Is it a good time to rent in New York City?

We’re nearing the end of peak rental season in New York, and Grant Long, Senior Economist at StreetEasy says this can be a great time to look.

A lot of people are intimidated by peak season, but Grant says there’s a lot more to choose from in August than October. There are a lot of people looking, Grant says, but landlords know that and post a lot of listings. Takeaway? There’s a lot to choose from, but also a lot of competition.

The bad news: after a little cool down, New York City rents are heating up again. Grant says there’s a lot of demand to rent in NYC. Jobs are being created here, so people want to move to the city and find their home. That demand is pushing rents higher: up over 1% in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In Queens, however, they’re relatively flat, and in some areas of Queens, rents are actually coming down. Grants says there has been downward pressure on rents, particularly in the western parts of Queens, like Long Island City. There’s a lot of construction there, and new units keep coming onto the market. Those newer luxury units are where you’ll find the most concessions throughout the city.

Think downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Long Island City, the Financial District in Manhattan, and Midtown West. These types of pricier neighborhoods have a lot to offer, Grant says, and you can find a lot of concessions.

Over a third of the neighborhoods listed on StreetEasy are advertising some sort of concession, whether that’s a month free or something else paid for.

But don’t look for discounts in certain parts of Brooklyn. There has been a ton of demand, for example, in Prospect Park. Grant says Brooklyn has the tightest inventory of all the markets StreetEasy looks at. There are also the fewest discounts there, so renters have less negotiating power.

You will find discounts in Northern Brooklyn. 22% of the rentals in that market, listed on StreetEasy, have a discount. But remember, that’s because of the L train shutdown coming next year. If that doesn’t phase you, you might find a great deal, but proceed with caution and make sure you know your transportation options.