What a difference a year makes! Especially in the case of New York City rental housing, where the average Manhattan rent just blew past $5,000.
Take, for instance, unit 701 at 200 E. 11th St., a 54-unit rental building known as Eleventh and Third, which was leased last week for $6,500 per month. The one-bedroom spread has new glass-panel windows, polished concrete kitchen counters, walnut flooring — and rented in March 2021, a time of pandemic-era lows, for $5,150, with one month free to boot.
“There were concessions being offered on every apartment,” Living New York agent Deeb Sankary, who handles the building’s leasing, told The Post of activity there in 2021. But by the fall of that year, bottomed-out city rental prices had broken even with pre-pandemic levels — and have since risen ever higher, continuing to crush records in the process. “We are at or above pre-COVID pricing. We are seeing this consistently in the East Village and all Lower Manhattan buildings, and we are no longer offering concessions,” said Sankary.
A 471-square-foot one-bedroom at 250 E. Houston St. recently rented for $5,050; a year earlier, and seven blocks west, a far more spacious 713-square-foot one-bedroom unit at 229 Chrystie St. cost the same. Last month, $5,055 fetched a 626-square-foot studio at 41 River Terrace in Battery Park City; rewind to the same time last year, $5 less per month was enough to score a 1,454-square-foot two-bedroom at 15 Broad St. in the nearby Financial District.
The precipitous climb has coincided with skyrocketing demand for city housing. Schools reopened, offices eventually did the same and remote-working out-of-towners moved to the Big Apple, all creating a crowded rental market. Tenants started receiving large hikes on lease renewals and bidding wars emerged for scarce availabilities. Then, last month, Manhattan average rents reached a dizzying peak of $5,058 per month — the first time in history they crossed the $5,000 mark, according to the latest Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel figures.
High rents, mixed with low inventory, likely mean these exorbitant prices are here to stay for at least the next few months.
“The peak rental season is in August every year and so we anticipate increased demand over the next couple of months,” said Jonathan Miller, of Miller Samuel. “In the near term, it seems likely that we’re going to see rents continue to rise.”
So, what does $5,000 even get you in Manhattan these days — and how does it compare to last year, when a number of locals scored sweet deals for better homes? Read on and try not to weep.
In posh Soho, $5,000 delivered quite the spread, including this expansive loft at 108 Wooster St., which rented for that sum in February 2021.
The 1,272-square-foot space features hardwood floors, soaring ceilings, large windows and industrial touches such as columns.
There’s also a large living area, a dining space and separate bedroom and office nooks. Meanwhile, the sleek open chef’s kitchen is decked out with stainless steel cabinetry and appliances.
“We got the asking,” Compass agent Shawn Williams, who marketed this listing, told The Post. “I had a ton of interest … This would probably rent for at least $7,000 now.”
You can still get a fairly decent place — just prepare for half the space.
A studio at 349 West Broadway that recently asked $5,000, and rented this week, spans only 450 square feet.
While remodeled nicely, there’s only a small sleeping loft reached by a staircase that doubles as storage.
While the kitchen is updated with a granite countertop and a dishwasher, there is only a half-refrigerator. And though it has a microwave and Wolf two-burner induction cooktop, there is no stove. The bathroom comes with a marble vanity, a Toto toilet and custom-made cabinetry, according to BOND New York’s Albert Safdie.
MIDTOWN EAST/TURTLE BAY
In January 2021, a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit with city and East River views through oversize casement windows rented for $5,500.
Spanning 907 square feet, the relatively new unit dates to 2016.
Located at 959 First Ave., it offers a custom-designed open kitchen and a sleek bathroom with marble tiling and Waterworks fixtures. Even better: It comes with an in-unit washer/dryer.
Building amenities include a full-time doorman, a concierge, a fitness center, a playroom, a residents’ lounge with an indoor fireplace, a courtyard and bike storage, according to the listing from Compass.
Today, you can find it on the rental market for $6,600.
You can still find nice apartments around the same price in the area, but you’ll be losing out on space and luxury finishes.
Located at 155 E. 29th St. in the Biltmore Plaza building, a one-bedroom, one-bathroom rents without a fee for $4,825.
But it only spans 492 square feet. Still, that’s enough space for a sizable bedroom and living room, plus a small kitchen and a dated-looking bathroom.
The upside to this unit is the building’s cool amenities, which include an expansive pool and a large gym.
UPPER EAST SIDE
For $5,225 a year ago, you could score a luxury one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit in Lenox Hill featuring windows galore and breathtaking city views.
This particular residence, at 501 E. 74th St., is a corner unit that boasts two glass doors opening out onto a wraparound balcony — a city rarity.
Spanning 792 square feet, it also comes with a windowed chef’s kitchen that includes stainless steel appliances and a washer/dryer, according to the previous listing marketed by BOND New York.
Meanwhile, the bedroom features a walk-in closet with a “spa-inspired” bathroom that comes with a deep soaking tub.
Approximately $5,200 in the same area today won’t afford you the same luxury, but you’ll still find a reasonable unit.
A unit at 300 E. 75th St. spanning 650 square feet offers a sizable living area and bathroom, as well as a separate smaller kitchen. The bedroom is large enough to fit a king-size bed.
Still, this smaller Lenox Hill unit offers no dream features — and a lot less natural light.
This time last year, it leased for $4,295.
Mary K. Jacob, Zachary Kussin