Rent in Queens continued to fall during first quarter of 2021: Report

Red For Rent sign closeup against brick building
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During the first quarter of this year, apartments in Queens were the cheapest they’ve been in eight years, according to a new report.

The median asking rent in Queens dropped to $1,999 in the first quarter of 2021, a figure not seen since 2013, according to a report from real estate company StreetEasy. The drop in price – 10.5 percent – was the largest annual decline the borough has ever experienced, the report said.

The largest declines, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, came in northwest Queens, where rents were highest to begin with. The median asking rent in Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside dropped 9 percent year-over-year, hitting $1,800 in the first quarter of this 2021, the report found.

However, not every neighborhood in Queens saw a step decline.

Of the top 10 neighborhoods where the median asking rent increased during the first quarter of 2021, eight were in Queens, including North Corona (16.7 percent increase year-over-year), Oakland Gardens (13.9 percent), Auburndale (13.5 percent), Hollis (13.4 percent), Fresh Meadows (11.4 percent), Clearview (10.8 percent), Whitestone (8.9 percent) and Ozone Park (8.7 percent).

The same goes for home sales, where of the 10 neighborhoods with the steepest increase in median asking price, six were in Queens, including Hollis (66.9 percent increase year-over-year), East Elmhurst (39.2 percent), Kew Gardens Hills (28.5 percent), Springfield Gardens (17.1 percent), South Jamaica (16.9 percent) and Cambria Heights (16.9 percent).

Compared to Brooklyn and Manhattan, Queens rents remained relatively stable.

The median asking rent in Manhattan hit an all-time low in the first quarter of 2021, with some of the most dramatic decreases coming in Midtown and the Upper East Side, according to the report. In Brooklyn, median asking rent fell by 10 percent year-over-year, the largest annual decline on record, according to StreetEasy.

The renter’s paradise is likely to remain for at least a few more months, according to the report.

While prices are expected to slowly increase during the summer, renters should still have plenty of time to snag a good deal, according to StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu.

“Renters don’t need to rush to sign a new lease this second to claim a great deal, though,” Wu said. “It will take time for prices to rebound. But the rentals market does react to economic activity much more quickly than the sales market. As the city continues to recover, competition will slowly start to pick up.”