New York City Residential Rental Market Report: September 2021

Rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn inched up 5% and 6%, respectively, since August, signaling a shrinking inventory — down more than 60% from 2020.

New York City rents continue to rebound quickly from their pandemic lows and ‘COVID discounts’ are largely a thing of the past.  In September, pricing for apartments in Manhattan and Brooklyn climbed 5% and 6%, respectively, since August alone.  The reason for these rent increases is simple supply and demand, as inventory in both boroughs has plummeted.  When compared to last year, the number of available apartments fell 68% in Manhattan – and 62% in Brooklyn.  The speed of the turn-around has been truly remarkable.  While their perspectives may vary, both apartment-seekers and building owners alike can agree that a competitive rental market is a powerful sign that our city is back.”

Gary Malin, Chief Operating Officer, The Corcoran Group



  • The overall Manhattan median rent hit $3,300 in September, up 5% since last month and 2% year-over-year.  This marks the first year-over-year increase in overall rents since the start of the pandemic.
  • This rise was led by doorman buildings, where the median rent rose 9% since September 2020 – to reach $4,000 per month.  However at $2,595, the median rent for walk-up buildings is still down 2% annually. 


  • The 5,608 active listings across Manhattan is down a remarkable 25% since just last month, and 68% year-over-year.  The number of available apartments is approximately one sixth of the peak of nearly 35,000 apartments that were available during December 2020.
  • In September, the overall Manhattan vacancy rate fell to 2.07% (vs. 2.26% in August).  This is the ninth consecutive month of a monthly decline in vacancy.  Also – for the first time since May 2020, all Manhattan neighborhoods had a vacancy rate below 3%.

Lease Activity 

  • 4,428 leases were signed during September, down 35% relative to August. Dwindling inventory and rising rents likely hindered additional leases from being signed, particularly in doorman buildings.
  • For reference, lease signings hit a record 8,995 in June 2021.



  • September’s Brooklyn median rent of $2,850 climbed 6% versus August and was just 1% lower year-over-year, the smallest annual decline seen in twelve months.
  • Compared to the pricing low in January 2021, median rent was 14% higher ($340 more expensive) in September 2021.


  • There were 3,187 active rental listings available in Brooklyn during September, down 22% from August and a substantial 62% year-over-year.
  • This is the lowest number of apartments available in fifteen months, though still double what was listed two years ago in September 2019 (pre-pandemic).

Lease Activity 

  • There were 1,169 leases signed in Brooklyn during September, down 34% from both August and year-over-year.
  • Reduction in supply and a twelve-month high median rent figure forced leasing activity to slow relative to both last month and last year.

Read the full reports:

Manhattan  |  Brooklyn

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