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New York City Rents Continue Their Terrifying Ascent in 2015

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"The Rent Is Too Damn High" evangelist Jimmy McMillian may be getting evicted from his East Village apartment, but he's not the only New York City resident who will feel the harsh sting of rising rents as 2015 roars on. The reports analyzing rent statistics across the city for January are out already, and the results are kind of depressing: Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens all saw rent hikes compared with the year prior, according to Jonathan Miller, who puts together the Elliman Report.

At the end of last year, Miller had estimated rents would level off at a "high plateau," because the same drivers that keep rents up are still in place: tight credit, which keeps would-be buyers in the rental market, and an improving economy. "Yet prices continued to move higher in the new year," Miller said, "and there isn't much relief in sight for tenants in 2015." A few key points: Queens' median rent nearly reached Brooklyn's (gentrification much?); in Brooklyn, the median rental price has showed year-over-year increases for 18 of the past 20 months; and Manhattan boasts is sullenly offering up its fourth-highest median rent since 2008.

↑ Let's look at Manhattan first. The median rental price rose 5.9 percent to $3,299, while the average rental price increased 4.6 percent to $3,974. (Median figures are a better measure in general, because that calculation strives to reduce the effect of outliers that are really, really pricey or really, really cheap.) We've now seen a year-over-year median rent hike for the 11th consecutive month. Sadly, according to Miller, the strongest price growth is seen in the entry-tier market, with the weakest in the luxury market. Meaning that it's not just the flush-with-cash folks paying $20K/month for a palatial pad who are going to feel the effects of this increase. When regular folks' leases are up and rents return to the negotiating table, they'll see.

↑ In Brooklyn, the median rental price jumped 2.5 percent to $2,901, while the average rent increased 4.5 percent to $3,201. As noted above, Brooklyn rents have basically been on an almost-nonstop upward streak for almost two years now, and the gap between Brooklyn and Manhattan median rents is now a piddly $398.

↑ In Queens, which is admittedly a more volatile market, median rents have climbed so high that they've almost reached Brooklyn's, which is pretty absurd. (Then again, recall that the Elliman Report doesn't take into account every neighborhood in Queens, just the northwest ones where prices are higher.) Median rents skyrocketed a whopping 30.7 percent to $2,905, while the average price rose 22.3 percent to $2,929. Confirmed: there are tons of new developments, with 42 percent of new rentals in January 2015 occurring in new buildings.

↑ Citi Habitats' breakdown of Manhattan rents is also out today, and more news is bad news: the market "shifted slightly to the landlords' favor—rents rose, the vacancy rate fell, and the prevalence of move-in incentives declined." The average Manhattan apartment rented for $3,430 during January 2015, $49 than in the prior month. Clearly, Soho/Tribeca should be at the top of your list of places not to move. Take a look at the rest of the neighborhood breakdown below.

And into 2015's rental apocalypse we go.
· Market Reports [Elliman]
· Market Reports [Citi Habitats]
· Rental Market Reports coverage [Curbed]
· Market Reports coverage [Curbed]