Photo: Shinya Suzuki/Flickr
New York City has some of the highest rents in the world, but tenants in the Big Apple could be catching breaks as the market slows down for the first time since the Great Recession.
So suggests a recently released report from the listing site StreetEasy, one that says landlords in New York City were more willing to make deals with renters in an effort to keep units occupied in April.
This comes as rents are levelling off despite tight inventory, marking the first cooling period for the city’s rental market since the financial crisis roiled it a decade ago.
Landlord incentives, or “concessions,” are generally used by landlords to entice renters and could consist of a period of free rent, for instance.
However, since the beginning of last year some New York City landlords have gotten more creative with their incentives, throwing in everything from free storage space, Amazon Prime and Netflix Memberships, to Uber gift cards, and even gym memberships, says StreetEasy.
This new breed of incentives require even less “financial investment” than free rent by landlords, and could be more attractive to younger renters.
The share of new leases that include incentives has risen considerably over the last five years, according to StreetEasy data. Last year, 10.4 percent of listings included incentives, up from just 2.7 percent in 2011.
This January, the number of leases including incentives hit an all-time high. And while the percentage dropped in the months that followed, it remains at a near-record level.
Neighborhoods with a lot of new-construction developments tended to have a higher number of listings with incentives — for example, 58 percent of leases in Downtown Brooklyn included incentives.
Meanwhile, across the Hudson River in Manhattan, the Financial District and Battery Park City also rank among the neighborhoods with the highest concentration of listings boasting concessions. These neighborhoods have also seen a high number of units in new-construction developments become available for rent.
Summer tends to be a slower period for leasing activity, and StreetEasy says it expects “the absolute number of units with concessions to remain high” throughout the season.
For renters eyeing units in new-construction buildings, StreetEasy suggests asking agents and property managers how else they could “sweeten the deal.”
With prices expected to remain “cool” in the coming months and landlords willing to negotiate with prospective tenants, it is finally a “relatively nice” time to be a renter in the Big Apple.
Click here to read the entire report.