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  • Writer's pictureAlan Lupiani

NYC Landlords: Doubling Down, Don't Do It.

During these Covid times, I have encountered countless landlords who are still thinking this is 2019. It ain't. The market is flooded with all kinds of rentals, many of them offering deep discounts, up to three months free and also paying the broker fee on a twelve month lease!

There is a saying that some of us NYC real estate agents joke about when negotiating with a landlord: "I can do the deal now at a lower price and then you can be mad at me in six months when the market goes back up, or we can try to get the deal done at a higher price, and you can get mad at me when it doesn't rent for the next six months."

Some landlords, but not all, rather have a lower rent NOW, than NO rent for the next six to twelve months. I research pricing every day and can tell you that the rental market has stayed just about the same since Q2. (see below) That said, the election will probably have another impact on pricing and another pricing litmus test will be in order. Here is a snapshot from the Modern Spaces Q3 report that highlights these price movements on rentals between Q2 - Q3.

Prices may actually start coming back, but let's not forget, we are in the waning rental season now as winter approaches and COVID numbers are up again! This will most likely make it more difficult to rent into next spring at the earliest.

This stark view is even more so in the condo rental market, where amenities are fewer, and some/most condo owners do not understand the pricing competition that has been created by a sluggish rental season with high supply and deeply discounted deals to be had. One of my fellow agents not only has asked the landlord to pay the broker fee, but to also offer one or two months free just like the luxury buildings do.

Yes, these are hard times for landlords/agents and the rental market. A long view of how to mitigate short term losses by offering lower prices and with more incentives for long term gains would appear to be a the strategy of choice!


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