Although discounts are concentrated in neighborhoods with new construction, like Downtown Brooklyn and the financial district, landlords across Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn are sweetening the pot. Such offers are not as prevalent in the Bronx or Staten Island, however, because those boroughs have yet to see the same rapid development and price escalations. New projects are scheduled to open in both boroughs in the coming years, potentially changing those markets.
In Manhattan and Brooklyn, the number of listings offering incentives, usually referred to as concessions, more than doubled in April from the same time a year ago, to 28.6 percent in Manhattan and 14.7 percent in Brooklyn, according to a market report by Douglas Elliman. And in Queens, the number tripled during that same period, to 45.5 percent, the highest level since January 2016, when Douglas Elliman began tracking such data.
For the past two years, landlords have been paying broker’s fees, which can be as much as 15 percent of the annual rent and are usually picked up by prospective renters, and also offering one or two months’ free rent. They have also been doling out perks like gift cards and free gym memberships. But, in recent months, they’ve added new perks like free Uber rides and subscriptions to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, as quirkier offerings, like free TVs, have become more common, according to a StreetEasy report.
“It’s a good season for renters,” said Grant Long, the senior economist for StreetEasy, adding, “The concessions are here to stay.”
Because of all these concessions, asking rents have largely held, even though the amount paid works out to be lower when the concessions are calculated. In April, the median rent in Manhattan was $3,417 a month, 0.1 percent higher than the same time a year ago; in Brooklyn, it was $2,800 a month, 0.7 percent higher than the previous…