Rents are Skyrocketing — and Sending Many City Dwellers to Suburbia 

Jan 25, 2023

With no sign of rents coming down, now might be the right time to buy… in the ‘burbs. 

During the early days of the pandemic, we saw countless NYC renters ditch their cramped apartments for Airbnbs and, even, permanent stays in “Zoom towns” like Charleston, Nashville, and Austin. Suddenly, people could work anywhere — and they did. 

And for those who stayed put in the city? As vacancies surged, New York’s landlords started slashing rents and offering incentives to attract tenants to now-empty apartments — and to keep existing renters in place, at least for the short term. 

But that was then. Now, rents are skyrocketing…again. With people heading back to the city and the typical influx of new residents, we’re seeing pandemic deals disappear — and building owners try and make up for lost revenue. And that’s leaving many in complete sticker shock, and pushing many to look outside of the city (again). 

Rents reach all-time highs

As of summer 2022, New York City rents reached an all-time high, equivalent to 55% of the monthly median household income in Manhattan, 43% in Queens, and a staggering 60% in Brooklyn. And rates continued to rise. By November the median rent for a Manhattan apartment hit $4,033, up from $3,964 in October, while rents in Brooklyn and Queens remain at near-record highs. To put it in perspective, the same as a mortgage payment on a $725,000 property.

“I am hearing often from clients that when they renew their lease, their rents are increasing by 20-30%, making them wonder if the smarter choice is to buy in the ‘burbs. My client in Long Island City relaunched their suburban search after their management company increased their rent by over 25%. Astronomical rent, a desire for more space and the fact that their daughter’s best friend moved to the suburbs prompted their relaunch.” – Robin Hoberman, NYC Strategist 

Granted, skyrocketing rents aren’t isolated to NYC. Rents are soaring around the country, with year-over-year increases ranging from 18-32% in cities in Florida, Texas, California, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. So if you’re feeling the squeeze you aren’t alone. The big question, though? Are rising rents a major signal to buy… in the ‘burbs?

Not sure how to begin? 

If you’re considering making a move, the first step is to look at your monthly rent holistically. What are you paying for your apartment? Your parking spot? Outside storage? Renters insurance? Total up everything that goes into your rental — because that’s going to help determine a realistic budget for life post-move. 

Armed with that number, get in touch and schedule your first Strategy Session. During your initial one-on-one with a Suburban Jungle Strategist, you’ll talk through exactly what you’re looking for in a new hometown, from budget to lifestyle to commute times and more. We’ll ask the questions that really help you narrow in on what communities make sense — then we’ll connect you with partner agents to help you explore towns (and homes!) like a pro. 

Even if you’re still not 100% sold on suburban life — but have that lease renewal in hand — let’s talk. There are countless places to call “home” right outside of city limits, and we’d love to help you explore and connect to a town that checks all of your boxes. 

Ready to get started? Let’s talk! We’ll help you find the right home town first—and then find the right home in the just-right town.

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