How is COVID-19 changing renting in New York City?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses across the city to close, putting many empty storefronts back on the market.

Ari Harkov, a licenses associate real estate broker at Halstead Real Estate, says it’s an interesting time to be coming into a new space.

"It’s an amazing opportunity if you have the capital, and you have the willingness and the stomach to try something right now, you probably have more leverage with a retail landlord than you’ve had in generations," Harkov said.

According to Harkov, landlords are hurting with rent collection and are looking for new tenants.

“I heard from anywhere between 30-70% retail tenants who are not paying at all," Harkov said.

He believes those tenants will turn over the keys in the coming months, which means new tenants have an opportunity to negotiate not only a price but lease terms.

As for the residential rental market, Harkov says the outer boroughs, are doing a lot better than Manhattan. Brooklyn he says is doing quite well.

Right now the market is seeing about a 5 to 10 % discount on average, however, he says it depends on the size and location of the apartment, but Harkov says things change if you’re looking to move into a Brooklyn townhouse, the inventory there is low, but demand is high.


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