Economics/Class Relations

‘What If New York’s Rent Surge Is Based on a Lie?’

— Nick Summers, features editor, New York

I love a good conspiracy theory. For a few months now, Lane Brown, one of our most polymathic writers, has been obsessively excavating a rabbit hole that has to do with New York City’s skyrocketing rents. The surge has never made sense to him: New York emptied out when the COVID pandemic hit, and we’ve only added more apartments, so how can prices be going up? In the course of his investigation, Lane has examined Postal Service data sets and poop-based metrics; grilled moving companies and State Assembly members; and, finally, landed on a dastardly piece of software that just might hold the answer. I’m convinced.
New Yorkers Never Came ‘Flooding Back.’ Why Did Rents Go Up So Much? Getting to the bottom of a COVID-era real-estate mystery.
Illustration: Nicolás Ortega
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