Manhattan average rent drops below $3,000 for first time in nearly a decade, report finds

MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- Massive discounts have caused the average rent in Manhattan to drop to a low not seen in nearly a decade.

A new city report has revealed that the median asking prices for rent in Manhattan have dropped below $3,000, $2,990 to be exact, for the first time since 2011.

The StreetEasy data reflects the third quarter of 2020, that found that rental listings with discounts rose to a record high of 44.7%, as landlords made attempts to attract tenants during a rental market that has struggled since the coronavirus pandemic hit the city.

In addition, the report shows that rental availability in Manhattan increased by nearly 70%, with 72,267 available listings. That's nearly 30,000 more than in 2019.

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"Renters are no longer willing to pay the commute premium of living in Manhattan when they do not need to commute to an office five days a week," StreetEasy Economist Nancy Wu said.

The Manhattan rentals market had the most drastic spike in discounts, but the outer boroughs were not far behind.

The share of rentals discounted reached a record high of 30.7% in Brooklyn and a near-high of 26.6% in Queens.

"Landlords across the city, but particularly in Manhattan, have to be willing to face some really hard hits if they want to fill their units," Wu said. "They're being forced to cut the location premium out of their asking price in order to compete with larger and more affordable apartments in the outer boroughs."

Here's a more detailed look at median asking prices for rentals in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, according to StreetEasy:

- The Manhattan Rent Index fell 7.8% year over year. Median asking rent in Q3 was $2,990.

- The Brooklyn Rent Index fell 2.5% year over year. Median asking rent in Q3 was $2,599.

- The Queens Rent Index fell 2.2% year over year. Median asking rent in Q3 was $2,200.

Renters looking to find a deal in Manhattan had the most luck in Midtown, where 48% of rentals were discounted during the third quarter - up 25.9 percentage points from last year.

Midtown rent prices dropped 5.7% to $3,000 as demand for units close to Midtown office buildings fell amid the pandemic.

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