New York may be the greatest city in the world — but when it comes to finding a place to live there, it’s quickly becoming the worst.
A TikTok video, one that has gone viral with some 1.1 million views and nearly 93,000 likes, shows the crunch renters now face when hunting for a new apartment.
The clip shows an unidentified real estate agent trying to take a selfie with the dozens — yes, dozens — of applicants who showed up for a recent open house in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. There appear to be some 50 people gathered on the sidewalk outside of the building’s entrance — a crowd so large that not everyone appears to fit into the agent’s photo frame for the shot.
“New York!” quips one person caught in the scrum, while another one lets out a laugh.
The video’s caption offers more detail.
“NY real estate agent takes selfie with applicants for apartment because he’s ‘never seen this many people for an open house in 17 years,’” wrote the uploader, identified by the Independent as Sarah.
Viewers were quick to share their thoughts, very few of which were positive.
“This is actually so devastating,” wrote one, while another said, “I would [have] just walked away.” But the one that captures the essence most: “I am scared to start looking for a new place,” said another.
Renters on the hunt for a new apartment these days are faced with a brutal market — far from that of last spring, when a number of local renters snagged deals to live in upgraded units.
Across Manhattan, Brooklyn and parts of Queens — and not including The Bronx or Staten Island — fewer than 10,000 units are up for grabs, according to the latest numbers from Douglas Elliman. What’s more, one in every five rental units in Manhattan alone has gone into a bidding war, which drives asking prices even higher — putting units out of certain renters’ budgets.
Douglas Elliman’s February numbers showed that in Manhattan, nearly 20% of all listed rentals entered a bidding war, up a far cry from 0.9% in February 2021. In Brooklyn, it was 19% of all rentals, up from 0.7% the previous February — and in northwest Queens, that share grew to 9.3% from 0.3% in the same stretch of time.