New York City’s Small Multifamily Market Balanced Across Boroughs
- Units in small and large multifamily properties made up 75% of New York City’s rental market.
- Large apartment building units are concentrated in Manhattan, while the city's boroughs had a more even distribution of small multifamily.
- Townhomes were most concentrated in Brooklyn, while single-family rentals (SFRs) had meaningful market share in Queens.
New York City Rental Market Fundamentals
Starting with this blog post, we add another dimension to our small multifamily research content. Here, we begin a comprehensive analysis of local markets. This multi-article series will focus on New York City, the single largest U.S. rental market. Beyond the towering heights of Manhattan, New York City has four other surrounding boroughs: Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. Three-fourths of all of the city’s rental households reside in these four boroughs.
According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, Manhattan included 27% of all occupied rental units in the city. However, Brooklyn held the crown, accounting for 31%. Queens and the Bronx had similar shares at around 20% each, while Staten Island comprised less than 3%.
In terms of asset types, units in small asset multifamily (5-49 units) made up 38% of occupied inventory, followed closely by large multifamily (50 units or more) at 37%.
Unsurprisingly, NYC’s share of large apartment properties dwarfed the national average, which sat around 13%, as discussed in a previous article.
Townhomes (2-4 units) contribute to the city’s unique urban landscape, accounting for 21% of rentals. Single-family rentals (SFRs), while an emerging asset class nationally, are less prominent within NYC’s city limits, comprising around 4% of rental inventory.
Rental Inventory Across Boroughs
Manhattan had a dominant 39% share of New York City’s large multifamily inventory. Brooklyn and the Bronx follow next, with large multifamily shares in the 21% to 23% range. The percentage in Queens was 15%.
Manhattan and Brooklyn together cornered close to two-thirds of the City’s small multifamily inventory at more than 30% apiece, followed by the Bronx at 21% and Queens at 15%. However, NYC’s boroughs had a more even distribution of small apartment properties than all other asset classes.
Townhomes had a more substantial presence in Brooklyn, accounting for 45% of this asset class. Queens was home to another 34%, while only around 4% of these two- to four-unit properties were in Manhattan. Queens also captured close to a 40% share of the City’s SFR households, primarily due to its eastern border with the more-suburban Nassau County.
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Note: All data is sourced from the American Community Survey (ACS), unless otherwise stated. ACS statistics are sample-based estimates of the compositional profile of the total population in the given year of data collection, and include a margin of error.