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Rental competitivity report shows high demand in NYC

Sep. 25, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

According to RentCafe’s latest rental competitivity report, New York City has been facing rising competition when it comes to apartments. This surge is due in large part to Manhattan and Brooklyn both placing among the report’s top 20 rental markets.

In this report, 139 markets in the United States where data was available were studied by RentCafe. Five relevant metrics to rank the nation’s hottest renting spots in peak season were used. These were the number of days apartments stayed vacant, the percentage of apartments that were occupied by renters, how many renters applied for the same available apartment, the percentage of renters who renewed their leases and the share of new apartments opened recently Then, to determine the rental market’s competitiveness, a Rental Competitivity Index was calculated.

Manhattan secured the 13th spot among the top 20 rental markets. This marked its first appearance there since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the report, there is an average of nine prospective renters competing for each available apartment, with 94.7% of Manhattan apartments occupied. Vacant units averaged 38 days on the market. An estimated 66% chose to renew their leases. No new apartments have opened within this borough recently.

As was the case in Manhattan, the average amount of time vacant units in Brooklyn spent on the market was 38 days, with nine prospective renters competing for them. The occupancy rate during the peak rental season in Brooklyn was 96.1%, with a  0.16% increase in the supply of new apartments. Slightly more apartment-dwellers stayed put (66.2%) during the moving frenzy compared to in Manhattan’s 66%. Brooklyn placed slightly ahead of Manhattan, at number 11.

RentCafe credits the main reason for both Manhattan and Brooklyn making the list being thanks in large part to New York’s progress in recovering from the pandemic’s economic effects. According to a recent report by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the city is very close to fully restoring its employment levels.

Queens did not rank in the top 20. Despite a 63.8% lease renewal rate and a lack of new apartments being constructed, the rental market there was still more relaxed during the high season. It took an average of 45 days for a vacant apartment to be filled, with just a single prospective renter applying for each vacant unit. During the peak rental season, the occupancy rate in Queens stood at 93.7%.

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