image of downtown brooklyn new and old buildings

Neighborhoods like Downtown Brooklyn, which have a high concentration of new developments, are most likely to offer multiple months free on new leases. (Busà Photography/Getty Images)

July marks the peak of renting season, when New Yorkers compete for the best apartments and the best deals. This demand for homes pushes up rents across the city, but there are certain neighborhoods and buildings where renters can gain an edge and find extra savings, either through discounts or concessions.

Concessions are a particularly great way to score a deal on an apartment. These advertised, temporary price reductions come in the form of one or more months of free rent. They’re usually offered in newer, high-rise buildings, and thus are more common in neighborhoods with plenty of new development, such as Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City

Discounts — a simple reduction in the monthly asking rent — can mean great deals for New Yorkers who value savings over living in a new or high-end apartment. Their frequency remains fairly consistent: A similar percentage of apartments in any NYC neighborhood and at any price point see cuts to their initial asking rent, either because they’re not as desirable as similar units, or they’ve lingered on the market.

>>Here’s How Much Rental Concessions and Discounts Will Save You in NYC

Depending on your taste and budget, both concessions and discounts can help you save a few bucks this rental season. Let’s look at where you’re most likely to find a deal.

NYC Neighborhoods With the Most Rental Concessions and Discounts

Neighborhoods With the Most Rental Concessions

Neighborhood Share With Concessions Concession Savings-to-Rent Ratio Median Rent
Downtown Brooklyn 63.4% 12.2% $3,414
Long Island City 48.7% 9.3% $3,035
Gowanus 39.6% 12.1% $3,233
Financial District 31.1% 9.9% $3,645
Midtown West 27.2% 10.9% $3,500


Neighborhoods With the Most Rental Discounts

Neighborhood Share With Discounts Discount Savings-to-Rent Ratio Median Rent
Jackson Heights 24.8% 5.5% $1,850
Rego Park 24.2% 22.1% $2,200
Williamsburg 23.2% 5.4% $3,000
Tribeca 22.2% 6.6% $6,263
Chelsea 21.7% 4.0% $4,077

Rent Concessions Are Most Common in Newer, Larger Buildings

Buildings constructed in 2016 or after are almost six times more likely to offer concessions than discounts. With so many new developments in certain neighborhoods, recent arrivals compete for tenants by advertising concessions. For instance, as of publication, Hoyt and Horn, a new rental building in Downtown Brooklyn, is offering up to two months free on a 13-month lease. The Eagle, at 86 Fleet Place in Downtown Brooklyn, is offering two months free on an 18-month lease, while Hub, at 333 Schermerhorn St., will give two months free on 12-month leases for penthouse units, and one month free for 13-month leases on all other apartments, as of press time.

Note, however, that net effective rents remain roughly similar in all of these buildings. A 1-bedroom will run from a low of $3,254 per month (at Hub) up to a high of $4,029 (at the Eagle), varying by size and features.

Unlike concessions, discounts are used to move specific apartments that linger on the market. Renters are less likely to find discounts in new buildings, and will save roughly the same with them regardless of the year the building was built. Concessions will save renters more on their monthly rent in new buildings than in older ones.

Bigger buildings are more than twice as likely to offer concessions than small and mid-size buildings. Around New York City, 78 percent of new developments built in 2016 or later are towers with more than 50 units, largely because the cost of planning and construction is so high that developers want to maximize profitability. Smaller buildings, or those with fewer than 10 units, make up only 4 percent of new developments. Since they tend to be older, smaller buildings are also less likely to offer concessions.

How We Did It

We developed an algorithm to search listings descriptions from StreetEasy’s rentals database for phrases indicating that the unit was offering a concession to the lease. We did not include non-traditional concessions, such as Netflix packages and discounted amenities. We also did not include the waiving of broker’s fees as concessions.

We calculated the share of concessions and discounts as a proportion of all rental listings on StreetEasy in May 2018. For the top five neighborhoods, we included neighborhoods with at least 100 rental listings on StreetEasy in May 2018. The concessions-to-price and discount-to-price ratios are the mean of the ratios for all listings with concessions and all with discounts, respectively.

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