Manhattan Rents Jump to a Record as Hot Market Hits Peak Season - Real Estate, Updates, News & Tips

Manhattan Rents Jump to a Record as Hot Market Hits Peak Season

Apartment hunters face bidding wars, with more competition to come before demand eases.

Manhattan apartment rents continued their upward climb in July as the hottest market in decades hits its busiest leasing season.

The median rent on new leases last month was $4,150, up 2.5% from June and 29% from a year earlier, according to appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. 

Still Smashing Records

Manhattan rents have hit new highs in six consecutive months

Source: Miller Samuel Inc. and Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Rents increased even as listing inventory rose 3.7% from June, pushing the vacancy rate to 2.08% after seven months in a row below 2%. As has been true throughout 2022, roughly one-fifth of new leases were signed after bidding wars, though the amount being paid above asking has steadily increased to almost 13% in July.

The median rent has set a record in each of the past six months.  New York apartment costs began rising more than a year ago as the city, and Manhattan in particular, rebounded from the depths of the pandemic. July’s prices were stoked by a pullback in homebuying and typical renting patterns that always make the summer an expensive time of year for Manhattan renters.

“The pressure from higher mortgage rates is pushing people into the rental market just as we head into peak seasonal rental activity, which is reached in August,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel.

He anticipates prices reaching yet another record high this month before leveling out in September and beyond as seasonal demand eases. Miller said he doesn’t expect rents to drop significantly unless unemployment rises.