December is not typically a busy month for the rental market, but nothing was typical of 2020 – and New Yorkers signed record numbers in record numbers as the year drew to a close.
The number of new leases last month in Manhattan and Brooklyn reached levels not seen in 12 years, according to Douglas Elliman’s monthly report. This is the third month in a row that leasing has set annual records.
In December, 5,459 new leases were signed in Manhattan, about 94 percent more than in the same period last year, and 36 percent more than 4,015 leases. impregnated in November.
Estimator Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, the author of the report, said the increase in leasing was “encouraging”. He attributed the increase at the end of the year to low prices, which attract new residents or existing tenants who are moving for a better offer.
“But all other metrics are still extremely weak,” he said. “It’s not about healing. … [But] This is the first thing that should happen when we move on to healing. “
More than half of Manhattan’s agreements came with some concession, and rents continued to fall.
Net effective median rents (or concessions) fell 14 percent year-over-year to $ 2,996, from $ 3,499 in December 2019. This is the second largest decline in the borough in nine years; the largest occurred in November, when rents fell by 22 percent.
As a result of the increase in leasing activity, the Manhattan vacancy rate fell to 5.52 percent, from 6.14 percent in November. However, the December rate was the third highest in history.
Brooklyn saw a similar increase in activity, with new leases jumping 59 percent to 1,291, compared to 811 agreements last December. However, the median rent of the neighborhood fell nearly 10 percent to $ 2,700, from $ 2,991 last year. That’s a 3 percent drop from the November median rent of $ 2,786.
Landlords offering concessions accounted for almost half of the market, with 48.5 percent of new leases being offered with sweeteners for tenants.
In northwest Queens, new leases rose about 34 percent year on year, with 269 signed last month, compared with 201 a year earlier. Of those deals, 62 percent came with concessions, compared to 54 percent last year. Average rents in this area fell to $ 2,400, a year-on-year decrease of 14 percent from $ 2,795.