Despite economic turmoil and high unemployment, rental prices remain high.
One possible sign of renter relief? A recent report by Citi Habitats found the Manhattan vacancy rate in August was at a six-month high of 1%. But Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, warned against reading too much into that number, especially the spring and summer tend to be busier than the fall and winter.
“And if you look at the report, you’ll see that prices increased for studios and one-bedrooms, which make up about 75% of the market in Manhattan. The rent for two- and three-bedroom apartments fell slightly,” he said.
While you can expect some small seasonal drops, “things are still very expensive,” Malin said.
He doesn’t expect the vacancy rate to rise much in the next few months, as economic uncertainty causes people to stay put.
Jonathan Miller of appraisal firm Miller Samuel expects the rental market to stay strong, as long as banks make it difficult for people to get mortgages to buy apartments.
“If you don’t believe the credit is going to ease in the immediate future — which I don’t — we’re likely to have high rents for the next few years,” he said.
$3,570 (and up)
Studio apartments at The Continental, at 32nd Street and Sixth Avenue. First two months free on a 14-month lease a plus onemonth fee paid to the broker (for floors 39-53; one month free on a 13-month lease for the lower floors). Citi Habitats Marketing Group, 212-695-3232. www.thecontinental.com
A high-floor three-bedroom apartment at New York by Gehry, 8 Spruce St. Citi Habitats Marketing Group. 212-877-2220. firstname.lastname@example.org
A 1,300-square-foot twobedroom, two-bath apartment at The Lenox Condominium, 380 Lenox Ave. (at 129th Street) Contact Leila Yusuf, Stribling & Associates, 646-613- 2640
Luxury stays strong
One segment of the rentals and sales market that’s remained strong — even during the worst of the recession — is the luxury market. Often, those buyers — many of whom are Europeans taking advantage of the weak dollar — pay cash and don’t bother with mortgages.
“Manhattan didn’t fall as hard as the rest of the country,” said UrbanDigs’ Noah Rosenblatt. “The depth of wealth interested in Manhattan property never ceases to amaze me.”