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New York rents hit six year low

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New York metro roommate rents fell in 2021 to the lowest they’ve been in six years, as the pandemic hit the city’s rental market.

The average monthly rent in 2021 was $1,189 (compared to $1,290 in 2019, pre-pandemic), down almost 8%. The city hasn’t seen rents this low since 2015, when they were $1,179.

San Francisco and Chicago metro areas were also hit hard, with rents falling to $1,238 and $795 respectively (down from $1,281 and $839). However, most other key metro areas saw their highest average rents in 2021. Apart from Boston, where rents fell slightly between 2019 and 2021, every other major US metro area saw rents increase over the course of the past two years.

The biggest winners were:

Metro area Average roommate
rent
% change 2019-21
Riverside $869 23.9%
Raleigh $737 20.2%
Phoenix $778 19.5%
Charlotte $759 16.4%
Tampa $789 16.2%
Detroit $634 15.5%
Austin $815 14.6%
San Diego $1,072 13.3%
Miami $987 12.9%
Las Vegas $722 12.5%
Houston $746 12.2%

The main reason for this was a shift in the balance between supply and demand. The following metro areas all saw an increase in demand vs supply over the two year period since covid hit:

Metro area % Supply vs demand
change 2019-21
Miami 207.6%
San Diego 146.4%
Baltimore 142.4%
Riverside 127.0%
Jacksonville 115.5%
Las Vegas 113.2%
Sacramento 110.0%
San Antonio 108.3%
Austin 108.2%
Virginia Beach 99.4%

We knew the pandemic had a dramatic impact on New York, and that other cities benefited as a result, but we were shocked to see just how far rents fell. Rents started climbing again in New York at the end of 2021, following a surge in demand. Will they reach pre-pandemic levels again or has covid redrawn the US rental map for good? Only time will tell.

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Image credit - Toomas Tartes

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