New York City faces record vacancies, lower rent prices after resident exodus during coronavirus pandemic

A new report claims that New York City is facing record apartment vacancies, leading to lower rents across multiple boroughs after residents fled the city during the coronavirus pandemic.

In an effort to combat the spreading virus, New York City enacted a number of measures, most prominently the citywide lockdown and mandate that companies enact broad work-from-home policies. The shift in workplace environment forced many people to reassess their living situations, in many cases leaving the city entirely to return to family homes elsewhere in the country where the cost of living is lower.

The Hartford Courant reported that more than 16,000 New Yorkers switched their residence to Connecticut during the first three months of the pandemic, starting in March. Some movers reported residents swapping the Big Apple for California, Florida, Texas or even North Carolina.

That drastic shift has resulted in a record 13,117 vacant apartments across Manhattan in July, according to a report by Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants. The number is a 122% increase over the previous year, which listed 5,912 apartments in July 2019.

New lease signings fell by about 23%, resulting in a drop in median rental prices, from $3,521 in July 2019 to $3,167 last month.

The number of vacancies is the highest in the 14 years the companies have put out the report.

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