• Landlords in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens were forced into making concessions to attract renters, who cite affordability as a major impediment to signing a lease.
  • Brooklyn rents remained strong for smaller apartments and weak for larger ones.
  • Manhattan sees continued rental growth, according to Douglas Elliman analysts, although the rental rate has slowed since the end of summer.
  • Median rental price in Manhattan increased 3.1% to $3,350 from the same period a year ago, rising for the 22nd consecutive month.

Douglas Elliman analysts report mixed news for Brooklyn landlords and rental agents and underwhelming news for the same in Queens as we head into the end of the first month of 2016. The real estate analysis firm reports the same is true for Manhattan in its latest report on Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan rental prices.

In all three locations, landlords were forced into making concessions to attract renters, who cite affordability as a major impediment to signing a lease. The situation was the worst in Queens, where rental rates declined the last two months of 2015; hardest hit was the borough’s northwest section. Rental price trends in northwest Queens remained volatile as all rental price indicators fell short of last year’s marks. Median rental price declined 10.1 percent to $2,551 from the same period a year ago.

As is the case in most of the region, Douglas Elliman reports that rents for smaller apartments outperformed larger apartments, which is usually the case when affordability is a factor. Marketing time slowed as negotiability expanded, the report says. Douglas Elliman also reports that Brooklyn rents remained strong for smaller apartments and weak for larger ones, as overall rents did not rise for the second consecutive month.

As in Manhattan, the amount of concessions landlords offered rose as affordability remained an ongoing challenge for renters. Brooklyn median rental price did not rise for the second straight month after seven months of consecutive year-over-year gains and was unchanged at $2,899 from the same quarter one year ago.

Manhattan sees continued rental growth, according to Douglas Elliman analysts, although the rental rate has slowed since the end of summer. Despite a strong local economy, the report says that Manhattan landlords were forced into providing more concessions, just the same as Brooklyn landlords across the East River and Queens landlords a few miles north. Median rental price increased 3.1 percent to $3,350 from the same period a year ago, rising for the 22nd consecutive month.

Douglas Elliman findings might be read in the context of November and December being the slowest season for rentals. Landlords traditionally offer concessions for rentals that have stayed on the market for a period of time or units they want to unload.

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