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BK Renters Least Likely to Get Rental Discounts as Rents Climb

A new StreetEasy report shows Brooklyn rents were the least discounted of the five boroughs as rental prices closed in on 2019 highs
Photo: Anna Bradley-Smith

The pandemic-induced rental discounts seen across the city through 2020 and early 2021 are coming to an end as the rent prices increase citywide, a new StreetEasy market report shows.

In Brooklyn, Bedford Stuyvesant, Greenpoint and Downtown Brooklyn all had higher median asking rent prices in July 2021 than they did before the pandemic started. In Bed-Stuy, July's average rental price was $2,375.

Boroughwide, the median asking rent rose to $2,600, closing in on the pre-pandemic highs of around $2,700 seen in summer 2019.

The number of available rentals in Brooklyn fell to 17,411 in July, down 33% from the peak of available apartments in August 2020. This was still higher than the amount of available rentals in July 2019, when 15,437 rentals were on the market, the report showed.

In Brooklyn, 8.7% of rentals were discounted in July, the lowest share of all boroughs analyzed, and significantly lower than last August, when the share of discounts peaked at 26%. In July 2020, 24% of Brooklyn rentals were discounted.

StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu said she expected rental price growth to continue, but not at such a rapid clip.

"Renters began returning to the market in full force this summer, and landlords are taking notice. They are trying to make up for time and money lost during the pandemic's lull by raising prices and erasing discounts," she said.

She warned renters to prepare for tougher for tougher negotiations over the next few months as the rents continue rising, but added she expected price growth and landlord expectations to normalize going into winter.

Citywide, the median asking rent in July was $2,675 — up from a pandemic low of $2,500. 

StreetEasy said the quick rise could be attributed in part to this summer's massive spike in demand, with those who left town during the pandemic starting to return and those who stayed upgrading or moving to avoid rent increases on their lease.


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