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Apartments are more expensive than before the pandemic

An the day before the move, Nua Robinson is melancholy. She liked her apartment on New York’s Lower East Side, despite some quirks like the “Railroad” layout. This still exists in some of the oldest buildings in the city, with one room leading directly to the other, like one train car to the other. But she has never had a problem with bugs, which is not to be taken for granted in New York. And she especially she felt at ease with her in her neighborhood. “A lot of my friends live here and I know the people who work in the restaurants,” says the 20-year-old art student.

A few months before the lease for her two-person shared apartment expired at the end of May, she was nervous because she knew rents in the city were rising. She robinson hoped any raise would be limited to a few hundred dollars and she thought maybe some extra work as a waitress could make up for it. But there was a rude awakening: the property manager wanted to raise the rent from $ 2,400 to $ 3,800 a month, an increase of nearly 60 percent. Attempts to negotiate the price down have failed. “They told us there were enough other people who would pay for it.” Robinson saw no option but to move. There was no way you could find anything else in midtown Manhattan within your budget. Instead, she will live in Brooklyn and share a $ 3,000 monthly rent with two roommates.

On the real estate market, New York has overcome the Crown crisis. Stories of drastic rent increases such as Robinson experienced are a constant stream these days. According to a study by real estate consultant Jonathan Miller for Douglas Elliman, the average rent for an apartment in Manhattan was $ 3,870 in April, up 38.7% from the previous year. Rents have also increased significantly in other parts of the city.

The most expensive rental market in the United States

Affordable housing that existed in the early days of the pandemic have largely disappeared, as have incentives for landlords such as one month’s free rent after signing a contract. Some New Yorkers, who have taken advantage of the intermittent drop in prices to move to a better neighborhood or live alone rather than in a shared apartment, are now forced to return to the old normal.

The Corona dent on the market has been even more than outdated. According to Miller’s study, median rent has not only increased from the previous year, but is even at a record high – and more than 9% above the pre-pandemic level. The offer is tight. The number of advertised rental apartments has fallen by more than three quarters compared to a year ago, from 11.6 to just 1.6% vacancy. And for every fifth apartment there is currently a bidding war, which guarantees the payment of an even higher rent than the one requested.

Public real estate group Equity Residential, which owns a number of residential properties in New York City, summarized the convenient position the owners of the city are currently in in its recent earnings results. Chief Executive Mark Parrell said that while there are currently many tenants moving rather than accepting a raise, he’s not worried because it’s easy to find willing replacements. According to real estate portal Zumper, New York replaced San Francisco as the most expensive rental market in the United States a few months ago. Prior to the pandemic, San Francisco led by a large margin.

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