New York City Residential Rental Market Report: August 2021

Leasing velocity slowed in Manhattan and Brooklyn during August, and rents in both boroughs are still down slightly when compared to last year. However, excess inventory has largely been absorbed—as the vacancy rate hit a 16-month low.

“While still robust, New York’s rental market moderated to some degree during August. Due to July’s skyrocketing activity, steadily climbing rents, and reduced concessions, the sense of ‘value’ for tenants wasn’t what it once was. As a result, some chose to postpone their apartment search to fall if possible. The rise of the delta variant has also delayed the return to in-person work for many office employees, which reduced the sense of urgency for apartment-seekers. However, August was still very much a success story. With double the Manhattan lease signings versus the same period last year, and the vacancy rate hitting a 16-month low, building owners closed out summer 2021 on much stronger footing. The turn-around has been remarkable.”

Gary Malin, Chief Operating Officer, The Corcoran Group



  • The Manhattan median rent was $3,150 in August –  3% lower year-over-year and just 1% shy of July 2021’s figure of $3,195.
  • Larger residences continue to out-perform smaller ones in terms of pricing. The three bedroom average rent increased 14% year-over-year to $7,028, while the average rent for studios fell 5% to $2,470.


  • There were 7,727 active listings across Manhattan during August—down 25% from the 10,261 in July and down 68% year-over-year.
  • In August, the overall Manhattan vacancy rate was 2.26% (vs. 2.61% in July). This is the lowest vacancy rate seen in sixteen months (since May 2020).
  • At 1.47%, the vacancy rate was lowest in Gramercy, followed by the Financial District/Battery Park City (at 1.64%). At the other end of the spectrum, the vacancy rate was highest in Midtown East (at 3.19%) and the East Village/Lower East Side (2.89%).

Lease Activity

  • 6,771 leases were signed in Manhattan during August, down 17% month-over-month.  However, this number is 51% higher than a year ago.
  • For reference, lease signings hit a record 8,995 in June 2021.



  • The Brooklyn median rent was $2,700 in August, unchanged from July but down 6% year-over-year.
  • This was the thirteenth consecutive month where median rent has fallen annually as price-sensitive renters continue to seek value in lower-priced neighborhoods.
  • With the average rent rising 38% – to $4,311 from $3,125, Downtown Brooklyn experienced the greatest year-over-year rent increases. In contrast, rents in Brooklyn Heights fell the sharpest. Pricing in this neighborhood fell 23% – from $4,312 in August 2020, to $3,311 in August 2021.


  • There were 4,079 active listings available in Brooklyn during August, down 20% from July and 33% year-over-year.
  • The average Brooklyn apartment was on the market for 63 days, up 24% from last month and 7% from last year.
  • Days on market was higher than both last month and last year due to lingering listings finally finding tenants.

Lease Activity

  • 1,780 leases were signed in Brooklyn during August, down 16% from July and 13% year-over-year.
  • This is the first time in fifteen months that leasing activity in Brooklyn fell year-over-year.
  • Though down 13% versus August 2020, which had set a new record for surpassing 2,000 signed leases, August’s figure was still 6% higher than August 2019.

Read the full reports:

Manhattan  |  Brooklyn

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