Want to Rent Your Dream Apartment? Prepare for a Bidding War.

The New York City actual property market is returning to its prepandemic regular, however anybody wanting for a rental condo ought to put together for a potential post-pandemic shock. Bidding wars — lengthy the scourge of potential dwelling patrons — are actually being waged for leases, particularly within the hippest neighborhoods which are inside strolling distance of newly reopening workplace buildings.

“What we’re now seeing is that certain neighborhoods — particularly those below 34th street on the West Side — are now coveted and in demand for rentals,” says Hal Gavzie, government director of leasing at Douglas Elliman. “We’ve seen rental bidding wars, with multiple applications and inquiries leading to bids that are $100 to $750 above listing price,” he added.

Median rental costs dropped in the course of the pandemic when a lot of renters left the town, and will take months to totally recuperate.

Mr. Gavzie mentioned that this appears like a completely different market from previous years as a result of whereas firms are slowly coming again, there may be nonetheless a lot of stock in neighborhoods like Midtown East and areas like Hell’s Kitchen. But he notes the rental costs in these neighborhoods will take a little longer to attain pre-Covid ranges as a result of “they’re not fully back yet,” however Lower Manhattan has began to see costs bouncing again to prepandemic ranges.

Numerous the frenzy has been attributable to residents who fled the town earlier than the pandemic, however are actually starting to depart their work-from-home lives behind, and wish the best-possible state of affairs after they get again to the town.

“The reason we are experiencing bidding wars is that young people want to be downtown and many of the areas where they’re being called back to work are in the financial district,” mentioned Cathy Taub, an affiliate dealer at Sotheby’s International. “That has spurred the hunt for rentals close to office spaces. We have been more location agnostic in the rental market until now, and now we’re back to location, location, location.”

Many of those employees are keen to pay tons of of dollars extra per thirty days to get one thing within the neighborhoods which are most in demand, which as well as to the monetary district, embody Greenwich Village, the Upper West Side and elements of Brooklyn.

Jay Glazer, an affiliate dealer on the Corcoran Group, listed two one-bedroom models in a five-story constructing on Horatio Street within the West Village in July at $four,150 per thirty days. The one on the third flooring with treetop views and excessive ceilings was bid up to $four,400, and the opposite ground-floor unit with three French doorways opening into a 615-square-foot wraparound personal backyard, full with Japanese maple and climbing ivy, was bid up to $5,000.

“We had a lot of people reach out to say that their offices were reopening, but given the speed of the recovery, the office openings were expedited,” Mr. Glazer mentioned. “They were obligated to be in, and if someone started their search in May, two months is not enough time to buy a place — so there’s an urgency.”

Recently, a one-bedroom rental on Jane Street within the West Village, on the third flooring of a five-floor elevator constructing, that was listed at $four,850 a month was shortly bid up and rented for $5,200, mentioned Michael Miarecki, the agent at Sotheby’s who dealt with the property.

In addition to its location, he mentioned the condo was notably engaging due to a latest renovation that included new flooring and a floor-to-ceiling glass door that separates the dwelling space and the bed room.

Rachel Bernstein on the roof of the rental constructing the place she now lives within the West Village. She rented out the condo she owned in the identical neighborhood and was shocked by the variety of bids that got here in above asking. Credit…Desiree Rios for The New York Times

Rachel Bernstein, who owned the Jane Street condo, which she purchased in 2015, mentioned she acquired inquiries from 60 potential renters however by no means anticipated it to transfer as shortly because it did or to get bids above the asking value. “I was surprised that people were coming in over the $5k threshold,” she mentioned.

Ms. Bernstein mentioned she briefly thought-about promoting the condo however didn’t need to let it go fairly but. She has moved into one other rental within the West Village the place she mentioned she has upgraded her work-from-home atmosphere.

Rental bidding wars are cropping up outdoors of New York as properly, in locations like New Jersey and past.

Santosh Gunaseelen, 38, a vice chairman at a software program firm, relocated to Seattle from New York City in the course of the pandemic however determined to transfer again to the East Coast in July.

He selected not to purchase a dwelling due to the craziness of the gross sales market. But the search for a perfect rental for his household proved equally powerful.

He discovered a three-story home in a quiet neighborhood in Summit City in New Jersey. “I didn’t even take a look at it, however I believe we went in $250 extra for a lease that was priced at $5,000 per thirty days, however I misplaced it as a result of other people got here in with almost $6,000 per thirty days for a two-year lease. He ultimately gained one other bidding struggle however ended up renting a four-bedroom home in Millburn Township on the asking value of $5,300 per thirty days.

With the market changing into extra aggressive, Joseph Hamdan, principal dealer at Coldwell Banker Reliable in Brooklyn, mentioned that the incentives provided for leases have all however disappeared. “Some firms used to contribute to shifting prices, different administration firms provided a month or two of free lease, and these have been significantly diminished,” he mentioned. “A lot of the concessions started to be eliminated during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.”

Craig Hatkoff, co-founder of the TriBeCa Film Festival and a actual property investor who has been within the enterprise for greater than 40 years, says that the market — particularly in New York — continues to be adjusting to what it means when it comes to workplace employees going again into work. “We’ve moved into a post Covid phase; by September we may well be north of 70 percent in occupancy levels,” he mentioned.

The rental market isn’t a lot a speculative one as it’s a psychological one, he added, as a result of persons are not precisely positive what’s going to transpire and are attempting to hedge their bets. “It’s about rental parity analysis: if you looked at an apartment that costs $3,000 a month, you do a back of the envelope calculation on how much it would cost to buy versus rent, and even with higher bids, rentals can be cheaper because there’s an optionality to get out,” he added, saying that new coronavirus variants have additionally created an embedded uncertainty available in the market.

But for the reason that house owners of many properties are the last word determination makers, not all the greater bids find yourself being the successful ones.

Richard Rojas, a dealer at Compass, acquired bids over the asking value for a prewar walk-up in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, however the constructing’s house owners selected a well-prepared applicant who bid at ask.Credit…Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times

Richard Rojas, a dealer at Compass, listed a one-bedroom rental in June that was positioned on the highest flooring of a prewar walk-up at Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, for $three,300 a month. “As soon as the listing launched, I knew that it was going to go fast because my inbox got flooded with inquiries,” he mentioned. “In that neighborhood, there are a lot of townhouses as well as condo units, so when there’s a one-bedroom with a den that becomes available, it’s a hit.”

Mr. Rojas held two bustling open homes on the condo. “Everyone asked for an application, and I had offers from some that were sight unseen,” together with one at $three,600 from an applicant from California. But in the long run, regardless of the upper bids, the house owners, who additionally stay within the townhouse, determined to go along with a well-prepared applicant who bid the asking value however was keen to pay the dealer’s charge, which was one month’s lease.

“The owners cared about the character and integrity of the tenant since they shared the premises,” Mr. Rojas mentioned.

For weekly electronic mail updates on residential actual property information, enroll right here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.