Rental Market Report: Outer Boroughs Hold Their Own

So we know that NYC has the sixth highest rental market in the nation (technically, the Northern New Jersey-New York area ranked sixth); Samuel Miller’s December 2014 rental report provided more insight into what exactly it looks like, and long story short: median rent levels went up as mean levels went down.

Market segments show that affordable units and luxury rentals are fairly consistent in growth, but middle market apartment rents are rising.  This is especially true of studios and one-bedroom apartments, further corroborated by a Citi Habitat report, which also found that the average rents of three- and four-bedroom units actually decreased year-over-year.  Jonathan Miller, who prepared the report on behalf of Douglas Elliman, commented that this sort of activity may be accounted for by the present lending market; despite the low down payments offered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (which have been as low as three percent), this isn’t necessarily the case, not to generally tight lending in the city.  Naturally, those unable to secure a mortgage fold back into rental market, therefore keeping it slammed with demand — as expected, Brooklyn and Long Island City rental markets are growing.  Last quarter (4Q 2014), there was a $350 difference between the median rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn; back in February 2014, that gap was $210, though that isn’t to imply its widening by any means.  Rather, considering that the difference throughout the year was generally less than $500, Brooklyn’s position is clear.

Growth in Queens is matched with growing inventory, and is at least in part a result of outer borough interest spilling out from Brooklyn, which had increased by some 10 percent.  Comparatively, Manhattan rents rose by four percent.  This trend likely feeds in with the clear and strong market for rentals compared to condos in outer boroughs’ new constructions.