HPD Numbers Show Low NYC Vacancy Rates

Numbers from the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey conducted for the city every three years by the U.S. Census Bureau were presented recently at a recent City Council meeting. Full data from the 2017 edition won't be out until this summer, but the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) prepared a summary of the major findings that was presented at the meeting.

According to the numbers, the city’s housing stock has been growing, with about 69,000 units added between 2014 and 2017. There are about 3.5 million units in the city’s housing stock. The vacancy rate throughout the city is 3.63 percent, according to the survey. A rate below 5 percent is considered a “housing emergency,” and triggers the extension of rent regulation laws.

In 2017, there were about 966,000 rent-stabilized units in total, making up 44 percent of the city’s rental stock, and 22,000 rent-controlled units, accounting for 1 percent of the rental stock. The vacancy rate for these units is extremely low, at about 2 percent. Subsidized units like public housing or project-based rental assistance have a vacancy rate of less than 1 percent.

The numbers also show that incomes have also increased more than rents have. Overall, the incomes of all renters went up 11.2 percent, according to the city, while gross rents (which includes utility payments) increased 6.2 percent.