Month over month and year over year, rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn increased across the board — and move-in incentives were less plentiful.

The Corcoran Group’s newly released Rental Market Analysis for February 2020 finds that compared to the month prior, rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn increased across the board.  In addition, pricing increased in both boroughs – for all apartment sizes – when compared to this time last year.

From January to February, rents for Manhattan studio apartments increased 1%, while they rose 2% for one-bedroom homes.  For two- and three-bedroom homes, pricing climbed 4% and 3%, respectively.

In Brooklyn, rents increased for all apartment sizes as well.  Rents for studio, two- and three-bedroom homes were up 1%, while one-bedroom apartments saw rents rise 2% on average.

When examining concessions, 30% of rental transactions brokered by The Corcoran Group offered a free month’s rent and/or payment of the broker fee to entice new tenants in February 2020 – lower than the 34% in January.  The percentage of concessions is also down, albeit slightly, from the same period last year.  In February 2019, 31% leases included one.

These move-in incentives continued to be much more prevalent in Brooklyn, where they were found on 45% of leases in February 2020 – versus 26% of Manhattan leases during the same period.

In February, the Manhattan vacancy rate was 1.11% – down considerably from January’s rate of 1.31%.  It is the lowest vacancy rate seen since July 2019 (when it was also 1.11%).   After increasing steadily since July, vacancies have now fallen for the second consecutive month.

“In February, the ‘stars aligned’ for landlords,” explained Gary Malin, Chief Operating Officer of The Corcoran Group.  “Mild weather conditions drove increased traffic to available apartments.  In addition, post-holiday season pent-up demand and sustained headwinds faced by would-be buyers caused the rental market to strengthen by all metrics.  However, it was not all bad news for tenants.  While the use of concessions was down, they were still found on nearly a third of all leases – especially in areas with a lot of new developments and on luxury product.”

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

  • In February 2020, the average monthly rental price for a Manhattan studio was $2,668. For one-bedroom homes, the average was $3,477.  For two-bedrooms, the average rent was $4,676.  Finally, the average three-bedroom apartment rented for $6,386.

Brooklyn studio apartments (in the 14 neighborhoods studied) rented for $2,596 per month on average.  For Brooklyn one-bedrooms, the average rent was $3,164 – while rents for two- and three-bedrooms clocked in at $4,117 and $5,484 respectively.

  • The most expensive Manhattan neighborhood for renters in February was SoHo/TriBeCa with a median rent of$6,500.  Chelsea was the second-priciest area – with a median rent of $5,400.

For Brooklyn, DUMBO was the most expensive neighborhood in February with a median rent of $5,790 – followed by Brooklyn Heights, where the median rent was $4,600 per month.

  • Manhattan rents were lowest in February 2020 in Washington Heights, with a median rent of $2,200.  When examining neighborhoods below 96th Street, the Lower East Side was the least-expensive neighborhood for renters, with a median rent of $3,320.

Crown Heights, with a median February rent of $2,510, was the least-expensive Brooklyn neighborhood tracked in our report, followed by Bedford-Stuyvesant – where the median rent was $2,535.

  • With a vacancy rate of 0.67%, the Upper East Side was the Manhattan neighborhood with least inventory in February 2020, followed by SoHo/TriBeCa at 0.74%.  On the other end of the spectrum, the vacancy rate was highest in the West Village (at 1.47%) and Midtown West (at 1.39%).

Click here to view market statistics from January 2020, and click here to view market statistics from prior months.

Read the full New York City rental report.

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