Discounts and Concessions: Rental Report Sheds Light

A recently published report by Douglas Elliman paints a picture of the NYC rental market – with discounts and concessions being the central theme throughout the city.

The biggest Manhattan discounts, according to the brokerage’s January 2021 report, can be found on the West Side, where the median rental price has dropped over 20% year-over-year – from $3,700 in January 2020 to $2,975 in January 2021.

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While the report doesn’t specify what part of Manhattan’s West Side is offering such steep discounts, we found a few telling examples on Streeteasy, showing both dramatic price drops and lingering listings.

  • This two-bedroom on 98th Street was first listed in October for $4,400, and is now down to $3,600. In 2019, a similar apartment – on the same line and on a lower floor – appears to have rented for $4,250.
  • This one-bedroom at West River House on 81st Street is currently asking $2,695. It appears to have been originally listed in June 2020 for $3,995.
  • This two-bedroom on 95th Street is asking $3,199; it was asking $3,925 in December 2019.
  • And this $3,975 two-bedroom was listed at a whopping $5,295 in September 2019.

Landlords concessions have also increased 6.3% year over year, with offers like three months of free rent not being out of the ordinary.

As a result of these price drops and concessions, more people have been out looking for better deals. “The continued decline in net effective median rent, record concessions, and high vacancy caused new lease signings to rise to a record for January over the past thirteen years,” the report states.

Year-over-year throughout Manhattan, the median rental price dropped 16.6%, the vacancy rate increased 3.3%, and the average listing took an additional 10 days to rent.






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