Photo: Robert Clark

While rents were only up modestly from last year in July, they managed to reach record levels in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, according to a report released today by the listing site StreetEasy.

A trifecta of rising rents, increased demand and fewer discounts made for a highly competitive rental market throughout New York City in July.

Boroughwide, median asking rents in Manhattan were up 0.2 percent from last year to $2,980 in July. Rents increased the most in Upper Manhattan — the borough’s least expensive submarket, where rents were up 2.2 percent year-over-year in July.

Rents fell by 0.4 percent annually in Manhattan’s Midtown and the Upper West Side submarkets in July, despite increasing throughout the rest of the borough, says StreetEasy.

Some 36 percent of listings in Manhattan were discounted, the lowest level since August 2015, according to StreetEasy.

Meantime, Brooklyn rents increased 1 percent from last July to $2,453, the highest price on record at StreetEasy. The percentage of listings that received a discount dropped to 32 percent in July from 38 percent last year. This was also well below the peak of 46 percent recorded in November 2016.

The largest price gains were recorded in Queens in July. Median asking rents were up 1.3 percent annually to $1,996 — the highest rent on record for the borough. Although rents were up, listing discounts continued to fall in Queens in July. Some 26 percent of listings were discounted — well below the all-time high of 40 percent recorded in November 2016.

The use of incentives by landlords has been higher throughout the city since the start of the year, but fell in July. Incentives are used by landlords to attract new renters and fill empty units. The most common is a period of free rent.

“While we are still seeing year-over-year increases when it comes to the share of concessions offered overall, concessions – primarily taking the form of rental discounts – fell in July and in the few months prior due to high demand in the summer months,” Grant Long, StreetEasy’s senior economist, tells BuzzBuzzNews.

And landlords are expected to retain the bargaining edge over renters going into the fall.

“If last year is any indication, renters will likely continue to experience a lack of bargaining power even after Labor Day, with some relief starting in October,” says Long.

Many of NYC’s markets will continue to see rents trending higher in the months ahead as inventory continues to shrink while demand remains high. However, the luxury submarket is experiencing the exact opposite scenario.

“An oversaturation of inventory is causing downward pressure on prices for the most expensive apartments. In the top tier of the market only, home shoppers do enjoy some negotiating power,” says Long.

Click here to read the entire report.

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