August 10, 2022

Rent in New York City has returned to — and even surpassed — pre-pandemic levels as the demand for housing across the five boroughs remains high and the Omicron variant continues to wane.

In the 12-month span starting in January of last year, rents in the city have risen 33%, which is almost double the national average and the highest spike among America’s largest cities, according to a study cited by The New York Times.

Just before the pandemic, the median price of rent throughout the city was $2,900. In the first year of the pandemic, rents dropped by around 14%.

This past January, median rental prices climbed back again to $2,895.

The sharpest fluctuations have been in some of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods, including the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and the Upper West Side.

The median rent in those areas dropped by around 20% between January 2020 and January 2021.

The sharpest increases in rent have been reported in upscale neighborhoods like Williamsburg and the Upper West Side.

But in the last year, rents have surged by around 40% in both neighborhoods, according to the latest data.

“Looking at the current state of the New York City rental market, it’s clear the city is coming back to life,” says Tom Smith, chief revenue officer at REZI, an online brokerage site, told the Post.

“With the average days on market down by over 40% since this time last year, draw backs in free months and increases in net rents are bound to happen.”

New York City's median rent price rose at nearly twice the national average over the past year, according to figures.
New York City’s median rent price rose at nearly twice the national average over the past year, according to figures.
Busà Photography

Smith told the Post that prices are rising at faster rates in some of the more upscale areas of the city.

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“While average vacancy cost has gone up by less than 5% since last year across all of NYC, certain neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn have seen higher increases closer to 15% — indicating that prices in these neighborhoods may be outpacing the already rapid increases of the market,” he said.

In large cities nationwide such as Tampa and Phoenix, rents jumped by around 18% between January 2021 and January of this year, according to Apartment List.

About half of all rental units in New York, including public housing, are rent regulated, while around 43%, or 2.1 million units, are subject to market fluctuations.

The sky-high rent can be blamed on extremely high demand to live in the city coupled with low inventory.

A recent study found that New York City approved less new housing per resident than any other city in the Northeast in 2020.

The figures are bad news for the Big Apple, as remote workers continue to flock to cheaper cities like Miami and Austin. They both approved many times the number of new units as New York in 2020 — 7.6 and 17.8, respectively.