Upper East Side Rents Skyrocket as ‘Covid Deals’ Dwindle & Expire 

The median rent price on the UES is now $3,275/Upper East Site
The median rent price on the UES is now $3,275/Upper East Site

MANHATTAN – Upper East Siders are in for sticker shock when their lease renewals come around— especially if you were one of the lucky neighbors to score deep discounts on a new apartment during the heights of the Covid-19 pandemic in New York City. A new report says that renters will find higher prices, lower inventory and fewer concessions this spring.

In the first quarter of 2022, the median rent– the amount in the middle of the spectrum of rent costs— on the Upper East Side was $3,275 a month, according to data from StreetEasy, a real estate listing website.

That’s up more than 36% over a year earlier, according to the report,  when the median rent on the UES was just $2,400. It’s also higher than the pre-pandemic median rent of $3,100 a month on the Upper East Side. 

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“Renters can take this latest data as a sign to be prepared for their landlords to potentially present them a lease renewal with major increases,” says Joshua Clark, Senior Economist at ZIllow.

“Having a plan for if and when that happens will be integral, whether you’re going to accept the increase or make some tradeoffs to find a more affordable space,” Clark added.

According to the report, nearly half of rentals in Manhattan offered concessions on new leases of at least one month free rent—the highest on record according to StreetEasy. 

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One year later, just over ten percent of rentals in Manhattan are offering a concession, according to the report— the lowest in more than five years.

“Renters are generally in a tougher position than they normally are this time of year, but those able to take over the lease on a pandemic-deal apartment may have more luck,” Clark said. 

“There could be a mass exodus of renters priced out of their apartments in the coming months that could help alleviate the weaker than normal supply of rental inventory.” 

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