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Queens passes Brooklyn as most-competitive rental market: report

Manhattan, seen from an MTA train approaching the Queensboro Plaza Station in Queens, NY.

Jun. 20, 2023 By Julia Moro

StreetEasy data found that competition in May was toughest in Queens, where the average listing received 133% more inquiries compared to May 2019, more than double the pre-pandemic level.

StreetEasy credits this surge to New Yorkers looking for more affordable homes across the city, leading to intense competition in Queens as the city’s more affordable alternative to Manhattan and Brooklyn.

According to StreetEasy, Queens neighborhoods that offer fast and convenient commutes to Manhattan, including Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside, reached record-high asking rents in May.

In Queens, the asking rent rose 12% year-over-year to $2,800 in May, setting a record high for the second consecutive month, according to StreetEasy. Despite the competition for rental units in the last few years, inventory in the borough rose by just 5%. However, there were still 3,983 homes for rent, still a fraction of the inventory available in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

“In addition to rising demand, limited inventory is behind the fierce competition for rentals, as Queens inventory this May was 28.4% below its May 2019 pre-pandemic level,” read the StreetEasy report.

According to StreetEasy, Queens’ northwest neighborhoods are rising in popularity.

“An average listing in the area received 150% more inquiries than in May 2019,” read the report. “These neighborhoods offer relatively quick commutes to Manhattan, but convenience comes at a cost.”

The median asking rents in Long Island City set a new record high in May at $4,259, up 3.9% year-over-year.

“While the neighborhood’s median is higher than the borough median by 52%, renters can enjoy convenient access to Midtown in addition to sought-after amenities in new developments,” the report read.

According to StreetEasy data, of the three northwestern neighborhoods, rents in Astoria are rising the fastest. In Astoria, the median asking rent rose 10% year-over-year to $2,750 in May. Sunnyside also set a record high this May at $2,455, up 6.7% from last year.

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