Thank you for your question.
I'm sure you know, in any major metropolitan city, along with certain small towns, there will be rodents & insects of all types. Harlem has not been singled out specifically within the New York City area as having a large roach/ rodent issue. If there'd be any issue, it would be with the upkeep of individual buildings and the tenants who occupy that building.
Due to updated City Codes, most buildings have been brought uptodate and have sealed the foundations & lower floors where little critters have been know to infiltrate. You'll be glad to know there have been no large infestation cases within the area for a number of years. At least, there have been none recent to my knowledge and I have been back in Harlem for the past two years. I've actually been quite impressed with showing laundry rooms in the basements of many tenement buildings.
If it is new construction you desire, then unwanted pests should be the least of your worries. There are several new developments throughout the Harlem region. Do you have a particular area you prefer? When would you be available to view some? I'd be happy to give you the tour.
Please feel free to contact me if you do not have a representative, currently.
Thank you, again, for your inquiry. It's been a minute since I'd spoken on rodents. (smile)
Monica K Pindle
Licensed Real Estate Professional