Brooklyn rents became cheapest in a decade in early 2021: report

Park Slope.
Photo by Susan De Vries

Brooklyn rents were cheaper than they’ve been in a decade, according to a Friday analysis of the first three months of 2021 by the real estate site StreetEasy.

During the year’s first quarter, median asking rent in the borough was $2,390, the lowest it’s been since 2011, according to the April 23 report.

Prices dropped 10 percent compared to the same period in 2020 — the largest annual decline ever recorded in the borough — and more than one-in-four rental units were offering at least one month free rent, a jump up from 15.2 percent of listings offering a deal like that last year.

The real estate gurus attribute this to the wealth of available apartments as many units remain unoccupied after city-dwellers left Gotham during the pandemic.

The number of available rentals citywide during the first quarter of 2021 was still more than double what it was during that time last year. 

Brooklynites looking for a good deal needn’t rush, according to an economist for the site, who said the market will likely take some time to come back to pre-pandemic levels.

“It will take time for prices to rebound. But the rentals market does react to economic activity much more quickly than the sales market,” said Nancy Wu. “As the city continues to recover, competition will slowly start to pick up.”

Meanwhile, Brooklyn’s sales market has been on the up during the first three months of the year, according to a separate report published by the real estate firm Douglas Elliman, which showed home sales and prices rising in the borough during that time.

The borough set a new record average sale price of $1,114,193 during the first quarter, an almost 10 percent increase from the same time last year, according to that report.

Kings County also experienced the highest number of first-quarter transactions in 14 years in 2021, with 2,822 sales, an almost 12 percent bump from the same time last year.

Condos in particular sold well with a 34 percent increase of units hawked compared to the same time last year, while co-op sales increased by 16 percent. One- to three-family home sales declined slightly by 2.2 percent from the beginning of 2020.