Manhattan Rent Is The Lowest In Nearly A Decade As Exodus Continues Due To COVID And Crime Rates

Manhattan rent prices, widely known to be some of the highest in the nation, have dropped to their lowest point in nearly a decade. The falling prices come as residents have fled the city due to lockdown measures necessitated by the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as increasing crime rates.

According to a new report released by real estate website StreetEasy, the median asking rent for an apartment in Manhattan has fallen below $3,000 a month — a decrease of nearly eight percent from last year. The new asking price now mirrors the levels that were seen back in 2011. Though Manhattan has taken the biggest hit, the outer boroughs have not been immune: median rent in Brooklyn currently stands around $2,599 and in Queens is tallied at $2,200.

The falling prices have only been exacerbated by a flood of supply in the market; in fact, landlords have estimated that rental inventory in Manhattan has increased by 69.8 percent.

"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," noted Nancy Wu, a StreetEasy economist.

"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."
"This is the first of many milestones to come, in terms of Manhattan's rental market being turned on its head," she added, per The New York Times.

Wu also said that she believed that prices will likely continue to drop because of surging inventory combined with changes to renter habits.

Broadway theaters stand closed along an empty street in the theater district on October 9, 2020.
Getty Images | Spencer Platt
Broadway theaters stand closed along an empty street in the theater district on October 9, 2020.

Bill Kowalczuk, an associate broker with Warburg Realty, claimed that the declines are likely even worse than being reported. Kowalczuk noted that landlords almost never reveal the final negotiated sum, and he claimed that his own experience had demonstrated a very weak market.

"I don't think they can believe this is actually happening," he said.

"'How could I have gotten $5,000 two years ago, and now no one even wants it for $3,500?'"
The areas worst hit have been more affluent neighborhoods, as residents have more options when choosing where to live. In addition, the closure of offices throughout the city and the move to remote work has meant the normal flood of post-graduates and other job-seekers has come to a standstill.

In addition, the rising rates of crime have not helped matters; according to a report by the NYPD, shootings have increased by around 127 percent compared to last year, while homicides have jumped by around three quarters, via AMNY.

As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, some residents have even looked into suing the city due to the increases in homeless and crime.