NEW YORK CITY—According to a recent November 2020 New York Rent Report from Apartment List, New York rents declined over the past month. In this report, chief economist Igor Popov, evaluates trends in the New York rental market, including comparisons to similar cities nationwide.
Popov notes that New York rents have declined 2.8% over the past month, and have decreased sharply by 17% in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, median rents in New York stand at $1,619 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,703 for a two-bedroom.
“This is the tenth straight month that the city has seen rent decreases after an increase in December of last year. New York’s year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of -7.0%, as well as the national average of -1.4%,” the report says.
As rents have fallen sharply in New York, a few similar cities nationwide have also seen prices fall, in some cases substantially, the report says. Compared to most other large cities across the country, New York is less affordable for renters.
New York’s median two-bedroom rent of $1,703 is above the national average of $1,101. Nationwide, rents have fallen by 1.4% over the past year compared to the 17.0% decline in New York.
While rents in New York fell sharply over the past year, many cities nationwide also saw decreases, including San Francisco (-23.4%), Boston (-15.9%), and Seattle (-12.2%), the report says.
“Renters will generally find more expensive prices in New York than most similar cities. For example, Houston has a median 2BR rent of $1,078, where New York is more than one-and-a-half times that price.”
But the rent dips in October, the report says, are in line with typical seasonality. “Unlike the declines that we witnessed earlier this year during the initial stages of the pandemic, the dip that is occurring now is in line with normal seasonality in the market. For example, in 2019 and 2018, rents fell from September to October by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively,” the report says.
While rents are down nationally, the effects of the pandemic and its implications for the rental market have varied significantly by geography. “Some smaller and more-affordable markets have seen rent growth quickly spring back to life after just a brief dip in the early months of the pandemic. Meanwhile rents in some of the nation’s most expensive cities are continuing to plummet,” the report says.
Since March, rents are down in 41 of the 100 largest cities in the U.S. “Of the 100 largest cities for which we have data, 41 have seen rents fall since the start of the pandemic in March,” says Popov. “To put that in perspective, during the same months last year just five cities saw a drop in rent prices, and only two experienced a decline of more than one percent. Even in the cities where rent growth has been positive through the pandemic, it has still been sluggish. 63 of the 100 largest cities are currently registering slower year-over-year rent growth than at this time last year.”