Another 2,000 rental apartments became vacant in August, adding to the 13,000 vacancies we reported last month. The new report by Miller Samuel/Douglas Elliman says that “listing inventory rose to its highest level in fourteen years.” The total of 15,025 vacancies is nearly triple the level in 2019.

The number of new leases have decreased 23% on this time last year, but the average rental price actually went up slightly (0.2%) between August and July. The biggest decline is in studios and 1-bedroom apartments showing “the most substantial year over year decline in median price in eight years of tracking.”

The Westside now has a vacancy rate of 5.55%, up from only 2.22% in August 2019. This high vacancy rate has caused concerns with tenants groups and city politicians. The City reported in July that “rent regulation is legally underpinned by a decades-old definition of a ‘housing emergency’ in New York, meaning less than 5% of available apartments are vacant.”

Moving companies continue to report being “slammed with work”. “It’s nuts!’’ Perry Chance of Show Up movers told The New York Post. “We have four of our own trucks — but we have so many books that we had to start using U-Haul trucks! The volume has increased by at least 70 percent in the past few months.”

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