Following the emergence of a COVID-19 vaccine, New York’s infection rate reduced to a third of its highest point in January 2021. This allowed for the rollback of many restrictions and the reopening of businesses and offices. With life gradually returning to normalcy, droves of people moved back into Manhattan. This influx of demand has filled much of the vacancy present throughout the peak of the pandemic and allowed rents to rise gradually, now approaching pre-pandemic levels. Renters who took advantage of declining rents by leasing units normally out of their price range must now face rising rents and the challenge of finding suitable housing within their means. Sources expect the New York market to continue its recovery in the coming months, with a possible seasonal dip in demand during the winter.
The Manhattan market sets the stage for many of the surrounding suburban areas and the turbulence it experienced throughout the pandemic had notable effects on the nearby markets of: Long Island NY, Westchester, NY, Stamford, CT, and Summit, NJ. These markets were either slow or mostly stable at the onset of the pandemic, but rents quickly boosted as the faltering Manhattan market sent hordes of metropolitans flocking to the suburbs.
The sudden surge in demand quickly consumed Syosset’s limited supply of housing, subsequently leading to an extremely competitive market for renters and the appreciation of rents in many areas. Long Island experiences an annual drop in demand during the Winter, which is expected to lessen the strain on the supply of available housing. Until then, sources expect the market to largely stay stable while demand is high, and supply remains limited.
High demand led many Westchester homeowners to sell for elevated prices, while minimal interest rates encouraged home-seekers to buy, regardless of the price increases. Sellers spilled into the rental market after liquidating their homes, adding to the pressure on the already strained supply of rental housing. Demand began to flatten out in August, although inventory remains very limited, and demand still far exceeds the supply of available housing.
The Stamford market saw a huge spike in demand and subsequent rent increases near the start of the pandemic. The areas of Darien, New Canaan, and Westport are popular with families, but availability has been virtually non-existent since the start of the pandemic. The market has stabilized and gravitated closer to pre-pandemic levels, but rents remain elevated. With no increases to the supply of housing on the immediate horizon, sources expect inventory to stay sparse and the market to remain tight.
When the pandemic ground demand for rentals to a near halt, many Summit landlords reduced the number of properties held in their portfolios in favor of greater financial security, shrinking the already limited supply. However, shortly after the onset of the pandemic, people began pouring in from Manhattan, raising demand and straining supply. This imbalance caused vacancy rates to plummet while rents ballooned. Sources expect the market in Summit to remain very tight until the completion of additional housing at the end of 2022, which is expected to alleviate much of the strain on the housing supply and stabilize rents.