Many couples are moving in together sooner than anticipated in order to afford apartments, build stronger rental applications or live in their ideal neighborhoods. With pandemic restrictions easing and people coming back to cities, the rental market hasn’t kept up with the demand. In May, the median rent in Manhattan reached a record-breaking level of $4,000, the brokerage Douglas Elliman reported. Nationwide, asking rents were up 15 percent in May from a year earlier, according to the real estate brokerage Redfin.
“We’ve had clients who have been dating under six months move in together to share the burden of high rent prices in desirable neighborhoods,” said Tony Mattar, an agent and the founder of the Compass brokerage’s Chicago Crib team.
Keyan Sanai, an agent at Douglas Elliman in New York, said that he’s seen more couples move in together now than ever before. “$2,500 in the West Village doesn’t even get you a decent studio. But you can get a great two-bedroom between $5,000 and $5,500, so for around $2,600 a person, you get a nice spacious apartment with your partner,” Mr. Sanai said. “It just makes more sense, and couples are seeing that.”
Many couples are now excited to take the next step in their relationships, but there are also newfound fears and worries that come with being financially and locationally tied to a significant other earlier than expected.
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