As rents declined and inventory continued to rise across Manhattan and Brooklyn, the market countered with more aggressive move-in incentives.

The Corcoran Group recently released our Manhattan and Brooklyn Rental Market Analysis for September 2020.  While building owners report a recent increase in leasing activity, the current inventory levels have caused a downward trend in rental pricing and a rise in move-in incentives available to tenants.

During the month, Manhattan rents declined year-over-year for all apartment sizes, most notably for two- and three-bedroom units.  Pricing for these categories fell 13% and 17% respectively since September 2019.

In Brooklyn, rents were also down across the board when compared to last year.  In the borough, overall rents for three-bedroom apartments were down the most, at 25%.  Studios experienced the second-highest pricing decline, trading at a 19% discount when compared to September 2019.

Vacancy rates continue to climb.  In September 2020, 5.02% of apartments were vacant, compared to 4.19% in August.  The rate is also up substantially from September 2019’s rate of 1.27%.

When examining concessions, 52% 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 September 2020 – up from 50% in August.

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

  • In September 2020, the average monthly rental price for a Manhattan studio was $2,051. For one-bedroom homes, the average was $2,878.  For two-bedrooms, the average rent was $3,487.  Finally, the average three-bedroom apartment rented for $4,989.

Brooklyn studio apartments (in the 14 neighborhoods studied) rented for $2,306 per month on average.  For Brooklyn one-bedrooms, the average rent was $2,816 – while rents for two- and three-bedrooms clocked in at $3,567 and $4,129 respectively.

  • The most expensive Manhattan neighborhood for renters in September was the East Village/Lower East Side with a median rent of $3,650.  Closed rents rose overall in the area due to several signed leases in the high $3,000 to mid $4,000 per month range.

Midtown West was the second-priciest area – with a median rent of $3,185.  Please note, due to limited activity, SoHo/TriBeCa and The Financial District/Battery Park City were not included in this month’s analysis.

For Brooklyn, DUMBO was the most expensive neighborhood in September with a median rent of $4,135 – followed by Boerum Hill, which had a median rent of $3,495 per month.

  • With a vacancy rate of 3.43%, the Financial District/Battery Park City was the Manhattan neighborhood with the least inventory in September 2020, followed by the Upper East Side at 4.14%.  On the other end of the spectrum, the vacancy rate was highest during the month in the East Village (at 8.17%) and Midtown East (at 6.59%).

Read the full New York City rental report.

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