Rents in Manhattan hit a new high in July, as higher interest rates and low supply continued to drive up prices.
The average monthly rent in July was $5,588, up 9% over last year and marking a new record. Median rent, at $4,400 per month, also hit a new record, along with price per square foot of $84.74, according to a report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. It was the fourth time in five months that Manhattan rents hit a record.
Despite a loss in population during the pandemic, average rents in Manhattan are now up 30% compared to 2019. Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, the appraisal and research firm, said August rents could mark a new record because it is typically the peak rental month as families look to move before the start of the school year.
“We could see another month of records,” Miller said.
Manhattan’s soaring rents have continued to defy predictions of analysts and economists. The borough’s population dropped by 400,000 between June 2020 and June 2022, according to U.S. Census data. While experts say the population has increased since last year, they say it is still likely below 2019.
What’s more, offices in Manhattan remain less than half occupied due to remote work. According to Kastle Systems, New York offices were only 48% occupied at the end of July.
Yet despite the population loss and rise of remote work, Manhattan rents continue to soar. Brokers say the lack of apartments for sale, due to higher interest rates, have forced many would-be buyers to rent. Younger workers also have flocked to the borough since the pandemic.