New York City rental activity jumped again during May — up 6 percent in Manhattan and 14 percent in Brooklyn — for a total of 9,628 lease signings.

The Corcoran Group recently released its residential rental reports for Manhattan and Brooklyn for May 2021. Among the reports’ key findings:

Manhattan

  • In May, there were 7,615 leases reported signed in Manhattan, up 6% from April.  This marks the third straight month with over 7,000 leases signed in the borough.  The total number of leases signed across Manhattan and Brooklyn reached 9,628.
  • At $3,125, May’s median rent grew 6% versus last month, a month-over-month gain not seen since early 2019.
  • With 14,913 apartments available, Manhattan inventory is up 9% from April – and up 142% since last May. Inventory grew as owners look to take advantage of the recent growth in the renter pool by releasing held-back units.
  • At 3.58%, the vacancy rate during May increased only slightly from April’s rate of 3.19% – but was up by nearly 2% year-over-year. Vacancy ticked up month-over-month as new listings plus prior availabilities still vacant outpaced leasing activity.
  • The highest vacancy rates were found in Midtown East (at 5.90%) and in the East Village/Lower East Side (at 5.40%).  In contrast, the lowest vacancy rates were in the Financial District/Battery Park City (at 2.61%) and in the Greenwich Village/West Village (at 2.79%).
  • Average rents continued to fall annually in nearly all areas of Manhattan – the most in Gramercy, where rents declined 16% year-over-year (from $4,059 to $3,408), though SoHo/Tribeca bucked the trend and saw average rents jump 13% year-over-year (from $6,257 to $7,083).

Read the full Manhattan market report.

Brooklyn

  • In May, there were 2,013 Brooklyn leases signed  — 14% more than in April and the second-highest reported figure in over two years. New potential renters returning to the city and current renters looking for new lease terms drove the increased activity.
  • But with 5,856 apartments available, Brooklyn inventory is also up — 57% from April and 182% since May of last year. A big reason for the jump is that owners who previously held back inventory released more listings to take advantage of the recent uptick in activity.
  • The median Brooklyn rent of $2,600 in May dipped from both last month and last year. Though the figure was 4% higher than the low in January 2021, price-sensitive renters are still finding values.
  • Rents fell the most in North Williamsburg, where rents declined 14% year-over-year (from $4,529 to $3,902).  In contrast, pricing in Prospect Heights rose 4% (from $3,332 to $3,464) due to a new development that began leasing in May.

Read the full Brooklyn market report.

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Columbus Circle, by Florian Wehde, courtesy of Unsplash. Click photo for profile.
Columbus Circle, by Florian Wehde, courtesy of Unsplash. Click photo for profile.

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