NYC is back: The average rent in Manhattan just hit an all-time record of $3,700

In 2020, people were fleeing Manhattan, leading some doomsayers to predict the city would never recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. A quick look at current rent prices, though, proves that America’s financial capital is in higher demand than ever.

Rent prices in Manhattan are up 24% from a year ago and surged 4.2% between January and February. That put the median monthly rent for an apartment in the area at $3,700 last month, according to a new report from real estate appraiser Miller Samuel.

As with the housing market nationwide, the rent price increases are due to a small number of available apartments compared to the demand for them. The vacancy rate last month was just 1.32%, compared to nearly 12% a year ago.

In real-world dollars, the median rent price in Manhattan is now $705 per month higher than it was in February 2021. A studio apartment costs $400 per month more. One-bedrooms are $800 more. And two-bedroom apartments are an extra $849 per month.

The prices are likely to continue rising as offices in New York require workers to return in person.

As always, the outlying boroughs are notably cheaper than Manhattan, though they’ve seen sizable increases of their own.

Brooklyn’s median rent price saw a one-month increase of 3.6% in February and jumped 10.5% from a year ago to $2,900. And in Queens, the median rent price last month was $2,888, a 2% reduction from January, but still 14.5% higher than a year ago.

To put things in perspective, you might recall Jimmy McMillan’s colorful run for the 2010 New York gubernatorial bid, where he famously proclaimed “The rent is too damn high!” in a televised debate.

The median Manhattan rent at that time was $2,950.

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