Rents and Selling Prices are Being Discounted on the UWS, Particularly in One Area


Photo by BB and HH.

Landlords have been offering discounts on the Upper West Side, and one section of the neighborhood is seeing the highest number of selling-price decreases of any part of the city, according to two recent reports.

Real estate listing site realtyhop analyzed selling trends throughout the city, and found that the Upper West Side had a particularly large number of price drops this month as compared to other parts of the city. In Lincoln Square, the southern part of the neighborhood, there were 47 price drops, the most in the city. The median size of the drop was 4.9%, or $80,000.

In the rest of the Upper West Side, there were 26 price drops with a median drop of 4.9%, or $50,000.

The absolute number of drops is below pre-Covid levels, likely because fewer homes have been on the market this Spring given the difficulty of selling them amid a pandemic. In November of last year, for instance, there were 150 price drops on the Upper West Side (the section outside of Lincoln Square).

As for rentals, discounts are becoming much more frequent all over the city, according to Streeteasy. That could lead to rent declines in the coming months, according to the Streeteasy analysis.

“The monthly cost of an apartment in NYC has reached record highs in recent years. It even ticked up slightly this May, rising 0.7% in Manhattan, 3.7% in Brooklyn, and 2.3% in Queens. However, this uptick accompanied far more dramatic increases in rent cuts: Fully 24% of NYC rentals received a discount in May, compared to 14.9% at the same time last year. And the size of the discount rose, too, from 4.8% of the median asking rent last year to 7.9% this May.”

In Manhattan, 26.8% of rentals included a discount as of May 2020, versus 14.9% as of May 2019. On the Upper West Side, 32.7% of rentals included a discount.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 56 comments | permalink
    1. Rob G. says:

      We ain’t seem nuthin’ yet! The UWS will see even more pain, as it was already spiraling downward pre-COVID due to the many quality of life issues. And with our representatives working hard to revert back to the 1970s & 1980s, hang on tight folks – it’s gonna get ugly!

    2. KMdude says:

      Hotels in the neighborhood are being turned into homeless shelters. Crime and vandalism is rampant and are obscenely justified as a legitimate response to “oppression”. We have a school board obsessed with destroying the handful of decent public schools left in the city.

      On top of this Helen Rosenthal has turned the NYPD into the enemy and vows to “decriminalize” them.

      It’s no wonder people are fleeing and nobody in their right mind will move here. Covid is the least of the UWS’s problems.

      Expect more downward pressure on rents and housing prices.

      • Mimi says:

        Do you know anywhere to get the actual numbers of hotels for homeless? I know that both the Belford and Bellclaire have been filled up with homeless men.
        It’s getiing scary.

      • ConcernedUWSider says:

        Agreed.

        The current city politicians need to be VOTED OUT.

        • B.B. says:

          Nearly all city wide elected officials are largely term limited out next year, and that includes the mayor.

          OTOH large majority are either running for another elected office this year, or surely will be in 2021.

          To prevent a political game of musical chairs it is important to vote wisely this year and certainly next. Otherwise NYC political offices in 2022 will resemble a reshuffle of deck chairs on the Titanic.

          State elections for Albany are happening this November as well.

    3. Jane says:

      How do I get MY discount? Can I show this to my landlord and price-match my rental contract?

      • JR says:

        I was able to renegotiate the terms of my lease this month. Was several months into a two-year lease when COVID struck. Landlord agreed to lower the rent for the remainder of the lease. It can’t hurt to ask.

    4. Todd Alexander says:

      I’m a little concerned on the powerful title and message this article is creating!! Showings and listings have been pretty much at a stand still through the virus. Also a little concerned on all the other data that hasn’t been considered. Why is anything being compared to ‘same time last year’? Please do more research if you are commenting and influencing a market that has many listings on hold till deemed safe.

      • Susan Cooper says:

        YES!! Good observation! Take a look at the benefits of the UWS – they are pretty amazing – the issues you bring up in all these replies that are so negative are just not that prevalent. Why not focus on the good as well as the bad and present a realistic picture?

    5. Weird That Way says:

      From woefully outrageous to painfully outrageous, perhaps in its way to merely outrageous . . .

    6. MARC Effron says:

      Lagging data. We just sold our condo for 1% below asking and got an offer just after that for 2% above asking. On the market for 4 wks.

    7. Julie C. says:

      Anybody know what is going on at 212 West 72nd? The Trader Joe/Bank of America building is mostly vacant and they are redoing the interior of many of the apartments

      • DMK says:

        What is the purpose of the “URBAN UMBRELLA “ being constructed on the corner of 72nd and Broadway?. Who is putting it up and why?

        • HelenD says:

          This will mean FOUR ungoing construction projects on that block, all the way from B’way to WEA! I’ve only been out for a few necessities but today was the 2nd time this month that I had to walk in the street to get around the homeless encampment next to Beer Culture. They’ve been blasting music and screaming like banshees every night, and just a week ago the NYFD was out there with 4 trucks and a fire marshal and we still have no idea what happened. Seriously, Is there any kind of security detail on the corner? I do not feel safe here at all and it has more to do with the neighborhood than Covid at this point. 🙁

        • BS says:

          Urban Umbrella. Lipstick on a pig it is still scaffolding. It’s ugly and under the so-called umbrella it’s still dark and masks storefronts, windows and architecture. And still a good place for homeless to move in. Sad. We are outta here.

        • Ian Alterman says:

          It’s simply fancier scaffolding, made of recycled materials.

      • Mike says:

        Building is going condo from rentals. Ridiculous prices. $4 mil for a 1 be top floor. When rental leases expired everybody moved out. About 10 families left. It’s 200 West 72nd.

    8. Paul says:

      Realtyhop runs this “study” routinely but the numbers aren’t statistically significant. If there are only a few units for sale in a particular neighborhood and one or two very high priced ones get cut, the number gets absurdly distorted.

      Notwithstanding that, anyone looking to sell now is going to get hosed. Jobs and people are disappearing, and there will be few buyers for quite a while.
      And that will be true for the whole city.

      The only questions are when this will level off and where.

    9. B.B. says:

      Market rate rentals behave as just that; rates are based upon what a LL can get.

      Prior to covid-19 rental RE market all over city was red hot; now it is cooling (or gone stone cold), and LLs must adapt.

      There is tons of new construction on market with more coming all along West Side, from Chelsea up through Harlem. Over lay fact people are leaving NYC for various reasons, and you have weak demand.

      In OTOH simple economics of “supply and demand” at work.

    10. jsf says:

      Pointless news since you don’t specify by street/address!
      It might have been useful for folks looking for apps.

    11. Dj says:

      Bye UWS. My lease ends next month. I can work anywhere now. And I don’t spend all this money to defund then Police and turn NYC into a failed City again.

      • Karen L. Bruno says:

        Yep, I’m glad I got to experience the city when it was still great..its going to take a decade to overcome this, maybe more.

        • davidaron60 says:

          Actually,it has always been great! It is all about how you make it. Sad to see you go.

    12. Ian Alterman says:

      I am shocked at the selfish, intolerant attitude I am seeing in some of these comments. It’s not even just NIMBY, it is downright mean-spirited.

      • Jeff says:

        Ian, welcome to the WSR comments section, longtime safe space for the neighborhood’s snowflakes and pearl clutchers.

        I’ve been reading since moving to the UWS in 2011 and it’s quite literally always been the same hyperventilation about a return to the bad old days. 

        In these wild times, the fretting can seem totally reasonable. But it’s nothing new, these are the same people who kept calling the cops a few years back because a guy was selling books at 72nd & Broadway, which to them basically signified the apocalypse.

        • HelenD says:

          During the past 30 years I’ve done everything humanly possible to help the homeless in our neighborhood, and that included feeding and supplying books to the bookseller on 72nd, but that does NOT mean I feel safe having a group of mentally disturbed men spread out from B’way to WEA getting high, fighting, screaming, and setting the scaffolding around our buildings on fire. When you toss around the term NIMBY it just means you’re refusing to see what’s happening right in front of you.

          • lynn says:

            Keep in mind that Linda Rosenthal’s office is next to Gebhard’s Beer Culture, and her offices are open. If she doesn’t see the problem and nothing has been done about the long term encampment then I don’t expect it to change any time soon. In a previous thread someone suggested calling the police. Just for the record there have been 4 patrol cars parked across the street in front of the subway since March. They have a clear view of everything that’s happening on that block. Sadly, I don’t know what the answer is anymore.

            • Lyriclark says:

              Lynn: I thought the very same thing. How powerless can Linda Rosenthal be that those homeless half dressed men with their shopping carts and belongings are camped outside her office? Doesn’t she know who to call? How sad is this? Then there’s the shirtless guy who seems to sleep near the corner of WEA. I’ve seen them all around but suddenly they’ve discovered W.72. Maybe we should stage a protest: it’s just too dirty too depressed and too filled with garbage to live here. Have you noticed Amsterdam ave. 72-73rd.? Garbage piled up, papers all over the street etc. Yeah I give up also.

    13. RB says:

      Rental prices need to go down, they were going up at a higher rate than incomes for the past few years, especially in Brooklyn & Queens where people have been pushed out to the fringes of the city. My old apt increased +25% in 5 years in Brooklyn through 2019. At this point, it’s only worth it if you’re living with roommates or wealthy (or old money)…everyone else here is just surviving until they can get out of here for good.

    14. Audi R says:

      You guys can always move here to Texas.

    15. stevieboy says:

      Why do these conservative types and MAGA people always threaten to leave the city cause they have “had enough”??

      Who cares? Who exactly are you threatening? We don’t need these people here and actually don’t want them. There are plenty of places to live in the USA. Not everybody is built for this city. It’s OK.

      So, go ahead…take your ball and go home to Texas or Ohio or where ever. Real New Yorkers will be right here, fighting the good fight…in the greatest city in the world…propping up your state’s economy and leading the world forward in the Arts, Entertainment, Finance, Fashion, Advertising, Real Estate….should I go on?

      To all of you Chicken Little’s out there…the sky is falling, you better run home to Mommy…:)

      I think we will be OK without you all. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out….

      • Adam says:

        Exactly the insufferable and unjustified arrogance from a socialist loving local that ruined why I used to love this place. If conservatives are so clueless, check the financials and crime statistics of your beloved liberal cities.

        • Rb says:

          I love when people just state, go live in another state…we’re real New Yorkers! You mean the type that like to pay the highest taxes, rent, food, drinks, utilities, etc for the privilege of living here? I’ve lived here over 10 years and you want Hudson Yards all over the city too. Just put a wall around Manhattan and check everyone’s income and it will be just like living in any other segregated part of the US

          • Jake says:

            There has been a wall and “income check” around Manhattan for a long time. Just look at the demographics and income of those that actually live on the island. And of course, throw out the 33% WW2 geezers living in $1500/month 3BR apartments. They will all be market once they die off. It has been and always will be elite. Period.

            • Elizabeth M says:

              Wow Jake. pretty harsh way to talk about the brave men/women who fought in WW2. “Old geezers”, “die off” Personally, I thank & respect them. Not sure where the USA would be today without them. Think of the courage it takes for a young soldier to go into a World War! Truly the Greatest Generation.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          Adam said:

          “If conservatives are so clueless, check the financials and crime statistics of your beloved liberal cities.”

          NYC has one of the lowest crime rates in the US, for a major city. But don’t let facts stand in the way of your preconceived notions.

      • Isabella says:

        Stevie Boy-Couldn’t agree more. What in the world has happened to the UWS?? Did they bring in boatloads of people from suburban red states?? This isn’t Texas or Oklahoma folks! It’s New York City! We had quality of life issues under Bloomberg. We had homelessness too. And crime, hello.=! Don’t fret for us- We just came through a freakin’ pandemic. We lost a whole lot of people. Businesses have been closed for months. Do you think we might find a space here for some grief before the pile on!! Even if the luster is off our city right now NY will always come back. Poorer, maybe dirtier for a while (excluding the subways which are finally clean). We’ll come back. Find somewhere sanitized with no culture and shopping malls galore. I know you can. We’ll wave good-bye.

        • RB says:

          Do you actually own your place or have you been renting a rent stabilized apt for 20 years? If you fit either of those descriptions then you are seeing the NYC through YOUR worldview only and ignoring the issues that have happened in the past 10 years here where making $120,000/year for $3K 1 bedroom rental makes it tough to live here long term and buy a place. By the time you get a higher salary through job moves, promotions, etc. the place you could afford just 5 years ago to finally buy went up +30% in price. And most of these people are liberals…i don’t understand why living in Nyc and being tough is a conservative vs. liberal issue. Really bizarre statements and misinformed as well.

    16. Leon says:

      Furthering the issues is that yesterday a majority of CEC3 (local school board) ignored five hours of near-unanimous parent comments during a barely publicized meeting to push forward their effort to eliminate school choice for UWS middle and high schools. Even though most of their kids attend selective schools. WSR should report on this – it was a travesty.

      Rather than improving weaker schools, they are weakening stronger schools. And one member of the board had the nerve to call everyone who disagreed a racist. In this time, there is no way to respond to that, though some tried.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        it is my understanding that they are not “eliminating school choice” for Middle Schools but rather cutting back on SCREENING. those are two very different things. Middle school choice exists throughout the city; “screening” promotes school segregation, which is atrocious in UWS Middle Schools.

        What is your alternative plan for ending Middle School segregation, Leon? Or don’t you agree it’s a problem?

        • Leon says:

          Screening separates kids by ability. That way teachers can teach more effectively. By middle school one can determine ability levels. I think that elementary school G&T programs are a joke because one cannot tell how smart a 4 year old is. The last round of middle school changes reserved spots for lower performing kids, poorer at top schools. The schools are unable to fill these spots.

          To help end segregation in middle and high schools, more should be invested in elementary schools. Give them more resources, make sure there are adequate pre-k seats so kids get an early start.

          And this is not a race issue, it is a class issue, so people need to stop playing the race card. But to the same point, figure out why poor Asian students seem to do excel. I want my kids to be surrounded by kids of similar academic ability. I (and most everyone else I know) don’t care what background they are from.

        • LK says:

          Alternative, Bruce, is to invest into elementary schools that are failing so that kids from the disadvantaged communities are able to get knowledge and good grades and pass state tests that are based on the school curriculum. Of course, our so-called leaders don’t want to do that. They just say that everyone should be able to go to any school. OK, but you do realize that it would not improve chances of those kids that lost first 5 years of schooling? At the same time, those kids that worked hard and aspired to go to a better school will also learn a lesson – ‘hard work does not pay off’. It’s quite an un-American lesson, but it is becoming a New York lesson…

      • RB says:

        So once again you’re worried about protecting your schools and you know that nobody will help the other schools…you don’t care about the other schools, you care about yourself. If you don’t think there is systematic racism in education, you clearly have forgotten history and who has controlled access and who hasn’t had access.

        • Leon says:

          Clearly reading comprehension needs to be a larger part of the curriculum!

          What part of my two statements did you miss:
          1. Rather than improving weaker schools, they are weakening stronger schools.
          2. To help end segregation in middle and high schools, more should be invested in elementary schools. Give them more resources, make sure there are adequate pre-k seats so kids get an early start.

          I and many others are all for equality. But the best place to start on this is at the elementary level. Sticking unprepared kids in the same classes in middle school with kids who are above grade level (and believe it or not, there are a lot of minority students who are at this level so please stop lumping them together) doesn’t help either group. Make sure all kids are ready for middle school and high school.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        Leon and LK don’t put forward a plan to end desegregation; they basically propose “separate but equal.” they argue for waiting until the Black and Hispanic students who are currently segregated are “ready” for integrated middle schools.

        It is appalling that the UWS has racially segregated middle schools. Period.

        A vast number of myths are being recycled, too many to counter in 100 words. They say that if the middle schools are integrated, good schools will be made worse. Where have we heard that before? It’s an argument always used by segregationists: “We just are concerned about education.” In suburbs all over the NY area, middle schools have students who are high scorers and lower scorers in the same classes. Somehow it is only a problem when race comes into the mix. There is zero evidence integration lowers the quality of the schools.

        School segregation is a fundamental pillar of racial injustice. There is no good argument to defend it.

    17. Christian says:

      I wonder if there’s something between “rampant crime” and “only rich people can live here.”

    18. Karen D Scarborough says:

      Can you list senior housing for the upper west side
      Thank you

    19. Virginia Campbell says:

      I am trying to find a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan and have had no luck so far because the average rent is $2,500 or more and my yearly salary is under $100,000, so even with good credit I don’t qualify.
      Where do I go from here?

      • lynn says:

        My friends and I have always used brokers like Citi Habitats to find a ‘deal,’ but if you don’t want to pay a fee then try a place like City & Suburban S.W. Management at 511 E. 78th where they have several no-fee property listings around the city.

        (not an advertisement)

      • B.B. says:

        You go where everyone else goes; New Jersey, Brooklyn (likely more east or south), Queens or the Bronx.

        This and develop a network of connections along with pounding the pavement.

        You can also try using one or more real estate brokers, but thanks to interference from Albany regarding fees, things may be complicated.

    20. B.B. says:

      Reported reductions in sales prices for entire city must be taken with a grain of salt.

      NYS PAUSE order enacted back in March and has run for almost four months prevented in person showing of real estate. Most closing that have taken place recently are due to buyers having seen property before lock down began.

      With so few sales having taken place it is difficult to sort out true comparable rates.

      https://www.crainsnewyork.com/real-estate/city-home-purchase-contracts-plummet-delaying-price-reckoning

    21. B.B. says:

      Per recent article in NYT, NYC rents at least aren’t going down by much if at all.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/18/realestate/why-rents-havent-dropped-in-new-york-city.html

      Yes, individual landlords are doing deals but overall rental market has remained remarkably resilient.

      For all the wailing and moaning about people not being able to pay rent, about 80% of NYC tenants have managed.

    22. ED says:

      Our building is losing 15% of its tenants because they cannot afford current rents having lost jobs or been furloughed. Landlord will not renegotiate so he can keep the basis high and prefers to have empty apts. and wait the pandemic out. Just as the NYT article described.

      • Kayla says:

        It’s WAY PAST time for a *VACANCY TAX* on ALL retail and residential real estate to both generate desperately needed revenue AND force prices & rents down!