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Manhattan, Brooklyn set April rent records ahead of likely searing summer: report

apartments rent (Shutterstock)
Apartments (Shutterstock)
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Median rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn hit the highest April numbers on record last month, according to a new report, and could be poised to melt last year’s summer highs — even as New Yorkers continue to grapple with a drastic affordability crisis.

That’s according to a monthly by real estate company Douglas Elliman and appraisal firm Miller Samuel released Thursday, which also found new lease signings “surged” across the city.

“This is the third time in the four months of 2024 that we’ve seen rental prices rise year-over-year,” author Jonathan Miller told the Daily News. “And this is increasing the odds — because rents don’t peak until the summer — that we could actually see last year’s July/August record broken.”

Median Manhattan rent was $4,250 last month, a 3.7% monthly increase and 0.2% annual increase. It was the third time in four months it’s gone up year-over-year, and was also a whopping 26.7% higher than prepandemic average in April 2019. Studio apartments rose to $3,250 while two-bedroom units dipped to $5,195.

Both median rent and listing inventory jumped year-over-year for the third time in Brooklyn, hitting $3,599, roughly 3% more than it was the previous month and year. Like Manhattan, that figure was 26.7% above what it was in April 2019. Studios went for $3,050 and two-bedrooms were $3,800.

In northwest Queens, median rent reached the second-highest April on the books at $3,244, a 1.4% bump from March and 8% decrease from April 2023, but 15.1% more than April 2019. Studio apartments in the area reached a median of $3,083 and two-bedrooms went for $4,000.

But Miller warned the April numbers could rise even further over the summer, when leasing activity typically peaks.

The sky-high rents come amid a historically bad housing crunch and affordability crisis in New York. A recent city comptroller report found that food insecurity is worsening across the state, with one in nine households unable to get enough food. Meanwhile, a StreetEasy/Zillow published Tuesday found that New York City has the largest gap between wage and rent growth in the country, with rents growing over seven times faster than wages did last year.

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