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Thousands of NYC apartments empty due to exodus to suburbs

Posted at 12:18 AM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 13:22:36-04

NEW YORK CITY — In Manhattan, where an apartment is typically gone in a New York minute, more than 13,000 units are sitting empty, according to a new report by Miller Samuel and real estate giant Douglas Elliman.

"We are seeing 14 year records being set in vacancies and number of listings available," said Jonathan Miller. "The downward pressure on rental pricing is going to be here for a while."

City-dwellers have bolted for the suburbs, but real estate agents say if you're staying in the city, this could be good news.

"You have an opportunity to negotiate. This is a market of opportunity," said Nicole Beauchamp of Engel & Volkers.

Both in Manhattan and Brooklyn, new rent leases are down nearly 25%.

In northwest Queens it's nearly an astonishing 60%.

Rent prices are also dropping, while inventory is skyrocketing — by 70% in northwestern queens and 85% in Brooklyn.

"There's going to be some price resets," Winston Fisher, a partner at Fisher Brothers. "New York is going to be a more affordable city over the next few years"

Moving companies are also seeing the trend, with a rise in business, and the destinations they're customers are headed to.

"We're up about 30% in the moves that we're doing. But the number of phone calls coming in is well beyond that," Nancy Zafrani, general manager at Oz Moving and Storage.

David Giampietro is with FlatRate Moving. Their data shows most people moving out of state are going to California and Florida, and if they're staying in the region, they're going to the suburbs, in areas like New Jersey, Connecticut and upstate New York.