What The Hell Is Causing Rental Bidding Wars

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: Now that he is vaccinated, my son is moving back to Manhattan. The realtor he spoke with told him to prepare for a bidding war with other tenant applicants. Are there really bidding wars for apartments now? Harriet, Mendham, NJ

A: Yes, it sounds crazy but there really are bidding wars now both for city apartments as well as for single family home rentals. After many people fled Manhattan during the pandemic particularly at the outset of when NYC was an epicenter for Covid spread, many people are being called back to work and others like your son, who are now vaccinated are being drawn back to the city for the same reasons they were drawn to cities in the first place. In addition to affecting supply chains worldwide, the long-standing pandemic eviction and foreclosure moratoriums have limited supply of available apartments to rent. When demand far outweighs supply it creates upward price pressure as evidenced by bidding wars for rentals which I have never seen in the 20+ I have been doing real estate. Successful negotiation of any kind requires preparation. Your son and others in his situation would be wise to establish his own budget for rent and never offer to pay above that budget regardless of what other renter prospects may do. This may result in having to look longer for an apartment but it’s still the smartest decision from a financial perspective in the long run. Thanks for your question, Harriet. Thanks for your question, Ellen.

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