Manhattan saw more new lease signings last month than ever before, even as rent prices begin to rebound to pre-pandemic levels

Moving truck new york city
People loading a moving truck in Manhattan on September 12, 2020. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Imates

Manhattan is having a major comeback: In June, more new rental leases were signed than in any previous month since at least 2008.

Renters are returning after fleeing the city during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new real estate report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel Inc.

That’s due at least in part to New York City’s ongoing reopening as vaccine rates increase and life begins to return to a new version of normal.

“There were a record 9,642 new lease signings, more than triple the number in the same period last year and the highest total on record since 2008,” the report said. As such, the percentage of available housing inventory has dropped considerably in recent months – an over 50% decline from January, according to the report.

“The intensity of demand for new leases at lower rates is so high that it is burning up excess inventory very quickly,” Miller Samuel president Jonathan Miller told Bloomberg. “The market is tightening up from its peak moment of weakness,” Miller said, “which was really in the fall through January.”

With demand increasing and supply declining, the perks that were once being offered to renters during the pandemic – like months of free rent, shorter lease terms, and overall lower rent prices – are rapidly disappearing.

Prices aren’t completely back to normal just yet, according to the report: The average home rental price in Manhattan is still down year-over-year by over $100/month.

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