NEW YORK — New York City tenants are facing the biggest rent hike the city has seen since 2013. Inventory is down 46% from this time last year, according to the Bizzarro Agency, and the average studio in Manhattan costs 25% more today than it did in the past few years. 

PIX11 spoke with Matthew Bizzarro, CEO and Licensed Real Estate Broker, to answer your questions on the rising cost of renting in the city. Watch the full interview HERE.

WHY ARE RENTS SO HIGH IN NYC?

MATTHEW: It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Inventory is down 46% from this time last year, and the vacancy rates have been under 2% for 7 months in a row. During the pandemic many people moved out of the city and landlords sharply lowered prices to encourage their tenants to stay put. Many who did stay in the city moved into nicer apartments because they were suddenly in their price range. However, the prices have gone back up, and many people can’t afford to stay. 

HOW MUCH HAVE RENTS INCREASED FROM LAST YEAR?

Just about all rents have increased from what they were this time last year. Take a look at these charts comparing the rental prices of apartments in NYC this year, compared to last: 

WHAT CAN RENTERS FACING UNAFFORDABLE RENT INCREASES DO? 

MATTHEW: The rental market often slows down over the winter. If you’re facing a rent increase and know that you’ll have to move, try to hold off until those months so you could get a better deal. If waiting for the winter slump isn’t possible, try to get a roommate to help pay rent. 

There are lots of programs available which reduce the required down payment, sometimes to just 2 or 3%. 

Start working towards buying. You can often buy your own home for monthly payments that are about the same as you pay in rent, but in a few years that rent will likely go up, while your mortgage payment won’t. Plus, you build equity, which means when you’re ready to move, you get money for selling your home. When you move out of a rental, you get nothing.