NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Since the coronavirus pandemic struck New York City, more people seem to be moving out. Yet, those staying put are doing so at a lower price.
Falling in love with the Big Apple was easy for Cate Ortiz and her husband, who moved from California to a two-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side last August.
"It was everything he and I dreamed of for the first seven-eight months and then once the pandemic hit, New York City is not New York City anymore and we just didn't see it changing anytime soon," Ortiz told CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis on Wednesday.
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Worried about crowding on public transportation, safety, and having a newborn she said were some of the deciding factors to move back to the West Coast.
"Long term, it's just so expensive. The rent is expensive. Day care there was gonna cost more than our rent cost and it just wasn't worth it for us," Ortiz said. "We're paying through February. That's how bad we wanted to get out of the city," Ortiz said.
It appears they're not alone.
According to StreetEasy, more than 67,000 rentals were on the market in July, with the median asking rent at $3,200, a nearly 9% drop from last July. Experts say the surge in supply is driving rents down, especially in Manhattan.
DeAngelis was told some tenants have been able to negotiate with landlords to lower their current rent.
"It makes sense to come to sort of a medium point that works for both parties versus having a tenant move out and then having the vacancy and trying to fill the vacancy at a time when there's a lot of choice for tenants," said Nicole Beauchamp, an agent for Engel & Volkers Real Estate.
Beauchamp explained the best approach for tenants looking for a break.
"Compare what you're in now to what you could move to and have that frank discussion with the landlord, that you're here and you would like to stay and you would like an adjustment, or that you're willing to go," Beauchamp said.
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When asked for an estimate of how many people the city could lose, Mayor Bill de Blasio took a cautious approach.
"It is way too soon to know what the long-term impact will be," de Blasio said.
The real estate agent CBS2 spoke to said although there is a spike in vacant apartments, on the flip side, companies like Facebook and Amazon are committing to leases and bringing more people to the city.
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