Adventures in Desperation
I don’t cover it much, but it’s sometimes nice to touch on the rental market from time to time. Why talk about it today? A few reasons:
- The Rental Market is at an all time high. Prices have never been stronger
- I’m seeing bizarre behavior I’m never seen before from renters.
- I’m hearing too much confusion from clients who are out of touch.
All-Time Highs, or Close To It
So here goes. First, the rental market is at or near to the very highest its ever been. The Post talks about it here. The NY Times talks about it here. We keep breaking records for pricing, too. Our conversations with renters will go something like this:
“Oh, you have a budget of about $3000 to spend on a non-doorman one-bedroom? You should really consider something more in the range of $4000.”
One week later, when we can’t find anything for $4000/month.
“Oh, maybe we need to revisit that budget.”
Multiply this times every renter coming into the market. It is worse as the price point goes up. $20,000 month rentals are going for $30,000 in places. And there’s little to no inventory. I’ve said that it will drive renters into the buying market. It probably is, which is why there’s no sales inventory, either!
I’m seeing things I haven’t seen before. First, I started seeing fifty email inquiries from renters within three hours of going to market with a listing. Then, I got five applications for the same apartment, including the bidding wars, tenants willing to pay over the asking rent. Then I started getting email from tenants on different units, rental listings that I might have rented three, five, even eight years ago. That is, prospective renters are going into rental databases, looking into the past to try and forecast who MIGHT be willing to rent to them. It is desperate like I’ve never seen.
I can only relate it to the limited time I ever spent on dating apps before I met my wife. I had turned off any subscriptions after we began dating (back when these things cost money- it was a long time ago), but her friend found me on some dating website that I had stopped using long before that. We discovered that I was still buried, even though I stopped paying, deep in the website. I apparently either a ghost in the machine, or a profile they used to pad their numbers of members. Either way, my then-girlfriend saw that I hadn’t logged on in more than two years, and the crisis was averted. But the point is that her desperate friend, who was on the website for her own romance, was going to desperate lengths, finding guys that either didn’t exist or who were long off the market!
To Those Who Are Out of Touch
There are still a few folks, and I’m realizing maybe more than a few, who still think everyone is fleeing New York. If you need yet another sign that traffic is moving in the opposite direction, here it is. I don’t think you want to live in your bubble where everyone is moving to Florida, do you? Because it’s just not happening. We’re seeing such strong evidence that the Big Apple is on its way to recovery. Get with the program! -S