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

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

From December to January, rents for Manhattan studio and two-bedroom homes increased by 3%, while rents for one-bedroom homes rose by 1%. Meanwhile, pricing for three-bedroom units increased by 4% overall.

In Brooklyn, rents also increased for all apartment sizes. Pricing for studios and three-bedrooms rose 2%, while one- and two-bedroom rents were up 1% on average.

When examining concessions, 34% 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 January 2020 – up from 29% in December. However, the percentage of concessions is about even when looking year-over-year. In January 2019, 33% of leases included one.

These move-in incentives continued to be much more prevalent in Brooklyn, where they were found on 50% of leases in January 2020 — versus 28% of Manhattan leases during the same period.

In January, the Manhattan vacancy rate was 1.31% — down from December’s rate of 1.40%. This is the first vacancy rate decline in 6 months.

“Activity in the city’s rental market increased during January, due in part, to pent-up demand from the holiday season. Many New Yorkers waited until the new year to search for a home,” explained Gary Malin, Chief Operating Officer of The Corcoran Group. “However, tenants remain price-sensitive; so many owners chose to offset higher rents with a move-in incentive. With pricing near record highs, the current rental market is a ‘zero-sum’ game.”

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

  • In January 2020, the average monthly rental price for a Manhattan studio was $2,635. For one-bedroom homes, the average was $3,424. For two-bedrooms, the average rent was $4,507. Finally, the average three-bedroom apartment rented for $6,217.

Brooklyn studio apartments (in the 14 neighborhoods studied) rented for $2,571 per month on average. For Brooklyn one-bedrooms, the average rent was $3,114 — while rents for two- and three-bedrooms clocked in at $4,096 and $5,438 respectively.

  • The most expensive Manhattan neighborhood for renters in January was SoHo/TriBeCa with a median rent of $6,250. Chelsea was the second- priciest area — with a median rent of $5,735.

For Brooklyn, DUMBO was the most expensive neighborhood in January, with a median rent of$5,710 — followed by Brooklyn Heights, where the median rent was $4,800 per month.

  • Manhattan rents were lowest in January 2020 in Washington Heights, with a median rent of $2,020. When examining neighborhoods below 96th Street, the Lower East Side was the least-expensive neighborhood for renters, with a median rent of $3,100.

Bushwick, with a median January rent of $2,600, was the least-expensive Brooklyn neighborhood tracked in our report, followed by Bedford-Stuyvesant – where the median rent was $2,615.

  • With a vacancy rate of 0.99%, SoHo/TriBeCa was the Manhattan neighborhood with the least inventory in January 2020, followed by the East Village at 1.04%. On the other end of the spectrum, the vacancy rate was highest in Chelsea (at 1.63%) and the West Village (at 1.52%).

Click here to view market statistics from prior months.

Read the full New York City rental report.

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