NYC Apartment Leases are Being Renewed For Much Higher Rents

New Yorkers who signed concession-laden apartment deals during the pandemic are finding a rude surprise when it’s time to renew. (iStock)

Did you feel good about locking in a lease at bargain-basement rates during the pandemic? That party is officially over.

A television industry employee signed a 10-month lease for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom pad in the East Village for $2,100, only for the landlord to ask $3,500 at renewal time, a spike of 67 percent. A flight attendant inked a lease for a two-bed, one-bath in the same neighborhood for $1,700, but the rent was initially going to jump about 70 percent to $2,900 upon renewal (The deal got done at $2,600). A couple in Brooklyn signed a $2,000 lease last year, but the landlord now wants $3,000 to renew, a 50 percent jump.

Renters who were able to score discounts for apartments in the city and various concessions now have to deal with landlords determined to recoup the losses from the pandemic, according to Bloomberg.

“When I asked why, they said, ‘It’s a different world,’” Andy Kalmowitz, the television industry employee, said to the publication of the rent hike.

Rents are on the rise across New York City, approaching or even surpassing pre-pandemic numbers. In Manhattan, the median asking rent in July was $3,000. That’s the highest in the borough since July 2020 and up $250 from the low point of the pandemic in January.

A similar trend is playing out in other boroughs. In Brooklyn, the median asking rent in July was $2,600, according to StreetEasy, the highest figure since last August. In Queens, the median asking rent in July was $2,200, the highest since last September.

Rents are ticking upwards nationwide. A Yardi report found that rents rose in every major U.S. city year-over-year in August, the first time that’s happened since the pandemic.

Nationwide, the average rent last month was $1,539, up 10.3 percent year-over-year. The biggest gains were seen in Phoenix and Tampa, which both saw rents rise by more than 20 percent.

[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner

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