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If you're looking for lower rents, the outer boroughs are typically your best bet. The pandemic, however has caused rents in some parts of Manhattan to drop by double digits, according to a report compiled by the listing site, RentHop.
Using data on one-bedroom median net effective rents in each NYC neighborhood, the findings showed that on average, rents in the city have dropped 6.25 percent compared to the same period last year. However, some areas have been harder hit than others and some neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens have even seen rents increase.
The only Manhattan neighborhood that saw a rent increase was Inwood. Little Italy saw the biggest decrease with rents dropping 17.24 percent. The median rent for a one bedroom there is $2,400. The Upper West Side, Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, and Flatiron District all saw rent drops by more than 15 percent, putting the median rent for a one bedroom in those neighborhoods between $3,000 and $4,000.
The percentage drops are all relative—the big rent drops are in expensive neighborhoods to begin with, so they are not necessarily more affordable than places where rents have risen. The largest rent increase was Coney Island, where rents increased by 7.78 percent, putting the monthly cost of a one-bedroom at $2,425.
Elsewhere in the borough, Fort Greene and Bensonhurst saw rent increases of around 3 percent, but Bensonhurst still remains one of the more affordable areas in the city with a median rents for a one bedroom of $1,650. In Queens, rents in Kew Garden Hills were up 5.35 percent and in Briarwood they increased 2.75 percent.
It's a challenging time for the city's landlords as the vacancy rate in Manhattan has remained above 5 percent for the past two quarters, something that's been unheard of for decades. As a result, renters have strong negotiating power, with many landlords doubling their concessions since last year. Leases are frequently being offered with two or three months free or owner-paid broker fees.
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