while rents for one-bedroom units rose 3%.  The average three-bedroom rent remained flat, increasing by only three dollars.

In Brooklyn, December rents fell across the board when compared to the preceding month.  In the borough, pricing for studios fell 2%.  Meanwhile, rents were down 1% and 6%, respectively, for one- and two-bedroom apartments.   Three-bedroom units saw the steepest declines, as rents were down 10% for this category.

After reversing course the previous month, the vacancy rate continued its climb in December – rising from 4.89% to 5.04%.  Vacancies are also up substantially from December 2019’s rate of 1.40%.

Concessions remain relatively prevalent.  In December 2020, 53% of rental transactions brokered by The Corcoran Group offered a free month (or more) of rent and/or payment of the broker fee to entice new tenants– down slightly from 54% in November. 

Additional relevant findings of the December 2020 Corcoran rental report are outlined below. 

  • In December 2020, the average monthly rental price for a Manhattan studio was$1,815. For one-bedroom homes, it was $2,618.  For two-bedroom units, the average rent was $3,268, and the average three-bedroom apartment rented for$5,842.

Brooklyn studio apartments (in the 14 neighborhoods studied) rented for $2,191 per month on average.  For Brooklyn one-bedrooms, the average rent was $2,627 – while rents for two- and three-bedrooms clocked in at $3,056 and $3,375, respectively.

  • The most expensive Manhattan neighborhood for renters in December was the Financial District/Battery Park City with a median rent of $5,000. SoHo/Tribeca was the second-priciest area – with a median rent of $3,496

For Brooklyn, DUMBO was the most expensive neighborhood in December with a median rent of $3,900 – followed by Boerum Hill, which had a median rent of $3,095 per month.

  • With a vacancy rate of 3.14%, the Financial District/Battery Park City was the Manhattan neighborhood with the least inventory in December 2020, followed by Midtown West at 3.87%.  On the other end of the spectrum, the vacancy rate was highest during the month in the East Village (at 9.75%) and Midtown East (at 7.82%).

Read the full New York City rental report.

About Our Photo

Skating at Rockefeller Center, by Tim Hüfner, courtesy of Unsplash. Click photo for profile.
Skating at Rockefeller Center, by Tim Hüfner, courtesy of Unsplash. Click photo for profile.

©2021 Corcoran Group LLC. All rights reserved. Corcoran®, Live Who You Are® and the Corcoran Logo are service marks owned by Corcoran Group LLC. The Corcoran® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by NRT New York LLC, a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC, and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. Corcoran Group LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.