Manhattan Residents Who Fled During Pandemic Didn’t Go Very Far

Many of the Manhattan residents who cleared out during the pandemic didn’t go too far.

Roughly 37% of the people who left Manhattan last year moved to Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and other nearby suburbs, according to a report by analytics firm that analyzed mobile phone data in the 12 months through January 2021.

Overall, Manhattan saw a 12.8% decline in net migration during the period analyzed. The top destination was Suffolk County, which includes the Hamptons and received 14.6% of the borough residents who left. Another 15% combined went to Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Three counties outside New York City — Fairfield, Connecticut, Westchester and Monmouth, in New Jersey — grabbed a total of 7.4%

Two counties in Florida cracked the list of the top 10 destinations for Manhattan residents, with Miami-Dade seeing 2.3% of the influx and Palm Beach getting another 2.1%.

Signs of life are emerging in New York a year after the city locked down, as vaccines fuel optimism about an economic recovery. Lower rents and concessions are driving some companies to seek office space again in Manhattan, while occupancy rates at hotels are beginning to pick up.

Some Wall Street firms are also signaling that the work-from-home era could be coming to an end, potentially bringing workers back to Manhattan skyscrapers that have been mostly empty for months.