A few days ago, I came across an email from the brokerage Citi Habitats. They do this cool thing where they’ll email out monthly reports on the Manhattan residential rental market, based on their internal data and expansive research.
Within moments of dissecting it, my eyes grew large. In a market that’s so densely populated, it’s not unfathomable to realize the vacancy rate often hovers around that 1% mark. But, according to their statistics, they’ve noted that the vacancy rate is moving more towards that 2% number — which, you can imagine, has big implications on the bottom line for landlords and brokerages. In order to get their locations rented, brokerages like Citi Habitats have resorted to making concessions such as offering the first month free. Apparently, while 8% of transactions in July 2015 were made with some form of concession to entice renters to sign their name on the dotted line, just one year later, that number jumped to a staggering 20% of deals transacted…All this begs the question: is the rent in NYC too damn high?
If you’re not convinced that prices have gotten out of hand, peep these statistics for a second:
Median monthly rent (July 2016)
BPC/Financial District — $3,940
Chelsea — $4,340
East Village — $3,500
Gramercy/Flatiron — $4,595
Harlem — $2,750
Lower East Side — $3,350
Midtown East — $3,782
Midtown West — $3,645
Morning Side Heights — $3,495
Murray Hill — $3,600
SoHo/Tribeca — $6,310
Upper East Side — $3,350
Upper West Side — $2,200
West Village — $4,100
Courtesy of Citi Habitats
Please note the insane price tags that come with having a Manhattan address. What’s even more alarming is seeing these rent costs and then learning that studios and one bedrooms make up a majority of the housing inventory in the city.
With the, what seem to be, perpetually rising rental costs — at some point, none of us will be able to live here. The combination of rising costs and the inevitable driving of people into the surrounding boroughs is having a costly effect on and disturbing the very fabric of the communities that have made NYC as great as it is today.
Too many New Yorkers are seeing upwards of 50% of their income going towards keeping a roof over their heads. Before too long, NYC and the surrounding boroughs will only serve two kinds of people: rich folk and Airbnbers.