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Manhattan rents soar to another record high in July — but may be ‘approaching peak’

Manhattan rents soared to another record high in July but leasing activity dipped — leaving a glimmer of hope the red-hot market is approaching its peak.

Renters forked over an average of $5,588 last month to live in the borough — a 9.3% increase from last July — and prices jumped more than 15% in Brooklyn and parts of Queens, according to the latest rental market report from appraisers Miller Samuel and brokerage giant Douglas Elliman.

Manhattan’s median rent, at $4,400 per month, also set a new record for the fourth time in five consecutive months, the report showed.

The July figure marked a 2.2% month-over-month increase from June’s median rent of $4,300, the only month in the past five that saw a decrease from the 30 days prior.

The skyrocketing prices are 30% higher than what landlords charged in 2019 — despite the pandemic-induced exodus dropping Manhattan’s population by 400,000 between June 2020 and June 2022, according to U.S. Census data.

The dearth of apartments for sale because of high interest rates have forced many would-be buyers to rent, brokers said.

The average rent in Manhattan in July was $5,588, the fourth record high in five consecutive months. The figure also marks a 22.4% increase since before the pandemic, in July 2019.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Workers also have returned to live in Manhattan as more and more companies mandate they be at their desks at least part of the week.

Meanwhile, the number of new leases signed last month declined by 6% compared to 2022.

Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller told The Post that prices may be capping out.

“What’s a little different this month is that leasing activity fell, and typically July and August are peak leasing season,” Miller said. “What this suggests is that consumers are beginning to hit the threshold of what they can afford, which may suggest that rents are approaching their peak for the time being.”

Miller noted that unlike in the sale of goods and services, where prices surge when there’s a greater demand, in housing “as landlords push to get higher rents, we’re seeing a drop in the people that are actually renting.”

Still, the increase in rents in July was across the board — from studio apartments to three-bedroom cribs.

In Manhattan, the average rental price for a studio in July was $3,236.

One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments went for $4,366, $6,226 and $10,744, respectively.

To live in a luxury building in Manhattan, be prepared to dish out an average of $15,260 monthly, the report showed — a nearly 13% surge from last year.

Luxury buildings in Manhattan run renters an average of $15,260 monthly, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman's report.
Luxury buildings in Manhattan run renters an average of $15,260 monthly, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman’s report.
Getty Images

There were few deals to be found across the East River.

Brooklyn’s median rent rose 16.2%, to $3,950, compared to last year — the highest in history.

The borough saw 11.2% less inventory and a 52.1% dip in new lease signings, according to the report.

The average rental in Brooklyn was $4,347 in July, another record high.

Rents in popular Queens neighborhoods like Astoria and Long Island City spiked 17% year-over-year, to an average of $4,003, according to the report..

The median rental price in northwest Queens was $3,641.

New leases were down 13.5% in the area, though the average rental spent only one day on the market before getting snatched up.

The report does not include data on the Bronx or Staten Island.

Miller expects the record prices to be broken again next month, “the busiest leasing season of the year.”

“July is second, so it’s certainly possible to see another record net month, but I suspect we’re getting near the top,” Miller said.

However, that doesn’t mean prices will be falling come September.

Rental prices in Brooklyn and northwest Queens also soared to new heights, reaching $4,347 and $4,003 in July, respectively.
Rental prices in Brooklyn and northwest Queens also soared to new heights, reaching $4,347 and $4,003 in July, respectively.
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“Many people (think) the opposite of rising rents are falling rents, but we just had the Federal Reserve say they didn’t think there was a recession in front of us, so I contend that the opposite of rising rents is stable rent,” Miller said.

“It seems unreasonable to expect rents to fall significantly in the near term” unless there was some “significant economic event with substantial job loss,” he added.

US data released Thursday showed the price of everyday goods and services rose moderately in July, showing signs of progress in the central bank’s tightening cycle to snuff tamp down inflation.

However, rising housing costs were by far the largest contributor to July’s uptick in prices, accounting for 90% of the advance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

This story originally appeared on NYPost

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